2016 Fellowship Recipients

Justin Michael Power, University of Texas at Austin, 'Linguistics of signed languages; Persian; Historical linguistics'

The purpose of this project was to document the previously-undocumented signed language in use in Dushanbe, Tajikistan and then to compare it with the signed language in use in Kabul and Jalalabad, Afghanistan.

Hakeem Naim, University of California, Davis, 'Conscripted Modernity: Reconfiguring State Formation, Modernity, and Politicization of Islam in Afghanistan and the Late Ottoman Empire'

This project investigated the making of the Afghan nation-state beyond
today’s existing borders and through regional and international
connectivity. Since the late Ottoman and Afghan elites followed similar
intellectual trajectories in their quest for state formation and Islamizing
modern nationalism, this project offers a comparative history of modern
Afghanistan by focusing on the political, intellectual, and religious
encounter and exchanges between the Ottoman Empire and Afghanistan
during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Mejgan Massoumi, Stanford University, 'Ahmad Zahir, Radio Afghanistan and the Politics of Popular Culture, 1960-1979'

This project crosses disciplinary divides to understand the impact of sound
and radio technology onto the urban landscape of the city of Kabul,
Afghanistan in the late twentieth century. Specifically, this project
examines the celebrity of Ahmad Zahir, the most iconic figure to-date in
Afghan musical life, to understand society’s changing attitudes towards
topics ranging from sex and gender relations to political corruption and
from fashion and beauty to identity and nationalism.

Melissa Kerr Chiovenda, University of Connecticut, 'Narratives of Trauma in Asylum Cases: Hazaras Seeking Refugee Status in Europe'

This project seeks to understand what narratives are thought to be effective to present to officials ruling on refugees’ cases, and why, by
Afghans seeking asylum in Europe.

Helena Zeweri, Rice University, 'Between Gender-Based Violence and Border Control: Afghan Refugees and the Criminalization of Forced Marriage in Australia'

This study provides an ethnographic and historically informed account of how Afghan women refugees and their kin, along with the social service providers, police officers, and health practitioners who serve them, are experiencing the personal, institutional, and political effects of the campaign and law around forced marriage.

2016 Travel Grant Recipients:

Andrea Chiovenda, Harvard University, 'Mental Illness in Times of War: Subjectivity, Socio-Cultural Practices, and State Policies in Psychosis and Schizophrenia among Afghan Pashtuns'

This project explores the subjective realities of those Pashtuns who are labeled liwanay (“crazy”), either by their peers, or by the (severely inadequate) Afghan medical apparatus, or both. The project will deal with those individuals who suffer from major psychiatric disorders, such as psychosis and schizophrenia.

Timothy Alexander Nunan, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, 'The Cold War’s Clash of Civilizations: The Soviet Union, the Left, and the Islamic World'

This research project is in the manuscript and newspaper collections of the Afghanistan Centre of Kabul University and the Kabul Public Library, as well as oral history research with former left-wing and mujāhidin activists, in Kabul, Afghanistan in May 2017.

Robin Ryczek, Afghanistan Center at Kabul University (ACKU), 'Preserving and Digitizing Afghanistan Music Heritage'

This project reconnects the past to the present through stages of unearthing, protecting, and providing facility for artifacts to be available to future generations within Afghanistan and abroad. Built on a foundation of preserving, sharing, and creating knowledge, this short term research project provides a framework for sustainable, long term development in protecting Afghan music history, past and present, and offering significant contribution towards Afghan national and cultural identity.