Our Current Fellows

Marcel Kurpershoek

Marcel Kurpershoek joined NYUAD in January 2015, as a Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities Research Fellowship Program.

Most recent scholarly article:

Arabian Humanities special issue on dialectal poetry in the Arabian peninsula 5/2015 with the title “Praying Mantis in the Desert. The Najdi Poet Ibn Subayyil Consumed with Love for the Bedouin.” See https://cy.revues.org/2962

Latest scholarly article in Arabian Humanities:

Currently he is working on two volumes about Central Arabian poetry for the Library of Arabic Literature and preparing a tv series on Bedouin poetry and his travels in Arabia for Al Arabiya tv in Dubai.

His research subject is Nabati poetry, a traditional art in the Gulf and the Arabian peninsula. Its roots go back to the pre-Islamic classical Arabic poetry of famous bards like Imru ‘l Qays. His fieldwork started in 1989 in central-Arabia, at the edge of the Empty Quarter, where he found illiterate poets who were great masters of this poetry’s more recent Nabati version, with vernacular elements. These poems he recorded and published with a translation, introductions, and glossaries in five volumes, Oral Poetry & Narratives from Central Arabia (Brill Publishers). He wrote about his fieldwork in Dutch books that were translated into English (Arabia of the Bedouins) and Arabic (al-Badawi al-Akhir, The Last Bedouin, both Saqi Books).

In Abu Dhabi he will study the links between Nabati poetry in inner Arabia (Najd) and the Gulf litoral. In addition, he will work on TV competitions like the Million’s Poet. He has participated in workshops at NYUAD and contributed some articles on the subject in The National newspaper of Abu Dhabi. He has worked as a Dutch diplomat in Egypt (where he did his PhD on modern Egyptian literature), Syria, Saudi-Arabia, and as Netherlands ambassador in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Turkey, Poland, and as Dutch special representative for Syria based in Istanbul.


Lisa Anderson

Dr. Anderson joined NYUAD, as a Senior Humanities Research Fellow, in Fall 2016.

Lisa Anderson most recently served as President of the American University in Cairo for five years, stepping down on January 1, 2016. Prior to her appointment as President, she was the University’s provost, a position she had assumed in 2008.

As AUC provost, Dr. Anderson helped manage the transfer of all the University’s degree programs to the new purpose-built campus in New Cairo and presided over the establishment of three new schools — the School of Business, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and Graduate School of Education — and the University’s first PhD program, in Sciences and Engineering.

As AUC president, Dr. Anderson navigated through the most significant political upheavals in the University’s history, serving during the terms of four different Egyptian presidents, all the while ensuring that the academic programs continued to improve. At the end of her term, the University’s global ranking was better and applications were higher than ever before; Dr. Anderson raised four of the University’s five largest gifts, including a USD 14 million gift to support fellowships.

Dr. Anderson is Dean Emerita of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where she led the school from 1997-2007. She was on the faculty of Columbia since 1986. Prior to her appointment as Dean, she served as Chair of the Political Science Department and Director of Columbia's Middle East Institute. She held the James T. Shotwell Chair in International Relations in the Political Science Department. Before coming to Columbia, she taught at Harvard University in the Government and Social Studies departments.

Dr. Anderson’s research has included work on state formation in the Middle East and North Africa; on regime change and democratization in developing countries; and on social science, academic research and public policy both in the United States and around the world. She is author of The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980 (1986), co-editor of The Origins of Arab Nationalism (1991), editor of Transitions to Democracy (1999) and author of Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the Twenty-first Century (2003), as well as numerous scholarly articles.

Dr. Anderson served on the Board of Directors of Human Rights Watch from 1988-2003; as the President of the Middle East Studies Association in 2003 and on the Council of the American Political Science Association from 2004-2006. She also served on the Board of Trustees of the American University in Cairo (2006-2008) and as Chair of the Board of the Social Science Research Council (1998-2008). She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and Columbia University, where she earned her PhD in Political Science, Dr. Anderson received honorary doctorates from Monmouth University in 2002 and the American University of Paris in 2015.

