MESA - Middle East Studies Association

2018 Nominating Committee Election

We encourage all Full members (Honorary Fellows, Fellows, and Students) to cast their vote for the 2018 Nominating Committee.

Eligibility: Only Full members (Honorary Fellows, Fellows, and Students) are eligible to vote. Associate members are not eligible.

Deadline: to be counted, all ballots—electronic and by post—must be in the office of the Secretariat by no later than Thursday, March 1, 2018 AT 11:59 P.M. MOUNTAIN STANDARD TIME.  

Instructions: Review the candidate biographies (below). You may cast your vote electronically below. You may vote for no more than five candidates among the fellows and one candidate among the students, and you may not vote for a candidate more than once! The five fellows receiving the largest number of votes and the one student receiving the largest number of votes will serve on the committee. If you would prefer a ballot be mailed to you, please request one from Sara Palmer at


Dima Ayoub

Assistant Professor of Arabic at Middlebury College. She received her MA in English literature (2006) and PhD in Islamic Studies from McGill University (2015). She joined Middlebury College in 2016 after three years of teaching at Georgetown University. Dr. Ayoub specializes in modern Arabic literature with an emphasis on translation, postcolonial, and feminist studies. She is currently at work on a book about histories of translation in modern Arabic literature and questions of linguistic authenticity, gender, and the politics and promise of translation and Arabic language learning.


Shahzad Bashir
Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities, Brown University; PhD, Yale University, 1998. Carnegie, Guggenheim, ACLS, and NEH Fellowships. Best dissertation, Iranian Studies. Monographs: Sufi Bodies: Religion and Society in Medieval Islam; Fazlallah Astarabadi and the Hurufis; Messianic Hopes and Mystical Visions. Articles in History and Theory, History of Religions, JESHO, al-Masaq, RSO, etc., and chapters in edited volumes. Editor, book series, Islamic Humanities (California) and Islamicate Intellectual History (Brill). Interests in Middle East and Central and South Asia studies. Past service: committees, Kerr dissertation award and Pourshariati and Saidi-Sirjani book awards; former director, Abbasi Program in Islamic studies, Stanford.


Omar S. Dahi
Associate Professor of Economics at Hampshire College, Amherst. He received his PhD in Economics at the University of Notre Dame in 2006 and specializes in political economy, international trade and economic development, with a focus on South-South relations. His publications include South-South Trade and Finance in the Twenty First Century: Rise of the South or a Second Great Divergence (with Firat Demir) 2016 and articles in outlets such as the Journal of Development Economics, Southern Economic Journal, Forced Migration Review, and Political Geography. He serves on the editorial committee of Middle East Report and as a co-editor at Jadaliyya.


Samuel Dolbee
Junior Research Fellow at Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Brandeis University. PhD, History and Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, New York University, 2017; MA, Arab Studies, Georgetown University, 2010; BA, History and International Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008. Co-authored with Shay Hazkani, “‘Impossible is Not Ottoman’: Menashe Meirovitch, ‘Isa al-‘Isa, and Imperial Citizenship in Palestine,” International Journal of Middle East Studies. Book review editor, Arab Studies Journal; contributor, Ottoman History Podcast


Manal A. Jamal

Associate Professor of Political Science at James Madison University. PhD, McGill University, MA, San Francisco State University, BA, University of California: Davis. Past Research Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Middle East Initiative and Dubai Initiative, and Sultan Post-Doctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley's Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Most recent articles have appeared in Comparative Political Studies, British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, International Feminist Journal of Politics, and International Migration Review, and in a number of chapters in edited volumes. Current Professor in Residence for JMU's Global Washington Semester Program. Service: MESA Program Committee 2017; MESA Committee on Academic Freedom 2010-16; and Canadian Committee of MESA 2000-01.







Daniel Neep
Assistant Professor in the Politics of the Arab World at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University. PhD, Politics & International Studies (2009) and MA, Near East Studies (2001), School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London; BA (Hons), Arabic with French, Oxford University (1999). Publications include Occupying Syria under the French Mandate: Insurgency, Space, and State Formation (Cambridge University Press, 2012); articles in International Journal of Middle East Studies, New Political Economy, Journal of Historical Sociology. Editorial Board, Contemporary Levant. 2017-18 Public Scholar, National Endowment for the Humanities. 


Adam Sabra
Professor of History and King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud Chair in Islamic Studies, Director, Center for Middle East Studies (2014-17), University of California, Santa Barbara. PhD, Near Eastern Studies, Princeton, 1998. Fellowships: American Research Center in Egypt/NEH, School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. Selected publications: Poverty and Charity in Medieval Islam: Mamluk Egypt, 1250-1517, Cambridge University Press, 2000; co-editor, The Development of Sufism in Mamluk Egypt, Institut français d'archéologie orientale, 2006; translator, ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha‘rani, Advice for Callow Jurists and Gullible Mendicants on Befriending Emirs, Yale University Press, 2017. Past service: MESA program committee.


