Kristen de Beurs (South Dakota State University) – “War, Drought, and phenology? On changes in the land surface phenology of Afghanistan since 1982.”
Dr. de Buers proposed a three months study aimed to “distinguish between the differences between the influences of drought and institutional change on the land surface phenology of Afghanistan.” Her central hypothesis is that land surface phenology is not only influenced by climate, but also by the changes in political regimes of the last 25 years. To investigate this, Dr. de Beurs ordered numerous satellite images from NOAA and will be releasing several papers on the topic in the coming months.
M. Jamil Hanifi (Michigan State University) – “Annual of the Kabul Magazine, 1932-55: An Annotated Bibliography.”
Dr. Hanifi visited the collections of publications produced by the Afghanistan government from earlier in the century that are currently housed at Columbia University. He chose to go beyond the “mere descriptive annotations and address the ethnographic and historical dimensions of the structure, organization, policies and operations of the Afghan government, the thinking and orientation of the Afghan sate elite and texts about Afghan culture, society and history.” Dr. Hanifi aims to trace the development of a new elite class during the first third of the 20th Century. He aims to have his work completed on the 1932 volume by 2007.
Deborah Tor (Bar-Ilan University) – “The Reign of the Saljuq Sultan Sanjar in Afghanistan (1097-1157).”
Dr. Tor’s project is to investigate the age presided over by Abu’l-Harith Ahmad Sanjar b. Malikshah, the longest reigning sultan of the Saljuq dynasty in Afghanistan. This year witnessed key developments in Islamic political, religious, and social life that continues to have influence on the modern world.