Jan Loop

After completing his PhD at the University of Berne (Switzerland), Jan Loop was awarded a Frances A Yates long-term research fellowship at the Warburg Institute (London). In September 2012 he joined the School of History at the University of Kent as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Early Modern History.

Jan is also a founding member of the Centre for the History of Arabic Studies In Europe (CHASE) at the Warburg Institute, London and a Principle Investigator for the European funded collaborative research project Encounters with the Orient in Early Modern European Scholarship (EOS).

Jan’s teaching and research interests are in the intellectual, religious and cultural history of Europe and the Near East, with a special focus on Western knowledge of the Arab, Ottoman, and Persian world between 1450-1800. His first book, Auslegungskulturen (2003), is a comparative study of Christian and Islamic hermeneutic concepts in early modern times. His second book, a monograph on the Reformed Church historian and orientalist Johann Heinrich Hottinger (1620-1667) and the significance of Arabic and Islamic Studies in the seventeenth century, appeared in 2013 in the Oxford-Warburg series. Jan is currently working on a monograph centered on the life and work of the Anglo-Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig (John Lewis) Burckhardt (1784-1817). Based on the study of hitherto unpublished documents, this monograph will shed new light on Burckhardt’s seminal contributions to our understanding of Arab life, culture and society.

Jan Loop is the general editor of Brill’s series "History of Oriental Studies," as well as being on the editorial board of Droz’s new series "Hermai." He is currently preparing a special issue of the Journal of Qur’anic Studies on The Qur’an in Europe (2018) and, together with Alastair Hamilton and Charles Burnett, a paper collection on the Learning and Teaching of Arabic in Early Modern Europe (Brill, 2016).

Jan joined NYUAD HUmanities Research Fellowship Program, as a Senior Research Fellow, in fall 2016

Giuliano Garavini

PhD, University of Florence 2006

Giuliano Garavini is currently Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities at NYU Abu Dhabi.
He is the author of After Empires. European Integration, Decolonization and the Challenge from the Global South, 1957-1986 (OUP, 2012) and co-editor of Oil Shock. The 1973 Crisis and its Economic Legacy (IB Tauris, 2016) and of L’Europe et la question énérgetique: Les années 1960/1980 (Peter Lang, 2016).

He has written and managed research projects on the the international politics of energy and natural resources.

His next book, provisionally entitled OPEC: A History of Petroleum, will be published by Oxford University Press.

Henriette Müller

Henriette Müller joined NYUAD in October 2015, as a Research Fellow in the Humanities Research Fellowship Program.

Müller is a political scientist whose research focuses on comparative politics, comparative government and governance studies with a particular focus on political leadership.

She recently completed her PhD thesis at the Humboldt University on “The Commission Presidents and European Integration: Political Leadership Performance in Supranational Governance” in Political Science at the Humboldt University Berlin (HU) and the Global Governance department at the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). She was also an affiliate at the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS) and the French-German Doctoral College "construire les différences," a cooperation between Humboldt University and L’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS).

Müller studied political science, applied linguistics and literature at the Humboldt University Berlin (HU) and the universities of Hildesheim, Germany, and Pablo de Olavide in Sevilla, Spain. At the NYUAD Research Institute she will conduct a comparative analysis on the influence of political leadership on economic development, exploring this relationship at the example of countries from the Gulf region, Europe, and Asia.

Laila Prager

Laila Prager is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Hamburg (Germany) and a member of AGYA (Arab-German Young Academy of Sciences and Humanities). Formerly, she worked as a researcher and senior lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Münster and Leipzig (Germany). She has conducted ethnographic research among Bedouin societies in Syria and Jordan, with a special emphasis on the narrative representation and performance of the past. In addition, she has done extensive fieldwork among the Arab speaking Alawi/Alawite (Nusairy) society in South Eastern Turkey (Hatay/Çukurova) and among Alawi migrant communities in Germany, focusing on topics relating to kinship, cosmology, inter-religious conflicts, ritual healing, and migration. She has also conducted research among Kuwaiti-Palestinian refugees in Jordan and Germany.

