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Recent News

Makda Weatherspoon
August 16, 2021
Makda Weatherspoon is a Visiting Senior Lecturer of Arabic from Cornell University. She will be teaching "Media Arabic", "Lights! Camera! Arabic", and an introductory course called "Gateway to Arabic" in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) during the 2021-2022 academic year.  Professor Weatherspoon's teaching philosophy is based on the belief that learning Arabic should be enjoyable and something to look forward to. Moreover, the content... Read more
Hamza Zafer
October 6, 2021
Associate Prof. Hamza Zafer (UW Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization) is a Fellow at the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania during Autumn Quarter 2021 and Winter Quarter 2022. The theme of study for the Center this year is "Jews and the Law: Rethinking Premodern Jewish Legal Cultures." Prof. Zafer's research topic is “Conscription, Captives, and Spoils among Arabian Jews: The Quran and Early Muslim Sources as Evidence for Late... Read more
Gürbey Hiz Visiting Scholar
August 24, 2021
Gürbey Hiz is a Visiting Scholar from Kadir Has University, Istanbul. He will be focusing on his postdoctoral research project entitled “Istanbul in Fragments: A Dictionary by Reşad Ekrem Koçu Before the Encyclopedia” in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) in the 2021-2022 academic year. Supported by a TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) fellowship, “Istanbul in Fragments” proposes research on the distinguished writer and... Read more
NELC logo
August 18, 2021
Want to study a language? Not enough time in your schedule to complete a major in NELC? Consider doing a Minor! The department is happy to announce five new options for Minors as of Autumn 2021: Arabic, Modern Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, and... Read more
sdp, svoboda, contest, 2021
April 13, 2021
Ready to participate? Go here: The Svoboda Diaries Project is an interdisciplinary digital humanities project dedicated to the preservation of a unique set of historical diaries. Joseph Svoboda, who traveled up and down the Tigris River as part of his work as a steamship purser for a British shipping company, kept detailed accounts of the persons he encountered, difficulties, and happenings around him.... Read more
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March 17, 2021
The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization stands with our Asian and Asian-American colleagues, students, and their families who have been hurt and shaken to their core by violent acts that have been waged against them across the United States since the beginning of the COVID pandemic. These attacks, whether verbal or physical, display the most brute forms of scapegoating and xenophobia. We recognize that this violence conjures up traumas that are not only immediate and real, but... Read more
<img src="svoboda_diaries.png" alt="Joseph Svoboda Diaries Project">
March 13, 2021
In the late 19th century, Joseph Mathia Svoboda recorded his life as a steamship purser for a British company. His diaries provide a rich and unique firsthand look into the late Ottoman Empire. Many of his entries, spanning the 1860s to 1908 in 61 journals, log weather conditions or shipping routes in addition to entries about his personal life―time spent with friends, important family events―and more. In the 1970s, scholar Margaret Makiya began transcribing the Svoboda Diaries. Then, in 1985... Read more
"A Survivors Tale" from Art Spiegelman's "Maus"
November 20, 2020
Professor Naomi Sokoloff recently presented a lecture as part of the series “Lessons (Not) Learned from the Holocaust” sponsored by the UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies.  Her talk, “Jewish Dogs and the Nazi Beast,” discussed animal studies and Holocaust literature, focusing on memoirs by two Hebrew authors. Alona Frankel and Aharon Appelfeld were Jewish survivors who both spent part of the war years as hidden children. Fleeing human... Read more
Ottoman Lyric Poetry
October 15, 2020
Founded in 1985 as the American Association for Teachers of Turkish, American Association for Teachers of Turkic Languages (AATT) is the major association that supports research on pedagogy of teaching Turkic languages. During this year's Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association's Annual meeting at the MESA conference, AATT announced that its... Read more
Professor Aria Fani
October 12, 2020
A $500,000 grant from Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute to the University of Washington establishes the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Professor in Persian and Iranian Studies, named in honor of Dr. Mir-Djalali, the scholar and philanthropist who founded the Institute in 2000. This is the first endowed professorship in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization (NELC) and its first holder will be Professor Aria Fani. The endowment supports... Read more