Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute is delighted to share the following news from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) at the University of Washington.

NELC awarded the Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies, for the 2019-2020 academic year, to Melinda Cohoon, a Ph.D. student in the Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies (pictured). Ms. Cohoon’s doctoral research focuses on the cultural production of video games and gamers from Iran. Her study will show how the Iranian gaming community in World of Warcraft (WoW) is embodied, or rather, made tangible in an online context through the use of affect theory and a gender lens. 

NELC also reports that Maral Sahebjame–who received the Roshan Institute Fellowship for Excellence in Persian Studies for 2018-2019–was one of two runner ups for the British Institute for Persian Studies Best Paper Prize at the Symposia Iranica 4th Persian Studies conference, University of St Andrews, April 2019, for her work titled “Marriage as a public affair: What cohabitation unmasks about civil religious hybridity in Iranian law”. As a Ph.D. candidate in the Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Ms. Sahebjame is currently completing her dissertation, titled “Marriage Across the ‘Color Spectrum’: Making Commitment Palatable in the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

In addition, in Fall 2019, NELC welcomed Dr. Aria Fani as Assistant Professor of Persian and Iranian Studies–a position that was held by Dr. Samad Alavi until his untimely departure for the University of Oslo. Dr. Fani received his B.A. in Comparative Literature from the San Diego State University and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation, titled “Becoming Literature: The Formation of Adabiyat as a Discipline in Iran and Afghanistan (1895-1945),” focuses on the development of literature as an institution as it developed in Iran and Afghanistan in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute congratulates NELC and the Persian and Iranian Studies program for the above great news and wishes all involved a most successful 2019-2020 academic year.

Find out more about NELC at the UW