Recent News

Prof. Melike Yücel-Koç has received the Ray Verzasconi Northwest Postsecondary Language Educator of the Year award from the Pacific Northwest Council for Languages (PNCFL). She will be honored at the 75th anniversary gala awards ceremony of PNCFL (March 22, 2024). The award  recognizes outstanding teaching, service, and/or research at the university level and  is named for Dr. Ray Verzasconi, Professor Emeritus of Spanish (Oregon State University) and longtime Executive… Read more
The American Institute of Archaeology (AIA) has awarded the 2024 Site Preservation Grant to MELC Associate Professor Stephanie Selover. The grant is for continued work at Prof. Selover’s archaeological excavations at the site of Khirbat al-Baluʿa, an important Iron Age Moabite and medieval Islamic village, located in central Jordan. The grant is intended to fund projects that uphold the AIA’s mission to preserve and protect the world’s archaeological heritage… Read more
On February 1, the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures held its annual Afrassiabi distinguished lecture in Persian and Iranian studies. The lecture series highlights informed and generative perspectives on Iran and Persian literature in a variety of disciplines and topics. The inaugural lecture was delivered in 1999 by Dick Davis, the eminent English translator of Persian poetry and academic. Since then, eighteenth speakers have given talks at the University of Washington. This… Read more
This year MELC is launching a new summer study program, Arabic Language & Culture in Morocco, under the direction of Professors Amina Moujtahid and Hussein Elkhafaifi. The program is open to students currently enrolled at UW and also UW Alumni. All former and current students of our first-year and second-year Arabic courses or equivalent and Arabic Media courses are encouraged to apply. Applications due: February 14, 2024. For more information and to apply, check out… Read more
The American Association of Teachers of Arabic has selected Prof. Hussein Elkhafaifi as recipient of the AATA Lifetime Achievement Award for the year 2024.  The association plans to recognize him with this honor at its upcoming business meeting in conjunction with ACTFL, in Philadelphia, this coming November. The award acknowledges Prof. Elkhafaifi's longstanding commitment to the field of Arabic pedagogy, linguistics, socio-linguistics, and culture. Congratulations! In Winter 2024 Prof.… Read more
What is the role of writers and what is the value of literature at a time of catastrophe and collective crisis? This presentation by Prof. Naomi Sokoloff considers how Israelis are responding to current events through poetry, fiction, popular song, testimonies, and other kinds of writing. The talk, scheduled for January 10, 12:00-1:30, is part of a Winter 2024 Lunch and Learn Series sponsored by the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies and co-sponsored by MELC. Lunch will be served.… Read more
Jocelyn Hendrickson, who completed a BA in our department along with a BA in Comparative Religion in 1999, has been awarded the Middle East Medievalists Book Prize for 2023. Dr. Hendrickson is currently Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Alberta. Her book, Leaving Iberia: Islamic Law and Christian Conquest in North West Africa, was published by Harvard University Press. Combining legal theory with social history, It focuses on legal opinions (fatwas) from Al-Andalus… Read more
This autumn, Dr. Naghmeh Samini, affiliate professor at MELC, offered UW students a truly unique course: the Feminist Cinema of the Middle East. Having worked extensively as a screenwriter and playwright, Dr. Samini drew on her first-hand knowledge to curate an exciting selection of films and documentaries from Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Israel/Palestine, and Lebanon that represents diverse and nuanced ways of foregrounding and projecting women’s issues and perspectives on the screen.  Thanks to… Read more
Svetlana Ostroverkhova is a Ph.D. student and teaching assistant in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UW.  She has been working with Prof. Melike Yucel-Koc at the Turkish & Ottoman Studies Program since the 2022 fall quarter. Because of her success and progress in the Turkish language program, she was nominated for and won the American Association Teachers of Turkic Redhouse Award for Best Progress in Turkish for the 2022-2023 academic year! We congratulate her for her… Read more
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MELC enthusiastically calls for submissions for the second cycle of the Mo Habib Translation Prize in Persian Literature. Established in partnership with the Mo Habib Memorial Foundation and Deep Vellum Publishing, the prize seeks to enable the publication and dissemination of Persian literary works that stand on their own in engaging English translation. Dr. Michelle Quay was its… Read more