Jordan, Lebanon, London, New York, D.C., Madrid, Florence: BCSR Summer Grant Winners Take Their Research on the Road

Brandon Schneider News, Research

BCSR funding will support four graduate students’ research travel this summer. Grants of $1500-$3500, provided with the support of the Frank and Leslie Yeary Endowment for Ethics in the Humanities, will help students from the departments of Anthropology, Near Eastern Studies, and History to conduct fieldwork and archival research in the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S. The grant winners’ projects explore, respectively, aspects of Islamic humanitarianism, Islamic theories of subjectivity, right-wing Catholicism in South America and Europe, and emigrant Coptic communities in the U.S. Detailed descriptions of these projects and a list of past winners of BCSR Summer Research Grants are included below. Since 2014, BCSR has cumulatively contributed more than $50,000 to the summer research activities of 31 Berkeley students.

2018 Recipients of BCSR Summer Research Grants:

Basit Iqbal, Department of Anthropology

My BCSR summer research grant will support two months of dissertation fieldwork in Jordan as well as a research trip to Lebanon. The grant will allow me to observe Islamic organizations serving Syrian refugees during Ramadan. They provide meals to fasting orphans, hold Quran recitation contests, and offer education and entertainment programs. Focused on refugee support and settlement in the wake of the ongoing Syrian war, my dissertation approaches the doctrine and practice of Islamic humanitarianism as a transnational form that takes shape across otherwise disparate field sites (primarily in Jordan and Canada).

Muhammed Faruque, Department of Near Eastern Studies

My research focuses on Islamic intellectual practices and their relevance to contemporary issues in the study of religion, philosophy and theology, and science and culture. My doctoral dissertation investigates four paradigmatic theories of self and subjectivity in the Islamic tradition through an examination of the thought of Mullā Ṣadrā (d. 1640), Shāh Walī Allāh (d. 1762), Muḥammad Iqbāl (d. 1934), and Ashraf ʿAlī Thānavī (d. 1944). Using the BCSR summer grants, I plan to spend my summer of 2018 in London, doing manuscript research at The India Office of British Library.

Candace Lukasik, Department of Anthropology

My dissertation, “Transnational Anxieties: Shaping a Minority Community between Egypt and the United States,” examines how migration to the United States has affected the political subjectivities and religious sensibilities of a Christian minority community from the Middle East. In particular, my fieldwork has focused on (1) how Coptic Christian émigré populations in the US have influenced and challenged the Coptic Orthodox Church, as both a global, religious institution for Coptic Orthodox Christianity and a national institution for the Egyptian state, in its vision, domestic political agendas, and theological authority; and (2) how Coptic communities in the US have shaped their identities in a post-ISIS context, and how this has affected relations between Copts and Muslims in Egypt. During the summer of 2018, I will finish fieldwork among Coptic communities in the New York-New Jersey area and conduct research interviews among Coptic activists and NGOs in the Washington DC area.

Craig Johnson, Department of History

My thesis work analyzes why and how the South American and European Catholic right-wing engaged with a global Catholic sphere in the theological and political battle over the the Second Vatican Council. Having spent the last academic year in South America, this summer I will travel to Madrid and Florence to access the archives of Catholic universities’ theology departments and seminaries.

Past Recipients of BCSR Summer Research Grants

David Bratt, East Asian Languages + Cultures
Ashwak Hauter, Medical Anthropology
Timothy Wright, History
Jane Raisch, Comparative Literature

Melissa Cradic, Ancient History & Mediterranean Archaeology
Jason Price, Anthropology

Kris Anderson, Buddhist Studies
Youssef J. Carter, Anthropology
Kathryn Crim, Comparative Literature)
Katherine Ding, English
Maggie Elmore, History
Kathryn Heard, Jurisprudence and Social Policy
Jason Klocek, Political Science
Sara Ludin, Jurisprudence and Social Policy
Milad Odabaei, Anthropology
Spencer Strub, English and Medieval Studies
Rachel Trocchio, English
Hannah Waits, History

Lauren Bausch, South and Southeast Asian Studies
Erik Born, German
Graham Hill, Sociology
Nicholas Junkerman, English
Jean-Michel Landry, Anthropology
Christopher Mead, English
Samuel Robinson, History
Tehila Sasson, History
Kris Trujillo, Rhetoric