A note on Middle East Studies at BYU

A note on Middle East Studies at BYU April 18, 2019


Our annual student research publication


I’m happy to pass this note on from Professor Quinn Mecham, the Coordinator for Middle East Studies — which shouldn’t be confused with the parallel program in Ancient Near Eastern Studies — at Brigham Young University:


The 2019 issue of BYU MESA’s student research publication Al-Buhuuth, has just been published on-line.   Thanks to Nick Hainsworth of the MESAS leadership committee and to Joshua Gubler of the Political Science department for leading out on the editorial work, as well as to the whole editorial committee.  Thanks also to all of the students who submitted their original research for consideration in this year’s publication!
Al-Buhuuth (Studies) is the official on-line student publication of the Middle East Studies program at Brigham Young University.  It publishes original student research and research essays on Middle Eastern topics once a year, highlighting the best student ideas and research findings from the previous year.  Research is peer-reviewed by students and by faculty.  Students or recent graduates can submit original research for consideration in January of each year for publication in April.    
Al-Buhuuth can be accessed at the following address: http://al-buhuuth.byu.edu/
This year’s issue includes the following great pieces:
“Martyrdom, Myth, and Resonant Symbols: Contesting and Creating National Identity in Revolutionary Egypt,” by Jeron Dastrup
“Less Territory, More Terror: The Evolution of Brutality in Islamic State Propaganda,” by EJ Morin
“Gender in Revolution: Do Societal Expectations of of Gendered Behavior Affect A Revolutionary’s Participation and Leadership Strategy?” by Katie Munk
“Improving Women’s Freedom of Dress: A Combination of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches,” by Kelsey Rasband
“R2P in Libya: When Countries Intervene,” by Naomi Mortensen
Congratulations to our students and recent graduates on their contributions to Al-Buhuuth.  


I’m happy to share Dr.  Mecham’s note — something that I hope he won’t mind — because I want people out there (especially the tithepayers who support the University) to be aware of how well BYU’s Middle East Studies program is doing these days.


Another related item:


A couple of days ago, a colleague passed on a compliment paid to BYU by Professor Jean-Marc Dewaele of the University of London at a conference in Lodz, Poland, on “Education from the Perspective of Positive Psychology.”  Dr. Dewaele is an international superstar in the field of language-learning and language pedagogy, and, I’m told, the reigning expert on the connection between emotions and second-language acquisition.


In his plenary address at the conference in Poland, Professor Dewaele evidently commented on the research conducted at BYU on various languages and specifically on the BYU Arabic program.  “BYU,” he wrote thereafter to one of our linguistics professors who was there in attendance, “is a shining example about how F[oreign] L[anguage] learning should be present in university education!”


I’m proud to be associated with the people who have created such a fine program here.  I’ve been peripherally involved, providing a bit of secondary support around the edges, but what they’ve built is absolutely world-class.  Moreover, I’m confident that the future of BYU’s Arabic program is very bright.



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