#IAS_NUQ announces inaugural undergraduate fellows

March 20, 2022
Twelve student researchers from Northwestern University in Qatar have been selected for the Institute for Advanced Study in the Global South’s (#IAS_NUQ) inaugural undergraduate fellowship program.
The #IAS_NUQ Global Undergraduate Fellowship is a year-long program designed to encourage students to pursue research projects focused on the Global South. Working together with their #IAS_NUQ mentors, the selected fellows will carry out a research project from start to finish, contributing to knowledge and storytelling relevant to the cultures, societies, and media of the Global South. Each fellow will produce a multilingual publication or multimedia piece which will be published by the Institute’s press. These include multilingual research papers, digital publications, documentary films, an immersive virtual reality (VR) exhibit, and a video game.
“The local creation of globally relevant knowledge, and the establishment of South-to-South intellectual, creative, and educational exchanges, are vital to successful knowledge based-societies and sustainable communities,” said Marwan M. Kraidy, dean and CEO of Northwestern Qatar. “Our Global Undergraduate Fellowships provide student researchers from Northwestern Qatar with mentorship and funding to support them as they contribute to the production of knowledge from and about their communities.”
Théthé Ngalula Gwiza, a second-year student from Rwanda, will produce a documentary examining women empowerment initiatives in her country in the years after the genocide. “I was lucky enough to be born in an era where women started to be seen and given a voice which had not been the case before the genocide,” said Ngalula Gwiza, noting how the country has become a global model for women empowerment.
With Rwanda’s global image being associated with the genocide, Ngalula Gwiza wants to examine how the country is redefining itself using women empowerment and development narratives. “The genocide is a tragic part of our history that has for a long time been the lens through which the world sees us,” Ngalula Gwiza said. “This fellowship will allow me to explore not only the ways Rwanda is redefining itself but also the reality of women empowerment on the ground.”
“Our Global Undergraduate Fellowships provide student researchers from Northwestern Qatar with mentorship and funding to support them as they contribute to the production of knowledge from and about their communities”
- Marwan M. Kraidy, dean and CEO of Northwestern Qatar
Another student selected for an #IAS_NUQ fellowship is aspiring artist Xingyu Qin, who will work with fellow students at Northwestern Qatar to develop an interactive mobile game exploring aspects of Chinese culture embedded in Shi poetry, a classical Chinese poetic tradition modeled after Old Chinese works. “We grow up in China learning poetry, but we don’t really know the historical background, or the life experiences of the poets that shaped their work,” said Qin. “I want to use this project to contextualize these works and bring more to those who might already know the poetry.”
Qin, a third-year communication major, is currently spending the Spring semester studying theatre and mobile game design at the Evanston campus. Using the narrative development and game developing skills she has acquired; she hopes to make classical Chinese poetry—often recorded in text formats—accessible to younger generations. “My project is interactive and based on stories, so it will help young people explore the deeper meaning, historical background, and stories behind ancient Chinese poetry,” she said.
Overseeing the fellowship and mentoring program is #IAS_NUQ assistant director for research Clovis Bergère. Under his mentorship and with support from faculty advisors, the undergraduate fellows will turn their initial proposals into fully developed research projects, deepening their research skills while also having the opportunity to publish and produce scholarly outputs with the Institute’s press. Fellows will also present their research to the Northwestern Qatar community.
“Advancing research on the Global South is central to #IAS_NUQ’s mission and supporting our student researchers to contribute to the production of knowledge relevant to the Global South is key to achieving that,” noted Bergère. “We are proud of the diversity of the research topics and the various media the students will be using to explore them. I’m looking forward to working with the fellows on their research projects throughout the year.”
The Institute for Advanced Study in the Global South, the flagship initiative by Northwestern University in Qatar, produces and promotes evidence-based research and storytelling focused on the histories, cultures, societies, and media of the Global South.

2022 IAS Fellows and their research topics 

Khadija Ahmad, Life After Prison: Hostility Against Formerly Incarcerated Ahmadi Muslims

Raghdan Alhennawi, Syrian Refugee Camps and Shelters: Temporary Structures for a Forever Home

Abdulkarim Anisetty, Stereotypes and Representations of South Asian Groups in GCC Media

Abenezer Bekele, Awareness and Challenges for Integration of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing Industry within Qatar

Safae Daoudi, Use of Religion as Soft Power for Hegemonic Influence in West Africa

Théthé Ngalula Gwiza, Rebranding Women Empowerment in Post-Genocide Rwanda

Jessy Milena Kaligirw, Culture Vs. Mental Health: The Impact of Cultural Change on Rwandan International Students

Haris Malik, Media Oligarchy and Predicament of Journalists in Pakistan

Xingyu Qin, Momo’s Recollection

Mbogo M. Samson, Discourse on China’s Stake in Kenyan and Tanzanian Seaports

Karam Sleiman, Circassia and Circassian Identity: Past, Present, and Future

Mila Zhanat, Bride Kidnapping (Alyp Qashu) in Kazakhstan