Marina Rustow, Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East and Professor of Near Eastern Studies and History, was named one of twenty-four MacArthur Fellows for 2015. “The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction. There are three criteria for selection of Fellows: exceptional creativity, promise for important future advances based on a track record of significant accomplishment, and potential for the fellowship to facilitate subsequent creative work.” The five-year fellowship comes with a no-strings-attached grant of $625,000.
Rustow, who joined Near Eastern Studies this past July, is a social historian of the medieval Middle East and works with a relatively neglected type of source: medieval documents, especially sources from the Cairo Geniza, a cache of more than 300,000 folio pages preserved in an Egyptian synagogue. Rustow is also the director of the Princeton Geniza Lab, a collaborative space devoted to making the documentary texts of the Cairo Geniza accessible to scholars and the wider public.
Rustow is the third NES-related MacArthur recipient. Former NES Professor Roy P. Mottahedeh was a member of the first MacArthur class of 1981, and Cornell H. Fleischer, a 1988 fellow, earned his B.A. (1972), M.A. (1976), and Ph.D. (1982) from Near Eastern Studies.
For more about Rustow’s MacArthur click here, here, and here.