About the Speakers

Abou-El-Haj, Rifa’at
Binghamton University

Rifa’at Abou-El-Haj is emeritus Professor in History of the Ottoman Empire. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, and taught at California State University-Long Beach, Princeton University as Ahmet Ertegün Visiting Professor, and at Binghamton University (SUNY). He is the author of two books, co-editor and contributor to a third book, more than twenty-five articles, and more than thirty book reviews. His book, Formation of the Modern State: The Ottoman Empire Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries is the most acclaimed and paradigm shifter book in the Ottoman studies. His second book is The 1703 Rebellion and the Structure of Ottoman Politics, and a third book he edited is titled The Ottoman City and its Parts: Urban Structure and Social Order. He has also published chapters in various books. Abou-El-Haj’s major interests are early modern, modern European, Near Eastern and North African history with an emphasis on political economy, culture, and the study of comparative history, comparative historiography, and the critical evaluation of postmodernism and postcolonial studies. His research interests and publications are in the history of the Ottoman Turks and the Arabs and their cultures. His main frame of approach to the history is “focused on the social processes that produce multicultural societies where differences are mutually forged and symbiotically achieved for the purposes of minimizing and resolving conflict.” Last year, Professor Abou-El-Haj received the “MESA Mentoring Award” as a recognition of his lifelong commitment to mentorship “in every sense of the word.”

Atcil, Abdurrahman
Istanbul Şehir University

Abdurrahman Atcil is an associate professor of history and Islamic studies at Istanbul Şehir University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2010. Before joining Şehir, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in 2010 and as an assistant professor at Queens College, City University of New York, from 2011 to 2014. In terms of research, he is particularly interested in questions of law, religion, and politics in the early modern Ottoman Empire. His first book, Scholars and Sultans in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire, details Ottoman scholars’ transition from independent actors to scholar-bureaucrats in the period 1300–1600. Most of his published work is devoted to addressing other issues in this period, including scholarly mobility, the relationship between philosophy and law in the Islamic legal tradition, and varied forms of Ottoman governance. He is currently working on two projects. The first uses social-network-analysis technologies to examine the professional and intellectual networks of over 750 high-level Ottoman scholar-bureaucrats in the period 1470–1650. The second investigates the formation of law in the Ottoman Empire between 1450 and 1650. Examining the religio-legal opinions (fetva) of scholars and decrees of sultans (kanun), it aims to expose the hybridity of Ottoman law by revealing the agency and interaction of diverse groups in the lawmaking process, moving beyond the well-known role of such actors as the government (the sultan and his representatives) and scholars to better understand the role of other, lesser-known actors like local groups with entrenched interests, non-Muslim communities, common people, founders of endowments, guilds, merchants, and others.

Afsaruddin, Asma
Indiana University

Asma Afsaruddin is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.  She is the author and editor of seven books, including Contemporary Issues in Islam (Edinburgh University Press, 2015); the award-winning Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought (Oxford University Press, 2013), currently being translated into Bahasa Indonesian; and The First Muslims: History and Memory (OneWorld Publications, 2008), which has been translated into Malay and Turkish. She has also written over fifty research articles and book chapters on topics as diverse as Quranic hermeneutics, hadith criticism, pluralism in Islamic thought, war and peace in the Islamic tradition, Islamic feminisms, and reform movements within Islam. Professor Afsaruddin is currently a member of the academic council of the Prince al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, D.C., and is a past member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Religion. She was previously the Kraemer Middle East Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the College of William and Mary (2012) and a visiting scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2003).  She has served on a number of editorial boards, including, most recently, the Oxford Encyclopedia on Islam and Women (2013). Her research has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which named her a Carnegie Scholar in 2005.

Al-Azem, Talal
University of Oxford

Talal Al-Azem (M.A., DPhil, Oxon) is the Mohammed Noah Fellow of  the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, and lectures in Islam at the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford. His research focuses on social and intellectual history of the Muslim world, with particular attention to institutions of law and learning in the medieval and early modern Near East. His first book, Rule-Formulation and Binding Precedent in the Madhhab-Law Tradition: Ibn Quṭlūbughā's Commentary on The Compendium of Qudūrī (Leiden: Brill, 2016) argues for a single jurisprudential tradition underpinning the four post-classical Sunni schools of law, and demonstrates how this tradition facilitated both continuity and legal change while serving as the basis of a pluralistic judicial system in Mamluk Egypt. His current book project is a critical edition of a biographical dictionary of late medieval Damascus, through which he studies both the socio-urban and educational history of the city on the eve of the Ottoman conquest.
Dr. Al-Azem received his MSt (distinction) and DPhil from the University of Oxford, Faculty of Oriental Studies in 2011. He obtained his B.A. in history and Near Eastern studies from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Before joining the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, he was a lecturer in Islamic history at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, and was awarded a Junior Research Fellowship at Pembroke College, Oxford. From 2014-15, he was a research officer on the ERC-funded IMPAcT (Islamic Philosophy and Theology) project.

Baig, Sohaib
University of California Los Angeles

Sohaib Baig is a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA in the department of history. He is working on a dissertation on intellectual exchange through networks of law and hadith between South Asia and the Hijaz in early modern and modern history, with particular focus on the scholarship of Sindh and Delhi.

