Marina Rustow, the Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East and Professor of History at Princeton University, has been awarded a 2015 MacArthur Fellowship.
Rustow is among 24 scientists, artists, scholars and activists who each will receive $625,000 no-strings-attached grants over a five-year period from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The MacArthur Fellows Program awards unrestricted fellowships to talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.
Rustow used information from the Geniza for her 2008 book “Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate,” sparking her interest in further study of the manuscripts’ importance.
She is working a book on Fatimid documents of state preserved in the Geniza. According to the MacArthur citation, Rustow is “deploying her considerable prowess in languages, social history and papyrology … rewriting our understanding of medieval Jewish life and transforming the historical study of the Fatimid empire.”