ISLA announces first cohort of Dissertation Fellows

Author: Josh Tychonievich

ISLA names 12 winners in inaugural ISLA Dissertation Fellows cohort.ISLA names 12 winners in inaugural ISLA Dissertation Fellows cohort.

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. 

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”

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?”

Khan Asfandyar Gohar Shairani, Peace Studies and History

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

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