Peace Studies Students Included in First Cohort of ISLA Dissertation Fellows

Author: Jena O'Brien

As part of its ongoing commitment to advance and promote research and creative endeavors in the College of Arts and Letters, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts (ISLA) recently awarded dissertation fellowships to twelve doctoral candidates. Among those selected were three current Peace Studies doctoral students at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies including Helal Khan, Sehrazat Mart, and Khan Asfandyar Gohar Shairani.

“We are thrilled at the continued success of our graduate students in securing support for their endeavors from around the university,” said Catherine Bolten, director of doctoral studies and associate professor of anthropology and peace studies at the Kroc Institute. “Kroc students are particularly adept at writing and conducting research that reaches across departments and disciplines, and their participation in this program is a result of their continued hard work and drive to work across the fields.”

Through this new program, ISLA aims to help outstanding graduate students make significant progress on their dissertations. ISLA Dissertation Fellows will meet on select Fridays throughout the spring semester. At each meeting, after lunch, fellows work together to set writing goals and then use the time and space provided by ISLA to work on their dissertations. Each fellow also receives a $1000 stipend.

ISLA’s 2023 Dissertation Fellows come from nine different doctoral programs, with projects spanning a wide range of topics, disciplines, time periods, and geographical areas. The full list of 2023 ISLA Dissertation Fellows with programs and dissertation titles follows:

Elizabeth Adeyemo, Anthropology

“Investigating the dynamics of craft production in the socioeconomic and political complexities of Igbo Ukwu (9th-12th Century CE): Pathways for West African Archaeology”

Jennifer Thorup Birkett, English

“Early Modern Drama and Terms of Endearment”

Dong Hwan Chun, English

“‘If mine ear be true’: The Art of Listening in the Works of John Milton”

Melissa Coles, History

“Dirt, Water, and the Search for Healing: The Contested Histories of Indigenous-Catholic Holy Sites in the North American West, 1810-1989”

Emmanuel De Leon, Jr., Sacred Music 

“German Baroque in the Sacred Music of Eudenice Palaruan”

Syed Eisar Haider, Sociology

“Local Expressions, Global Arenas: Ritual, Space and Local Culture within the Arba'een Pilgrimage”

Raleigh Heth, Theology

“The Theology of the Younger Gods: Divine Succession in Near Eastern and Biblical Myth”

Rachel Keynton, Sociology 

“Narratives of Reproduction or Resistance?: Race and Class Socialization via Families’ Experiences with Arts Extracurriculars”

Helal Mohammed Khan, Peace Studies and Anthropology

“The Role of Regimes of Cooperation in the Well-being of Rohingya Refugees in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Fort Wayne”

Khan Asfandyar Gohar Shairani, Peace Studies and History

“Renewing Islamic Knowledge Traditions: The Mughal and Ottoman Empires in the Eighteenth Century”

Jacob Kildoo, Theology

“The Qur'an's Epistemology: A Scriptural Approach to Human Knowledge”

Sehrazat Mart, Peace Studies and Sociology 

“How does intergenerational storytelling about past political struggles shape youth’s activism styles in an anti-authoritarian student movement?”

Originally published by Josh Tychonievich at on February 07, 2023.