2014-2015 Hagop Kevorkian Center Faculty and Staff
Kevorkian Center Staff
Helga Tawil-Souri, Director
Helga Tawil-Souri is an Associate Professor in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. Helga works on issues to do with technology, media, culture, territory and politics in the Middle East, and especially Palestine-Israel. She has researched and written on Arab media; Palestinian cinema, television, videogames and popular culture; on telecommunications and internet infrastructure and development in the Palestinian Territories; as well as on cultural/territorial politics in Palestine-Israel including analyzing checkpoints as cultural and economic spaces, identification cards as material artifacts and territorially-bordering mechanisms. By and large, Helga’s scholarship deals with how media/cultural technologies are shaped, used, negotiated, circulated and impeded in the contemporary geopolitical context of the Middle East. Professor Tawil-Souri has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and invited chapters on these topics. Her monograph, titled Digital Occupation is forthcoming, and she is currently co-editing a volume on Arab Media and Culture, editing a volume on Gaza, and serves on a number of journal editorial boards and Middle Eastern non-profit foundations. Courses at undergraduate and graduate levels that she teaches focus on topics such as borders and spatiality, Arab media, critical theory and media studies, Israel/Palestine, war and media, globalization and international development, and cultural geography. Helga previously worked as a researcher and strategic analyst at a multinational media conglomerate and as an internet consultant. She has lived in various parts of North America, Europe, and the Middle East, which has resulted in border-crossings of various kinds, an obsession with im/mobility, and the ability to fluently communicate in six languages. Helga also spends time behind a camera, as a photographer and documentary film-maker.
Greta Scharnweber, Associate Director and Outreach Coordinator
In addition to grantwriting, reporting, and office management, Greta organizes academic programs on the Middle East for faculty, students, teachers, journalists, and the general public at NYU. She has been involved in outreach to educators since the late 90s, first as a graduate student in the MA program at Georgetown in Arab Studies, later as the outreach coordinator at Yale's Council on Middle East Studies, and now the Hagop Kevorkian Center. Since joining NYU in 2008, she has curated a Saturday Seminars for teachers series focused on the MENA region and has organized intensive courses for educators on topics such as The Multilayered Lives of Muslim Women; The Politics of Water, Media and the Middle East, and Revolts in the Arab World. Her seminars often include a field study component in the region, most recently including tours of the Jordan River Valley and Uzbekistan. She has lived in Morocco, Kenya, and Egypt, and has traveled widely throughout the Middle East and Islamic world. She holds an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, an MA in Religious Studies from University of Colorado, and a BA in Religion from Kenyon College.
Arthur Starr, Program Coordinator
Arthur is currently the Program Coordinator at the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU. He completed his MA in Middle Eastern Studies and is now a doctoral candidate in Higher and Postsecondary Education at New York University. His research interests involve the Internationalization of Higher and Postsecondary Education; Issues of Access, Equity and Diversity in Postsecondary Education; Transition of international students, Language Acquisition and effects on retention and Areas Studies Programs. Arthur has facilitated study tours for students in Turkey and India as well as an outreach trip for educators in Uzbekistan.
Kevorkian Center Faculty Members
Benoit Challand, Assistant Professor at the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies
Benoit Challand is an Assistant Professor at the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies who earned his M.A. at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and his PhD at the European University Institute in Florence. His areas of interest are political sociology, Arab politics, religion and identity, and social theory.
Joanne Nucho, Faculty Fellow and Director of Graduate Studies
Joanne Nucho is an anthropologist and filmmaker who earned her PhD at the University of California, Irvine in 2013. Her research focuses on the relationship between political sectarianism and infrastructures and services in urban Lebanon. Her research has received support from the Wenner-Gren Foundation and a Fulbright-Hays award. She also earned her BFA in Film and Television Production at NYU, as well as her MA in Islamic Studies from UCLA. Her films have screened internationally at various festivals, including the London International Documentary Film Festival in 2008. In 2013, she received a Wenner-Gren Engaged Anthropology Grant in order to conduct a film and video outreach workshop in Lebanon.
Adam Shatz, Journalist in Residence
Adam Shatz is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books, and a contributor to the New York Review of Books, The Nation and other publications. He has reported from Algeria, Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon, and written extensively on French intellectual history, jazz, and foreign policy. Writers and Missionaries, a collection of his essays, will be published by Verso in late 2015.