22 November 2016: pleased to share that my 2014 dissertation, Making Nations in the Mahjar, has been awarded the Syrian Studies Association’s 2016 dissertation award for best new work on Syria. SSA Prize Committee Chair Charles Wilkins made the announcement at this year’s Middle East Studies Association annual meeting, reproduced on the SSA’s Facebook page here: “The Prize Committee of the Syrian Studies Association is pleased to announce the prizes of the most outstanding dissertation. The committee considered dissertations completed between 1 July 2014 and 30 Jun 2016 and articles or book chapters published between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2016. The committee was made up of Charles Wilkins (chair), Laura Ruiz de Elvira Carrascal, Hasan Kayali, Stephennie Mulder, Lorenzo Trombetta, and Tina Zintl.
Stacy Fahrenthold, “Making Nations, in the Mahjar: Syrian and Lebanese Long-Distance Nationalisms in New York City, Sao Paulo, and Buenos Aires, 1913-1929,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Northeastern University, 2014.
In this ground-breaking dissertation, Professor Fahrenthold re-examines the role of emigré politics in the establishment of modern nation-states in the Levant. She charts the rise of transnational political institutions among Arabic-speaking Ottoman emigrants living in North and South America during and after World War One. Using a vast array of primary sources produced by these emigrants, including memoirs, letters, and periodicals, Professor Fahrenthold persuasively shows that emigrant populations played a fundamental role in the emergence of competing Arab, Syrian, and Lebanese nationalist movements in the Middle East. The first to envision a post-Ottoman future for the Levant, these emigrant activists formed associations, pursued partnerships with the Great Powers, and exerted effective pressure on the Great Powers as they negotiated the postwar settlement. The implications of this study extend beyond Syrian history as it compels a reassessment of the relative importance of emigrant activism in the making of modern nationalist movements.”