MESA Graduate Student Paper Prize

Han Hsien Liew

Harvard University

2017 Winner

Han Hsien Liew

Han Hsien Liew

Ibn al-Jawzi and the Cursing of Yazid b. Muʿawiya: Debating Rebellion and Legitimate Rulership 

This year’s Graduate Student Paper Prize Competition had a very strong field with 24 excellent entries. The three members of the jury unanimously selected as winner “Ibn al-Jawzi and the Cursing of Yazid ibn Muʿawiya: Debating Rebellion and Legitimate Rulership,” by Han Hsien Liew of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Mr. Liew’s doctoral work is supervised by Prof. Roy P.  Mottahadeh of the History Department at Harvard. The committee felt strongly that this was a well-research, clearly-written, and soundly-argued paper. It examines the early development of the Caliphate, and how it impacted on-going debates regarding the very nature of caliphal authority, and the legitimacy of rebellion. While the text is a careful analysis of an important doctrinal debate in early Islamic history, it goes far beyond the debate itself by contextualizing it and examining the larger meaning and ramifications of what is apparently a simple question. It is with great pleasure we award this prize to Mr. Liew.

2017 Review Committee
Brian Catlos, University of Colorado Boulder
Roger Deal, University of South Carolina Aiken
Nefissa Naguib (chair), University of Oslo

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