SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

NME in 2001-2

From the School's Annua Report 2001-2

Two new lecturers joined the department in 2001, Dr Mustafa Shah and Dr Toby Mayer; both were appointed to posts in Islamic Studies, positions funded through the Centre for Islamic Studies. The department also welcomed back Dr Nurullah Çetin, who returned for a second stint as Visiting Research Fellow in Turkish.

In June 2002 Professor Sims-Williams was elected associé étranger of the prestigious and ancient Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Paris. The number of associés étrangers is limited to forty, world-wide. Mr Muaadh Salih became the department’s first Member of the Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

The department has a strong record in high-profile and innovative research. Its reputation was substantiated by success in the Research Assessment Exercise, in which it gained a grade 5 with Africa. Professors Sims-Williams and Kamal Abu Deeb both brought further distinction to the department by winning Leverhulme Major Research Fellowships, which will permit them to concentrate on research for two and three years respectively. Dr Tudor Parfitt was awarded an Innovations in Research grant by the AHRB. It will enable him to continue his ground-breaking work on Judaizing movements in Africa and Asia. Dr Yulia Egorova joined the project as Research Assistant.

Dr Wen-Chin Ouyang organized the second international workshop of a three-year project on Genre Ideologies and Narrative Transformation under the auspices of the School’s AHRB Centre for Asian and African Literatures. It took place in April on the theme Travelling Stories. Participants looked at the ways in which stories are transformed in their travels across genres, media, cultures and eras.

Ms Samia Adnan resigned as Lector in Arabic to pursue a career in research. Professor Mohammed Yahaghi came to the end of his stay as Visiting Fellow in Persian.

Publications by members of NME staff in 2001 include:

The Land Beyond Promise: Israel, Likud and the Zionist Dream

Colin Shindler - I B Tauris

Judaising Movements: Studies in the Margins of Judaism

Tudor Parfitt (with E Trevisan-Semi) - Routledge/Curzon

The Lost Tribes of Israel: the History of a Myth

Tudor Parfitt - Weidenfeld and Nicolson

Struggling with the Philosopher. A Refutation of Avicenna's Metaphysics

Toby Mayer (ed. and transl. with W. Madelung) - London: I B Tauris

Tajikistan: Disintegration or Reconciliation?

Shirin Akiner - London: RIIA