Michael Sims is a recipient of the Summer 2015 and Academic Year 2015-2016 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
I am a third-year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies. My research focuses on competing discourses of identity and nationalism in Late Ottoman Kurdistan, particularly among Syriac Christian communities. Much of my source material is drawn from Arabic-language periodicals and church manuscript collections. The FLAS Fellowship has been crucial for my language development and providing ample time for coursework and research. As a Summer FLAS Fellow I studied Advanced Arabic in Amman, Jordan, and have continued Arabic study through an Academic Year FLAS Fellowship.