Holly Shissler
Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. She received her PhD in History from UCLA, served as Director of the University of Chicago’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies from 2007-09, and as a member of the North American section of MESA’s Committee on Academic Freedom from 2011-2017.   Her research focuses on late nineteenth and early twentieth century Ottoman and Turkish history. She is the author of Between Two Empires: Ahmet Ağaoğlu and the New Turkey, and has written about the Turkish leftist-feminist journalist Sabiha Sertel, the Ottoman journalistic and literary figure Ahmet Midhat Efendi, and beauty pageants in the early Turkish Republic.


Claudia Yaghoobi
Roshan Institute Assistant Professor in Persian Studies at the Department of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is the author of Subjectivity in ‘Attar, Persian Sufism, and European Mysticism (Purdue UP, 2017). She is the coeditor of Sex and Marriage in the Medieval Islamic World: Women, Family, and Love (forthcoming I. B. Tauris 2019). She is also the coeditor of a book series titled, Sex, Marriage and Family in the Middle East for I. B. Tauris.


Alex Boodrookas

PhD Candidate, NYU, departments of History and Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies, MA (2014), NYU, Near Eastern Studies. Alex Boodrookas is currently conducting dissertation research on citizenship, migration, and popular movements in the twentieth-century Persian Gulf. He is a Graduate Student Nonvoting Board Member of the Association of Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies (AGAPS) and is the co-author, with Arang Keshavarzian, of “Positioning Gulf Cities across Time and Space,” in Molotch, Harvey and Ponzini, Davide, ed. Learning from Gulf Cities: Urbanization in and from the Arabian Peninsula, New York University Press, 2018 (forthcoming).


Laura Frances Goffman
PhD Candidate, Georgetown University, Department of History; MA (2012), New York University, Near Eastern Studies. Her dissertation examines public health, medicine, and state building in the Arabian Peninsula, 1860-1960. Publications include “Sa’id Ahmad Al-Jinahi’s I was in Dhufar: Gendered Militarization and Modern Space in Revolutionary Oman” (Women’s History Review, 2017) and “Manama, 1935-1947: Malaria on the Margins of Empire” in Babar, Deffner, von Richthofen, eds., Arab Gulf Cities in Transition: Space, Politics, and Society (Brill, forthcoming). She is a Graduate Student Nonvoting Board Member of the Association for Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Studies (AGAPS).


Chris Rominger
PhD Candidate in History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York; BA in History, Middlebury College. Rominger is a historian of migration and empire in modern North Africa. Publications include a forthcoming article accepted by the International Journal of Middle East Studies and chapters in edited volumes on the First World War and on socialisms in Africa. His research has been supported by the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, the Swiss Embassy of the United States, and the Société des Professeurs Français et Francophones d’Amérique. Rominger participated in the 2014 NEH Summer Seminar “The First World War in the Middle East and North Africa” hosted by Georgetown University.

Kali Rubaii
A Charlotte Newcomb Fellow of Anthropology at University of California, Santa Cruz, Rubaii is affiliated with UCSC Community Studies, and received her BA in International Relations at University of California, Davis. Rubaii's publications include "Tripartheid: how sectarianism became 'internal to being' in Iraq's Anbar Province," under review in Political and Legal Anthropological Review, "Concrete and Livability in Occupied Palestine" in Engagements, and her dissertation book manuscript, Counterinsurgency and the Ethical life of Material Thing in Anbar, Iraq. 


Deen Sharp

PhD Candidate in Geography at the City University of New York, Graduate Center and co-Director of Terreform, Center for Advanced Urban Research. He studied at Queen Mary and SOAS, University of London, and was previously a journalist and consultant based in Lebanon. Sharp’s publications include the co-edited books Beyond the Square: Urbanism and the Arab Uprisings, 2016 and Open Gaza, forthcoming; and numerous contributions on urbanization, architecture, political economy and conflict for, inter alia, Jadaliyya, Arab Studies Journal and Middle East Institute. His doctoral research is on the joint-stock corporation and urban space in Lebanon (2018 expected).


Rustin Zarkar

PhD Candidate in Middle Eastern Studies at New York University. He conducted his undergraduate research in Politics and Middle Eastern Studies at NYU before completing his Masters degree at Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Rustin has published an article in the Urbanisation Journal entitled "A Mural Erased: Urban Art, Local Politics, and the Contestation of Public Space in Mashhad" (2016). He is also a co-editor for Ajam Media Collective, and online platform covering culture and politics in Iran, Central Asia, and the Caucasus.


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