MES Professors Receive Awards, Fellowships

Four UW-Madison professors affiliated as core faculty of the Middle East Studies Program (MESP) were recently recognized with awards and fellowships.

Nevine El Nossery, MESP chair and associate professor of the departments of French & Italian and African Cultural Studies, has been selected for an appointment as a Vilas Associate. The Vilas Associates Competition recognizes new and ongoing research of the highest quality and significance. It will provide summer salary support, as well as $12,500 in flexible research funds in pursuit of the faculty’s scholarly activity.

El Nossery is working on her new book manuscript on Women, Art and Revolution about the Arab Uprisings.

Rachel F. Brenner is now the Elaine Marks Professor of Jewish Studies in the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies.  The title was awarded through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) Named Professorship.  It comes with $100,000, honor faculty who have made major contributions to the advancement of knowledge, primarily through their research endeavors, but also as a result of their teaching and service activities. Award recipients choose the names associated with their professorships.

Brenner has published widely on responses to the Holocaust in a variety of national literatures. Her current research focuses on responses of Polish intellectuals, writers and artists to the Jewish Holocaust.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Hutton, professor of classical Hebrew language and biblical literature in the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, received the H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship.  The fellowship recognizes faculty up to six years past their first promotion to a tenured position. The award is named in recognition of the late WARF trustee president H.I. Romnes, and comes with $60,000 that may be spent over five years.

Hutton specializes in the social and linguistic contexts in which the Hebrew Bible was composed and edited. He is working on projects in several sub-fields of Hebrew Bible and Northwest Semitics, including the composition and reception history of the Book of Samuel; translation in antiquity; Palmyrene Aramaic epigraphy; and cognitive linguistic approaches to Hebrew semantics.

Finally, Katrina Daly Thompson of the African Cultural Studies Department has been selected by the Provost’s office as a fellow for the 2019- 2020 Big Ten Academic Alliance-Academic Leadership Program (BTAA-ALP).  Thompson’s research uses critical ethnography and critical discourse analysis to examine African and Muslim discourse, with specific projects in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, North America, and online.

As an ALP fellow, Thompson will be part of a small cohort of select campus leaders who, over the course of the academic year, will engage in a variety of activities and experiences to explore issues of academic leadership and personal leadership approaches. Fellows will attend three Big Ten seminars at other universities, supplemented and enriched by a UW-Madison program in which fellows will meet with campus and community leaders to discuss leadership paths and engage in conversations about trends in and issues facing higher education.

Congratulations to our core faculty!