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Year Graduated 2020

 

What are you up to now?

I was offered a Fulbright Award to Kuwait, where I will be working in the archives at the National Library of Kuwait to conduct research on female publications and periodicals. However, due to COVID-19, my departure date has been postponed until January. After I complete my Fulbright award, I will be attending New York University (NYU) in New York City to earn my master’s degree in History.

 

How does your study of History inform your current career?

History has influenced and informed nearly all of my current and future aspirations. With my Fulbright award, my work seeks to explore Kuwait’s larger connection to female publications and roles in modernization throughout the Middle East. My research will focus on and undertake a gender analysis of the magazine al-Ba’tha, studying how modernization impacted women’s roles in education, the domestic sphere, and literature by examining how this magazine portrayed and shaped women’s roles.

Moreover, in graduate school at NYU, I plan to continue and expand my knowledge of Middle East history, taking a gendered approach to the history of the Ottoman Empire. These studies are fields that I hope to continue to pursue beyond my time at NYU.

What are some of the most valuable skills you gained from your study of History?

In my path to continue my studies in history, the most valuable skills have been the analytical skills that have fostered a close attention to detail. These analytical skills that I have learned from my History major have allowed me to connect “small scale” people, places, and ideas to larger geographies and themes. For instance, studying these locally and regionally published women’s magazines often reflect larger themes of a changing world. My history major has taught me how to draw these critical, thematic connections. 


What is your advice for JMU students knowing what you know now?

The advice that I normally give to JMU students is to stay open-minded and be willing to explore new paths and ideas. I entered JMU thinking that I would study American history and soon became fascinated by Middle East and Ottoman history. This change of direction has constantly inspired me and pushed me to challenge myself and expand my worldview. So, I would definitely recommend taking a range of classes and giving attention to those new interests, even if it puts you on a different path than you originally planned for.

 

 

 



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