Near Eastern Studies Celebrates Class Day 2024

May 28, 2024

Near Eastern Studies held its 2023 Class Day reception in Jones 102 on May 27, 2024. During the celebration, the Department and Program announced departmental honors and presented this year’s prize winners. Following introductory remarks by Chair Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Director of Undergraduate Studies Daniel Sheffield spoke about the NES major and announced the prizes.

The winner of the Bayard and Cleveland Dodge Memorial Thesis Prize was Shane Patrick for his senior thesis, “A Law of the Past and of the Future: The Mukhtaṣar al-Sharīʿa of ʿAbdallāh Qarāʿalī.” His advisor, Michael Cook, briefly spoke about the thesis. The Near Eastern Studies Department Prize for an Outstanding Senior Thesis was awarded to Sam Kagan for his thesis, “The Quest to Define Expression Protections and National Ethos in Early Israeli Jurisprudence,” which was advised by Jonathan Gribetz, who also described the thesis to the assembled family members and friends. Abigail Glickman, a Comparative Literature major, won the Program in Near Eastern Studies Senior Thesis Prize for her thesis, “Text and Textile: Reading Clothing in Cairo Geniza Society and Scholarship.” Marina Rustow, who worked closely with Glickman, introduced the thesis. Martin Mastnak ’25 was awarded the Ertegün Foundation Prize for his paper, “Music, Cityscape, and de-Ottomanization in Post-Ottoman Belgrade.” The Department of Near Eastern Studies Prize for Best Junior Paper went to Jonathan Rosenberg ’25 for “Tehran to Tirana: The Development of the Mojahedin-e Khalq’s Attitudes towards the United States,” advised by Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi.

Sheffield also announced the departmental honors with Sam Kagan and Shane Patrick earning highest honors; Rebecca Roth earning high honors; and Fahim Azaz earning honors.

Next, Jonathan Gribitz, on behalf of the faculty, thanked Ghamari-Tabrizi for being department chair these past three years and presented him with a gift of noise-canceling headphones to help him escape from the constant clamor that being chair brings.

Director of Graduate Studies Marina Rustow then presented the graduate prizes. Jamie Pelling won the Bayard and Cleveland Dodge Memorial Prize for PhD Dissertation for “Feeling like a State: Anxiety and Optimism in the Late Ottoman Empire,” advised by Michael Reynolds. Samin Rashidbeigi received the T. Cuyler Young Award for Iranian Studies for her dissertation, “Convictions and Persuasions: Transfusion Technology and the Blood Donor in Modern Iran,” advised by Ghamari-Tabrizi.

Senior Lecturer Nancy Coffin concluded the formal activities by presenting the language prizes. The Near Eastern Studies Senior Language Prize for Overall Achievement in Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, or Turkish was awarded to Abigail Glickman, and the Judith Laffan Memorial Prize for Outstanding Progress and Dedication to the Arabic language was awarded to Charlotte Young ’27.