MES Student Paper Award

The MES Student Paper Award

The Middle East Section awards an annual Student Paper Award. Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible. The winner will receive a prize of $500, plus a chance to summarize the award winning paper in AN and at the AAA meeting. Papers should be no longer than 10,000 words (not including notes and bibliography) and must have been completed no earlier than January 1 of the previous year. The paper should include a cover page with the name of the professor and class for which the paper was written and email addresses for both the student and professor. Please check the link above for submission guidelines.

2021: This year’s prize committee is excited to announce that the recipient of the AAA MES Section award for the student paper prize goes to:

Ms. Alia Amr Amin Shaddad – A graduate student at the American University in Cairo, for a chapter of her MA thesis entitled “al-Dar is Where the Heart Is”, which was advised by Dr. Dina Makram-Ebeid

The prize committee has also awarded an honorable mention to:

Mr. Kyle Benedict Craig – A graduate student at Northwestern University, for his essay titled: “Chromo-Topia: Amman Graffiti/Street Art and the Spatiotemporal Politics of Color” which was supervised by Dr. Adia Benton.


Past Winners:


  • Winner: Naye Idriss, ““Pedagogies of Becoming – An Ethnography of Readings and Resistance.”
  • Honorable Mention: Timothy Loh, “Language in Medical Worlds: The Politics of Hearing Technology, Speaking, and Arabic for Deaf Children in Jordan.”


  • Winner: Alize Arıcan, “Behind the Scaffolding: Manipulations of Time, Power, and Delays in Tarlabaşı, Istanbul”
  • Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Derderian, “Playing with the Rules: Critique and Freedom of Artistic Expression in the UAE”


  • Winner: Noha Fikry, American University in Cairo, for “Spaces of Life, States of Death.”


  • Winner: Guy Shalev, UNC Chapel Hill, for “Helsinki in Zion: Ethics Committees and Political Gatekeeping in Israel/Palestine.”


  • Winner: Noga Malkin, Georgetown University, for “My Brother’s Keeper: The Double Experience of Refugee Aid Workers.”
  • Honorable Mention: Kelda Jamison, University of Chicago, for “Hefty Dictionaries in Incomprehensible Tongues: Commensurating Code and Language Community in Turkey.”


  • Winner: Valerie Giesen, Columbia University, for “‘At Least I’ve Done Something!’ Living with Integrity: Ethical Engagements in Israel/Palestine.”


  • Winner: Zachary Cuyler, Georgetown University, for “‘The Invasion of the Desert’: Expertise, Nationalism, and the Development of Egypt’s Western Desert, 1954-61.”
  • Honorable Mention: Mathew Gagne, Toronto, for “The Many Scenes of Queer Damascus.”


  • Winner: Jess Bier, for “The Colonizer in the Computer: The British and Israeli Influence on Palestinian Authority Cartography in the West Bank.”


  • No Prize Awarded


  • Winner: Elif Babül, for “‘Smells Like Translation’: Pedagogies of Human Rights and Transnational Standardization in Turkey.”
  • Honorable mention: Dorothée Kellou.
  • Winner: Rosi Greenburg, for “Cultural Boycott: A Study of (Anti-) Normalization in the Palestinian Art World.”
  • Honorable Mention: Natalia K. Suit.
  • Winner: Canay Ozden, for “The Wardrobe Republic.”
  • Honorable Mention: Jeremy Walton.
  • Winner: Suncem Kocer, for “Media Production and Transpolitics.”
  • Honorable Mention: Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins.
  • Winner: Ali Scotten for “Magic and Inter-Communal Relations in Sasanian Iraq: The Case of the Incantation Bowls.”
  • Honorable Mention: Berna Yazici.
  • Winner: Devon Liddell, for “Celebrity Body, Qur’anic Propriety: Beauty and Respectability in a Changing Cairo.”
  • No Prize Awarded
  • Winner: Lori Allen, “Suffering through a National Uprising: The Cultural Politics of Violence, Victimization and Human Rights in Palestine”
  • No Prize Awarded
  • No Prize Awarded
  • Winner: Andrew M. Gardner, for “Political Ecology, Causation and the Bedouin of Saudi Arabia.”