Two recent UW history majors that studied Middle Eastern languages in the NELC department were accepted into prestigious graduate schools for the Fall 2020 semester. Dutton Crowley and Bennett Jarvis will both study topics in the field of Middle Eastern Studies, continuing their research from the University of Washington.
Dutton Crowley, class of 2019, will begin a master's program in Middle Eastern Studies through Harvard's Center of Middle Eastern Studies. Crowley, who studied Persian in the NELC Department at UW, will study modern Middle Eastern history and politics. Specifically, he will study how the post-Revolutionary Iranian regime consolidated power and bolstered their own legitimacy by emphasizing anti-American sentiments. When reflecting on his experience with the NELC department, Crowley said, "During the first class I took with her, NELC's Samad Alavi (now at the University of Oslo) assisted me with identifying a primary source document in Persian. After this, I took two of his classes on Persian literature in translation, and at the beginning of the following school year, I began studying the language with Professor Shams. I also had the privilege of taking the last two classes ever taught by the late Professor Ellis Goldberg, who was a professor in the Political Science department but definitely a part of NELC. I met Professor Bet-Shlimon, Professor Alavi, and Professor Goldberg all in the same quarter (fall 2017) and they were very influential in my decision to pursue my path as an undergraduate and now as a graduate student."
Bennett Jarvis of the class of 2020 will enter Columbia's Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies master's program. Jarvis explains that the NELC department helped open his interests to new research fields. "Growing up in South Seattle, I never had many opportunities to study the Middle East, but as a kid who grew up in post-9/11 and Iraq War America, it was a region that was constantly in the news. But, I never felt like I understood what was happening. At UW, I’ve been exposed to the region’s history and culture in ways that have profoundly changed my perspective and allowed me to grow into my own interests with respect to the region. That’s not to mention the fact that my Arabic classes, in particular those with one of my favorite professors, Khalid Ahmed, have been my favorite courses since I started taking them two years ago now." For his UW degree, Jarvis studied Jewish communities in Algeria between World War II and the Algerian Independence War. At Columbia, Jarvis seeks to further explore Algeria's postcolonial development, specifically looking at the more remote south of the country.