2006 US Fellows

Dr. James Armstrong, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Semitic Museum, Harvard University
“The Babylonian Ceramic Tradition: The Second Millennium B.C.”

Dr. Armstrong traveled to Paris to complete a study of Babylonian ceramics from the second millennium B.C. The work will provide a resource for the study of the archaeology and history of ancient Mesopotamia, by presenting a comprehensive ceramic typology for Babylonia in this period, incorporating material from all parts of Babylonia and its periphery. For more information about this project, see Armstrong's progress report in the Spring 2008 TAARII Newsletter, Issue 03-01.

Dr. Eric Davis, Department of Political Science, Rutgers University
“Democratic Transitions and National Political Culture:
The Case of the New Iraq”

Professor Eric Davis, working with an Iraqi colleague — whose name we also suppress for protection — addresses through this project Iraqi efforts to implement a democratic transition. Davis and his colleague examine constraints on the nationalist press, women’s organizations, democratic and professional organizations, among other non-sectarian organizations, to argue that economic scarcity and political power drive sectarian identities. In the process, they consider the Iraqi Parliament as a possible model for a political culture based on negotiation, compromise, and tolerance.

Dr. Adeed Dawisha, Department of Political Science, Miami University
“Democracy in Iraq: Lost … Recovered?”

This project will yield a book on the development of state, national, and democratic institutions in Iraq from 1921 to the present. The book will explore the rise and decline of liberal and pluralist institutions in Iraq during the monarchical period (1921–1958) and the four subsequent decades of authoritarianism. Further, it will determine whether or not democratic culture and institutions meet Iraq’s current needs, in light of its social and historical experience. For additional information on this project, see “The Rigidity of the Political Structure as an Explanation for the Fall of Iraq’s Monarchy” by Adeed Dawisha in the Fall 2008 TAARII Newsletter, Issue 03-02.

Ms. Bridget Guarasci, Department of Anthropology, University of Michigan
“Eden Again: The Technologies of Nostalgia and Reconstruction in Iraq’s Marshes” (Second Phase of Study)

Images of the destruction or restoration of Iraq’s marshes have been displayed by political actors, governments, and NGOs to illustrate and bolster different agendas. In this ethnographic dissertation project, Guarasci examines why marsh restoration has been seen as vital to nation-building in Iraq and the establishment of a new democratic order, in particular. For more information about this project, see “Reflections of Democracy: Humanitarianism, Statecraft, and the Iraqi Marshes” by Bridget Guarasci in the Spring 2007 TAARII Newsletter, Issue 02-01.

Ms. Lisa Lital Levy, Department of Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley
“Jewish Writers in Iraq, 1865–1935” (Second Phase of Study)

For a dissertation on Iraqi Jewish writers and intellectuals, which examines Baghdad’s cosmopolitan history, Levy traveled to London to conduct oral his- tory interviews with aging Jewish-Iraqi writers. The interviews will be used in the study of Baghdadi Jewish culture and in particular, in her analysis of the ways that authors handled competing ideological affiliations in their writings.

Professor Jodi Nachtwey, Wayne State University, and an Iraqi Colleague
“Iraq Attitudinal Survey – Update”

With a senior Iraqi colleague — whose name we withhold for security reasons — Professor Nachtwey developed a public opinion survey on Iraqi attitudes to- ward key social and political issues, to be fielded by the end of 2006. Data gathered from the survey will be used to improve understanding of Iraqi attitudes toward governance, institutions, the role of Islam in public life, the status of women, house- hold economic conditions, and ethno-religious relations.

Dr. Denise Natali, College of Political Science, Salahaddin University, and Honorary Fellow, Exeter University, England
“Differentiated Development in Post-Gulf War Iraq”

Dr. Natali conducted extensive research and interviews with those involved in different phases of aid programs in Iraq and the Kurdistan region since 1991 for her book, which argues that Kurdistan is economically and politically dependent on Baghdad and regional states. Kurdistan’s focus on developing an independent economy may increase leverage on the central government to accommodate Kurdish political demands, but it also creates new relations with regional states that require moderation of the Kurdish nationalist project. For additional information about this project, see “Differentiated Regional Development in Iraq” by Denise Natali in the Fall 2008 TAARII Newsletter, Issue 03-02.

Professor Nada Shabout, Department of Art History, University of North Texas
“Recovering Iraq’s Modern Heritage:
Constructing and Digitally Documenting the Collection of the Former Saddam Center for the Arts”

With the goal of reconstructing the collection of Iraq’s only modern art museum, for which no comprehensive catalog exists, Professor Shabout traveled to Jordan to interview artists, curators, museum workers, collectors, and dealers. She has been able to acquire photographs of 600 works from the former Saddam Center for the Arts for authentication, and has begun the digitization of images. In subsequent stages of her project, Dr. Shabout will establish a web- based, digital archive. For more information on this project, please see Nada Shabout’s article in the Fall 2006 TAARII Newsletter, Issue 01-02.

Special CAORC Fellow

Professor Bassam Yousif, Department of Economics, Indiana State University
“Alternatives to Imbalance: Economic Solutions to Iraq’s Difficulties”

Professor Yousif has surveyed the development issues confronting Iraq and has outlined plausible solutions. He argues, in an article drafted with TAARII support, that institutions of civil society in Iraq, which were repressed under the rule of Saddam Hussein, must be developed for the promotion of security and reconstruction.


These fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs through a sub-grant from the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.