2020 Graduate Scholarships in Muslim Studies

May 14, 2020

SFU’s Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies is proud to award the following scholarships to Graduate students who have shown excellence in their research and study of Muslim society and culture.

Edward W. Said Memorial Scholarship

This year’s Edward W. Said Memorial Scholarship of $4000 was awarded to Ece Arslan for her project on Turkish immigrants and identity.

Ece Arslan entered the MA program in Sociology in the fall of 2018. She received her BSc from Middle East Technical University (METU) in International Relations program same year. Her research interests are origins of capitalism, nations and national identities, and political economy of immigration.

Ece’s research investigates the identity building within third generation members of an immigrant community in Turkey; a group whose grandparents immigrated from the former Yugoslavia to Turkey following the Free Migrant Agreement of 1953. The focal community immigrated without knowing the language; however, they lost their mother tongue, Macedonian, within two generations and partially blended into the wider Turkish society. Yet, the discourse of being an immigrant is still prevalent even in third generation. The primary aim of the research is to understand how and why the third generation sustains an immigrant identity. Ece’s research aims to address, the transmission of memories from generations, how collective memory of immigration, experiences of exclusion and assimilation and the effects of contemporary political atmosphere in Turkey contributes to building of an “immigrant” identity among younger generations. With a comparison between second and third generations, her research will also investigate the differences between the generations, and how second and third generations created different ways of being an immigrant, and/or Turkish and Muslim.

Aziz and Parin Dossa Muslim Studies Graduate Student Travel Award

The Muslim Studies Graduate Student Travel Award supports graduate students conducting research abroad. Supported by the Dossa Endowment Fund, Ismail Noyan was awarded $2000 for his research in Istanbul, Turkey.

Ismail Noyan first became interested in Ottoman and Turkish political thought and intellectual history as a sophomore in political science at Bilkent University in Ankara. Throughout his academic journey in Bilkent, Maastricht, and LSE, he was torn between being a political scientist and a historian. Then he recognized that his academic and intellectual inquiry is the very intersection of both. Therefore, after obtaining his comparative politics master’s degree from LSE, he opted for a second master’s degree in history program at Sabancı University in Turkey. Ismail started to learn Ottoman Turkish and Arabic in order to be able to use primary sources and gained ground in the discipline and sources and methods of History. As of September 2019, he enrolled in the History PhD program at SFU and is working on 19th century Ottoman intellectual life.

Ismail’s current project is about the entangled intellectual history of the long 19th century Ottoman history and main case study is to write the first intellectual biography of the Ottoman reformer, historian, governor and legal scholar Ahmet Cevdet Pasha (1822-1895) by considering his affiliations with the wider intellectual circles across the empire. This summer he is planning to make use of some archival sources, manuscripts and rare books in Ottoman Turkish, modern Turkish and Arabic in Istanbul. “I am lucky to have Ahmet Cevdet Pasha’s writings and his daughter’s documents as easily accessible, --yet only-- in İstanbul Atatürk Library,” he says. Thus in the first three weeks of his research, he anticipates to consult and copy some of the materials there. Following, he would like to spend three weeks at Prime Ministry Ottoman Archives in İstanbul to use the superb, key word searchable catalogue of the Prime Ministry Ottoman Archives to find documents that will allow him to examine Ahmet Cevdet Pasha in the context of their work as Ottoman administrators and literati of the Tanzimat period. “I genuinely appreciate the Aziz and Parin Dossa Muslim Studies Graduate Student Travel Award of the center that will cover significant portion of the expenses of this research travel.”