MA Alumni Spotlight: Matthew Sparks

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Matthew Sparks (MAGIC ’16) was a double major in history and philosophy at Catawba College in North Carolina before joining MAGIC. While in the program, he learned Arabic and immersed himself in Middle Eastern history, tackling a comparative research project on mid-20th-century surrealism and global radical networks in the eastern Mediterranean and the Caribbean.  Matt presented part of this work at the International Society for Intellectual History conference in Crete right before graduation and then after graduation moved to Cairo to work with Dutch sociologist Cornelis Hulsman, editor of the Arab-West Report.

While in Cairo, Matt will supervise the construction of a large-scale database of documents on Muslim-Christian relations. Matt notes, “This is very much what I was studying for the MA at Georgetown. So, you could say my job is directly related to what I’ve been doing for the past two years.” Matt plans to use his time in Cairo to delve into archives and to decide whether to pursue a Ph.D. in Middle East Studies or in African history, a new interest that emerged from Professor Kate de Luna’s precolonial African history seminar during his last semester at Georgetown.