Sephardic Studies Student Research 2017-09-04T22:40:30+00:00

Student Research

Ashley Bobman discusses her great-grandfather’s notebook with Prof. Devin Naar, who is supervising her exploration of Ladino and Sephardic history.

Both graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Washington engage in a wide range of original research projects in Sephardic Studies through course work, independent studies, senior theses, masters theses, and PhD dissertations. Students come from disciplines and departments across the university, including, but not limited to, History, Jewish Studies, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Ottoman and Turkish Studies, Linguistics, French and Italian Studies, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Near and Middle East Studies. Many of the Sephardic Studies undergraduate and graduate student projects are highlighted on this website.

Graduate Students

sarah with computer- re-cropped

Sarah Zaides

Sarah Zaides joined the Stroum Center as its Associate Director in the Summer of 2017, after receiving her PhD in History from the University of Washington. Her dissertation, Tevye’s Ottoman Daughter: The Making of Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews in the Shatterzones of Empire, 1882-1923, traces Russian Jewish routes of exit to Constantinople and the Anatolian borderlands in the twilight years of the Ottoman and Russian Empires.

Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano

Oscar Aguirre-Mandujano

Oscar is a third-year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Washington. As the Mickey Sreebny Memorial Scholar in Jewish Studies for 2013-2014, Oscar is studying the original compositions of Yehuda Leon Behar in Ottoman Turkish, a project which helps to illuminate the culture and identity of the Jewish community during the late Ottoman Empire.

Molly FitzMorris

Molly FitzMorris

Molly is a third-year Ph.D. student studying sociolinguistics and Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) and a FLAS Fellow in Arabic in the Center for Global Studies. She completed her M.A. thesis, “The Last Generation of Native Ladino Speakers? Judeo-Spanish and the Sephardic Community in Seattle,” in the Division of Spanish & Portuguese Studies in 2014.

Berkay Gulen

Berkay is the 2015-2016 Samuel and Althea Stroum Fellow in the Jewish Studies Graduate Fellowship. She is a first-year PhD student in the International Studies Program of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.

Ryan Gompertz

Ryan is a UW law student and has developed a mapping webpage that traces the journeys of Jewish refugees through Europe during World War II.

Christina Sutton

Christina Sztajnkrycer (Sutton)

Christina received a research grant from the Stroum Center for Jewish Studies for her translation work on the Estrella Galante notebook. A former Richard M. Willner Memorial Scholar, Christina received her Ph.D in French from the University of Washington in December 2016.

Ozgur Ozkan picture

Ozgur Ozkan

Ozgur is a third-year doctoral student at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, and the 2016-17 I. Mervin and Georgiana Gorasht Fellow at the Stroum Center.

Esra Bakkalbasioglu

Esra is a PhD candidate in Near and Middle Eastern Studies in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. She is the 2016-17 Robert and Pamela Center Fellow at the Stroum Center. She is writing her dissertation on the politics of infrastructure in the peripheral regions of Turkey and Israel.

Canan Bolel

Canan is a third-year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Program in Near and Middle Eastern Studies in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington. Her dissertation focuses on the experience of poverty and policies of intracommunal exclusion in the Jewish community of Izmir during the nineteenth century.

Alain Carmen Sykes

PhD Student in the College of Education: “Remembering the Past, Creating the Present: Constructing Salonica through Memoir.” (JSIS 578)

Undergraduate Students

Ashley Bobman

Ashley Bobman

Portrait of Taryn Harris

Taryn Harris

Maddie Boyd, “‘Among those Flickering Lights’: Sephardic Jewish Women in World War II and the Holocaust.” (HIST 499)

David Benitez, “Mapping the Jews from Turkey and Rhodes in Seattle: Insights from the United States Censuses, 1910-1940.” (HIST 498)

Charity Gage, “La Vara, 1939-1945: Sephardic News Coverage during the Second World War.” (HIST 498)

Anjelina Hill, “Sephardic Women: Their Journey from the Old Country to the Pacific Northwest.” (HIST 498)

Loveleen Kaler, “Together and Apart: Sephardic Jews and Greeks in the Puget Sound Region.” (HIST 498)

Marissa Dichter, “The Israel Dynasty from Rhodes: The Rupture in Rabbinic Traditions.” (HIST/JSIS C 250)

Josh Etseksen, “The Circulation, Price and Popularity of Jewish Newspapers and Books in the Ottoman Empire.” (JSIS 499)

Shayna Waldbaum, “Seattle’s Sephardic Pioneers: The Case of Solomon Calvo.” (HIST/JSIS C 250)