Visiting Student from Egypt Receives Fellowship for Graduate Studies

Naglaa Mahmoud in a very DC shot. Can you spy the cherry blossoms in the distance?

Occasionally the English department has the opportunity to host visiting students or scholars who come to DC to take advantage of the resources at GW and in the city at large. Naglaa Mahmoud, a visiting student from Al Minya University in Egypt, was our most recent guest. Funded by the Egyptian government, Naglaa came to GW in 2009 to pursue work on a doctoral dissertation on Nubian Egyptians and Nubian literature in Arabic. She also has a strong interest in African American literature, and wanted to investigate the connections and disconnections between contemporary Nubian struggles for social and cultural recognition within the Eyptian polity and 20th-century African American struggles for citizenship and justice in the United States.

Naglaa’s GW studies have recently paid off in the form of a Frederick Douglass Doctoral Fellowship to pursue her graduate studies at Howard University. Beginning this fall, Naglaa will be a PhD student in African Studies at Howard, continuing the research she began in Egypt and developed at GW.

Several members of the English department–Jennifer James, Jim Miller, and I–first met Naglaa when we joined colleagues in American Studies in a Fulbright Foundation-funded visit to Egypt to help train Egyptian scholars of American studies and U.S. literature. Although we were technically in Egypt as teachers, the visit was formative for teaching us a great deal about Middle Eastern approaches to teaching U.S. culture and literature at the time. The visit resulted in ongoing collaborations: While Naglaa has been affiliated with English for the past few years, her colleague from that course, Eid Muhammad, is about to complete his PhD in American Studies at GW.

As a visiting student, Naglaa became a visible and involved member of the graduate community in English. We all wish her hearty congratulations for this wonderful achievement!

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