E-Newsletter - May 2015

Setting the Standard

Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, James Reilly, Jens Hanssen, Paul Kingston, Dr. Safieddine, and Roger Owen

Our students continue to set the standard for academic excellence on and off campus. This term alone, two of our newest PhDs achieved extraordinary distinctions. On March 25th, Dr. Hamid Rezaei Yazdi published an article in Iranian Studies that in less than a month became the fourth most accessed article ever hosted on Taylor & Francis Online ("The Dialogical Tradition of Iranian Modernity: Monazereh, Simultaneity, and the Making of Modern Iran"). Supervised by Professor Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, Dr. Rezaei Yazdi's dissertation was entitled Debating Iranians: The Discursive Practice of Munāzirah and the Making of Modern Iran.

On April 2nd, Hicham Safieddine's dissertation was accepted as is—with no required corrections or modifications—by the unanimous vote of his examining committee. Supervised by Professor Jens Hanssen, Dr. Safieddine's dissertation was entitled Economic Sovereignty and the Fetters of Finance: The Making of Lebanon's Central Bank. Pictured above: Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, James Reilly, Jens Hanssen, Paul Kingston, Dr. Safieddine, and Roger Owen (external examiner). Photograph © James Reilly.

SSHRC Doctoral Awards for 2015-16

Our students continue to pull in awards from Canada’s premier funding agency for research in the humanities and social sciences. This spring, Pooriya Alimoradi and Dominique Langis-Barsetti were awarded CGS Doctoral Scholarships to support their work in, respectively, ancient Iranian history and Anatolian archaeology. Jacques BouletRobert Martin, and Émilie Pagé-Perron have won SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships to support their work in, respectively, Biblical Hebrew and Old Testament theology, Syro-Palestinian archaeology, and Assyriology. We warmly congratulate all of our students for their impressive achievements.

New Publication

Professor Emerita (Wilfrid Laurier University) and NMC graduate faculty member Michèle Daviau and NMC Lab Technician and Collections Manager Stanley Klassen recently published an article in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (372: 99-122). Titled "Conspicuous Consumption and Tribute: Assyrian Glazed Ceramic Bottles at Khirbat al-Mudayna ath-Thamad," this study analyzes ceramic vessels found in a complex at the Iron Age site of Mudayna Thamad and sheds light on Assyrian influences on small polities in the southern Levant. Read more >>

SSEA-Toronto: Call for Graduate Student Lecturers

The Toronto chapter of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities (SSEA-Toronto) invites graduate students to submit proposals for its 2015-2016 Lecture Series. Lectures must be connected to Egypt, spanning the time periods from prehistory to the Coptic Period. All lectures will take place on the St. George Campus. Lecturers receive a $100 honorarium. Interested students should send a title and brief abstract of the proposed talk to Christina Geisen. Only proposals submitted by email will be considered. Deadline: 5 June 2015.

In addition, the SSEA's Toronto and Montreal chapters will be continuing with their student speaker exchange in the coming year (i.e., a graduate student from Toronto will speak in Montreal, and a graduate student from Montreal will speak in Toronto). Travel expenses will be covered by the chapters. If you would like to be considered for this exchange, please indicate this in your application.

News in Assyriology and Mesopotamian Studies

In April, Professor Grant Frame (University of Pennsylvania) was awarded a two-year National Endowment for the Humanities grant for continued work on the Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period (RINAP) Project. During his years in Toronto, Professor Frame was the long-time administrator of the Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia (RIM) Project. RIM's archives are housed in our fourth-floor library and have served as a rich resource for many cohorts of NMC students. We congratulate Professor Frame on his indispensable contributions to Mesopotamian Studies.

New content from RINAP is now online. Recently uploaded materials include the royal inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 BC) and Shalmaneser V (726-722 BC)Sennacherib (704-681 BC), and Esarhaddon (680-669 BC). RINAP has also launched two new sub-projects: RINAP Sources and RINAP Scores.