Since 2014, her research focuses on the upsurge of heritage related discourses and performances in the Gulf Region. Drawing on data collected during fieldwork in the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Syria, and Jordan, Prager is undertaking an extensive comparative study of the various ways in which heritage is displayed, enacted, and appropriated at local, national, and transnational levels. In this context, Prager examines heritage museums and parks, cultural festivals, local sport events, oral history initiatives, the reinvigoration of “traditional” art and architecture, heritage as covered in various media productions, and the interrelations between local heritage productions and UNESCO World Heritage discourses. By looking into the ways in which ‘heritage’ is utilized to frame and legitimize cultural identities, Prager is particularly interested in the revitalization of imageries relating to ‘Bedouinities,’ ‘Tribalism,’ and ‘Auto-Orientalism.’

Moreover, Prager is building up an interdisciplinary research project on the societal transformations emerging from the increase of major diseases in the Gulf region, such as diabetes type 2, thalassemia, and other genetically induced illnesses.

Laila Prager joined NYUAD in September 2016 as a Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities Research Fellowship Program.

Caner Dagli

Caner Dagli is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at The College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. Dagli holds an MA from George Washington University's Department of Religion and a PhD from Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies, and was a 2004-2005 Fulbright scholar. He spent a year working as Special Advisor to the Royal Hashemite Court of Jordan for Interfaith Affairs from 2006-2007. Dagli was one of the 138 Muslim signatories in October 2007 of "A Common Word Between Us and You," a letter addressed to Christian leaders in an appeal for peace and cooperation between the two world religions. His first book The Ringstones of Wisdom (2004) was a full translation and annotated commentary on Ibn ʿArabī’s Sufi-Philosophical treatise, Fuṣūṣ al-ḥikam, published by Great Books of the Islamic World. He is a general editor of The Study Quran (2015), and recently published a new book, Ibn al-ʿArabī and Islamic Intellectual Culture: From Mysticism to Philosophy in Routledge’s Sufi Series.

Caner joined NYUAD in September 2016 as a Senior Research Fellow in the Humanities Research Fellowship Program.

Luke Yarbrough

Luke Yarbrough, since 2013 an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Saint Louis University, earned his PhD in 2012 in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. In the fall of that year he was a fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

His research is concerned with the history of the premodern Middle East and North Africa, especially inter-communal relations; law and other prescriptive discourses; Arabic historiography; the oral transmission of knowledge; and comparative history. Recently his edition-translation of a thirteenth-century polemic from Egypt was published in NYU Press's Library of Arabic Literature, as The Sword of Ambition: Bureaucratic Rivalry in Medieval Egypt.

As a Junior Research Fellow at NYUAD in 2016-17, he will complete a book about how premodern Muslim writers responded when Muslim rulers hired non-Muslim state officials. He will also study two unpublished texts from medieval Egypt, by a Muslim and a Jewish author, on law and tax administration, respectively; write articles about such things as the transmission of the infamous "Pact of 'Umar," a pilfered chronicle by Saladin's nephew, and non-Muslims in the literary works of a Cordoban qadi; and lay groundwork for a book on the Ayyubid period in Egypt (ca. 1171-1250).

Anne-Marie McManus

Anne-Marie McManus is assistant professor of Modern Arabic Literature and Culture at Washington University in St. Louis, where she teaches in the departments of Jewish, Islamic, and Near Eastern Languages and Cultures (JINELC) and Comparative Literature. Her research engages debates in comparative and world literatures, Arabic and Middle Eastern studies, translation theory, and anthropology, with a particular interest in the multilingual and circulational literary ties that have internally traversed North Africa and the Middle East since decolonization.

As a Humanities Fellow at NYU Abu Dhabi, she will complete her first book, titled Of Other Languages: Arabic Literature, Decolonization, and Materialities of Language, which is under contract with Northwestern University Press. She will also develop her writings on ruination in contemporary Syrian literature and political thought, which emerged from her work as co-founding director of Washington University in St. Louis' interdisciplinary "Wastelands" seminar. Her work has received support from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Fulbright, and her recent writings appear in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Expressions maghrébines, Arab Studies Journal, and Jadaliyya. She received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University in 2013.