Bunzel Wins Jacobus Fellowship for the Humanities

Friday, Dec 1, 2017

Sixth-year Ph.D. student Cole Bunzel has been awarded the Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship for the Humanities. Princeton University's top honor for graduate students, the Jacobus Fellowships are awarded to one Ph.D. student in each of the four divisions (humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering) whose work has exhibited the highest scholarly excellence. “Established in 1905 by the generosity of Mrs. Clara Cooley Jacobus, these fellowships will be conferred upon regularly enrolled students of the Graduate School who, in the judgment of the University faculty, shall have evinced the highest scholarly excellence in graduate work during the year. The fellowships are awarded on the basis of a general judgment of the total ability, attainments, and personality of the candidates considered for appointment and not on the basis of any limited or specific test.” Bunzel’s research focuses on the religious tradition of Wahhabism (al-Wahhābiyya) in Saudi Arabia and the movement known as Jihadi Salafism (al-Salafiyya al-Jihādiyya) associated with such groups as al-Qaida and the Islamic State. His dissertation presents a broad-ranging reexamination of the history and doctrine of militant Wahhabism from the mid-18th to early 20th centuries, further exploring how the jihadis have seized upon this heritage in recent years as the main theological justification for their movement.