8th Annual Coptic Studies Symposium

Participants of the CSCS annual symposium

Founded in 2009, the Canadian Society for Coptic Studies aims to bring together students and scholars who are interested in Coptic culture, history, art, language, and literature. On April 18th, CSCS held its 8th Annual Symposium, "Interchanges between the Coptic and Ethiopian Churches: Literature, Monasticism and Culture." This lively symposium featured a wide range of interdisciplinary talks, including:

  • "The Ethiopian Church, an Adult Daughter of the Coptic Church" (keynote) by Professor Ugo Zanetti of the Institut Orientaliste de l'Université Catholique de Louvain.
  • "Pages from the History of Patriarch Matewos (Matthew I, 1378-1408)" by Professor Getatchew Haile, Regents Professor Emeritus of Medieval Studies, and Curator, Ethiopian Study Center at College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University.
  • "He Left for Jerusalem and We Never Heard from Him Again": Abouna Abdel Messeh El Habashi and the Making of Monastic Saints" by Joseph Youssef, Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto.
  • "The Carved and Sculpted Window Decorations of the Church of Yemrehanna Krestos" by Professor Michael Gervers, Department of Historical and Cultural Studies, UTSC.
  • "Copts and Ethiopians: Artistic Interaction or a Pitfall to Scholars?" by Dr. Mat Immerzeel, Paul van Moorsel Centre for Christian Art and Culture in the Middle East, VU University of Amsterdam, Faculty of Arts, Netherlands.
  • "The Ethiopian Treasures in the Monasteries of Wadi al Natrun" by Father Bigoul el-Suriani, Curator, Dayr el-Surian Manuscript Library, Wadi el Natrun, Egypt.

Pictured above: Dr. Ramez Boutros (CSCS President and NMC lecturer), Joseph Youssef (CSCS Treasurer), Professor Ugo Zanetti, Fr. Bigoul elSuriani, Ihab Khalil (CSCS outgoing Treasurer), Dr. Mat Immerzeel, Dr. Helene Moussa (CSCS Secretary and Curator of St. Mark’s Coptic Museum), and Professor Michael Gervers. Photograph © Ihab Khalil.

Calls for Papers

4th Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group
Theme: Off the Books: Making, Breaking, Binding, Burning, Leaving, Gathering. To be held at the University of Toronto (9-11 October 2015). Proposals are due by 15 June 2015

The 2015 Meditopos Conference
Theme: Power and the Mediterranean To be held at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (13-15 November 2015). Abstracts are due by 15 June 2015

Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) Annual Meeting
Theme: A Call to Action: The Past and Future of Historical Archaeology. To be held in Washington, D.C. (6-9 January 2016). Abstracts are due by 30 June 2015

The Journal of Middle East Women's Studies
Theme issues on the Gender and Sexuality of Militarization, War, and Violence (vol. 11, no. 3) and Languages of Gender and Sexuality (vol. 12, no. 1). The official journal of the Association for Middle East Women's Studies, JMEWS is published by Duke University Press and serves as a platform for region-specific research informed by transnational, historical, ethnographic, literary, and visual analyses. Submissions for vol. 11, no. 3 are due by 15 June 2015. Submissions for vol. 12, no. 1 are due by 15 July 2015

19th Annual Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology (SOMA)
Theme: Time, Space, and People. To be held in Kemer/Antalya, Turkey (12-14 November 2015). Abstracts are due by 15 September 2015

Conference on Islamic Philosophy from the 12th to the 14th Century
Venue: Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg for the History and Society during the Mamluk Era, 1250–1517. To be held at the University of Bonn, Germany (24-26 February 2016). Abstracts are due by 30 November 2015

Award Opportunities

Association for Political and Legal Anthropology (APLA) Graduate Student Paper Prize 2015. Awarded to a paper authored by a graduate student on the analysis of political or legal institutions and processes. Topics may include citizenship, colonialism and post-colonialism, human rights, governance, medicine, nationalism, new media, migration, social movements, religion, security, policing, militarism, and much more. Submissions are due by 1 July 2015

Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Graduate Student Paper Prize 2015.
MESA invites faculty to nominate graduate student research papers on any aspect of the post-600 CE Middle East for this year's Graduate Student Paper Prize. Submission deadline: 1 July 2015

Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Undergraduate Education Award 2015. This award recognizes outstanding scholarship on teaching or other material contributions to undergraduate education in Middle East Studies. Deadline: 30 August 2015