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Alison Vacca

2013-14 Manoogian Post-doctoral Fellow

  • Affiliation(s)
    • Near Eastern Studies
    • Armenian Studies Program
  • Fields of Study
    • Early Islamic history, Islamic historiography, Armenian history, Islamic art and architecture
  • About

    Alison Vacca received her PhD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation titled “From K'usti Kapkoh to al-Garbi: Sasanian Antecedents, the Sectarian Milieu, and the Creation of an Islamic Frontier in Arminiya (c. 700 – 862 CE),” explores the interrelation of religious and ethnic groups in the Near East. In particular she is interested in the eighth- or ninth-century historian Lewond and his Aršawank' Arabac' i Hays, an Armenian history covering establishment of the Caliphate, developments in medieval Armenia, and relations between Byzantium and Islam from 632 to 788. She plans to contextualize Lewond’s contribution with the literary production of the medieval Near East. Alison was a Fulbright Scholar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem where she studied Islamic, Armenian and Jerusalemite history as well as Arabic, Armenian, and Hebrew. She has also completed a Certificate in Museum Studies, which included interning in the Islamic art collection at the Royal Ontario Museum.

  • Education
    • Ph.D., Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, 2013
    • M.A., Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan, 2010
    • B.A., History/Religious Studies/International Studies, Nazareth College of Rochester, 2006
  • Grants
    • 2010-present, Dolores Zohrab Liebmann Fellowship
    • 2007-present LSA Regents Fellowship, University of Michigan
    • 2006-2007, Horace Goldsmith Fund Scholarship, Hebrew University
    • 2005-2006, Fulbright Grant, Islamic Civilization Initiative, Hebrew University
    • 2001-2005 Presidential Scholarship, 2000 -2001, Nazareth College
    • Regent’s Scholarship, University of Hartford
  • Presentations
    • January 2011, University of Michigan Museum Studies Brown Bag Lecture, “Islamic Art at the Royal Ontario Museum
    • ” November 2010, MESA conference in San Diego, California, “A Glory to Islam: Armenia as a Frontier”
    • April 2010, University of Michigan Museum Studies Program, “University of Michigan and the Commemoration of the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary”
    • April 2009, Graduate Students Workshop on Armenian Literature, Armenian Studies Program, University of Michigan, “Competing Historiographies”
  • Language(s) and Proficiency Level(s):
    • Classical Arabic
    • Classical Armenian
    • French
    • Modern Standard Arabic
    • Modern Eastern Armenian
    • Modern Hebrew
    • Modern Persian
    • Modern Western Armenian
    • German