Deguilhem, Randi
Aix-Marseille University

From 2010-16, Deguilhem directed a research and teaching seminar on waqf endowments at EHESS (L’École des hautes études en sciences sociales) Paris. With the CNRS and eight international and national partners, she directs the research network on waqf (GDRI WAQF) which is currently in the publication phase of its work as well as the compilation of a database of waqf documents from the  Islamic  world.  Part  of  this  work  also  incorporates  research  done  on  waqf  done  in previous  programs  which  she  directed  or  co-directed  (Islamic  Studies  Legal  Program, Harvard Law School, CNRS DRI –University of Algiers). A historian  of  the  modern  and  contemporary Middle  East  and  Islamic worlds,  her primary research specializes on  Syria within  the  framework  of comparative and  interdisciplinary perspectives which includes gender analysis. Her research also systematically encompasses the approach  of  the longue durée with her  studies  focusing  on  a  specific  institution (waqf, educational  systems) as  it  develops  and  is  transformed  during  the Ottoman,  Mandate  and independent periods in Syria. As  a Fulbright-Hays  doctoral  research  recipient, then  as  a  research  fellow  at  IFEAD  (IFPO), Randi Deguilhem lived in Syria for several years and regularly returns for her research. She has published and co-edited 10 books and about 50 book chapters and articles in international journals. At  AMU,  since  2014,  she  has directed  the  university-wide GenderMed: Thinking  Gender  in  the Mediterranean network which has partnerships throughout the Mediterranean and beyond. With Rogaia Abusharaf, she co-directs HAWWA: Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World (founded by Amira Sonbol) and with Nadia Al Bagdadi and Bettina Dennerlein, she co-directs the publications series, Gender and Islam (IB Tauris-Bloomsbury).

Demiri, Lejla
University of Tübingen

Lejla Demiri is Professor of Islamic Doctrine and Deputy Director of the Centre for Islamic Theology, University of Tübingen. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge (2008), and held post-doctoral fellowships at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (2007–10) and the Free University of Berlin (2010–12). Her research explores systematic theology, the intellectual history of Islam and Muslim-Christian theological encounters. She is the author of Muslim Exegesis of the Bible in Medieval Cairo. Najm al-Dīn al-Ṭūfī’s (d.716/1316) Commentary on the Christian Scriptures (Brill, 2013). She also serves as Team Leader (Middle East and North Africa) and Section Editor (Turkish World) for the CMR1900 project: Christian-Muslim Relations: A Bibliographical History (1500–1900) (Brill, 2012-present).

Green-Mercado, Mayte
Rutgers University

Mayte Green-Mercado is Assistant Professor of History in the Federated History Department at Rutgers University—Newark, New Jersey, where she teaches courses on Islamic Civilization, the History of Al-Andalus, race and ethnicity in the early modern Mediterranean. Before coming to Rutgers she was Assistant Professor of Mediterranean Studies at the University of Michigan. She also taught Islamic and Middle Eastern History at the University of Tennessee. She specializes on early modern Islamic, Iberian, and Mediterranean history, with a particular focus on the connected histories of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. She has written articles on ethnic groups in Renaissance Spain, the forced conversion of Muslims in sixteenth century Spain, Morisco religio-political culture and the circulation of apocalyptic prophecies, prophecies in the early modern Mediterranean, and she recently edited a special issue titled "Speaking the End Times: Early Modern Politics and Religion from Iberia to Central Asia," in the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (JESHO), 2018. Her first book, Visions of Deliverance: Moriscos and the Politics of Prophecy in the Early Modern Mediterranean, is forthcoming in 2019 with Cornell University Press.  She is currently preparing an English translation of Ruy González Clavijo's Embassy to Tamerlane, and working on a study on the uses of prophecy as a diplomatic language in the fifteenth century Mediterranean.

Hussainmiya, Abdul
Southeastern University of Sri Lanka

Professor Bachamiya Abdul Hussainmiya, B.A. BEd., Ph.D, (Perad’ya)  is currently a visiting professor of history at the Southeastern University of Sri Lanka, Oluvil,  Sri Lanka, and also a fellow of the Sri Lanka Institute of Ethnic Studies, Colombo. Previously he served as a lecturer in Sri Lanka’s Peradeniya University and for the past 28 years taught in the History department at the University of Brunei Darussalam. He is an author of several books and journal articles.

Kooria, Mahmood
Leiden University

Mahmood Kooria is a postdoctoral fellow at Leiden University, the Netherlands. He currently holds the Transregional Research Scholar Fellowship of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), New York. He now studies the matrilineal/matriarchal Muslim communities of the Indian Ocean littoral and their engagements with Islamic law. Previously he was a joint research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) and African Studies Centre (ASC). He received his Ph.D. from the Leiden University Institute for History, and pursued his undergraduate and post-graduate studies at Darul Huda Islamic University, University of Calicut, and Jawaharlal Nehru University. He has published a few articles and has edited a volume with Michael Pearson entitled Malabar in the Indian Ocean: Cosmopolitanism in a Maritime Historical Region (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Mudasir, Mufti
University of Kashmir

Mufti Mudasir is Associate Professor in the Department of English ar University of Kashmir with more than 15 years of experience teaching at the P.G level. Well-versed in languages such as Urdu, Persian, Arabic and Kashmiri, Dr. Mudasir has contributed to several areas like literary theory and criticism, postmodern studies, Persian and Kashmiri literature, the history of Kashmir, and Islamic studies. He has translated poetry from Kashmiri, Urdu, Persian and Arabic and also taught literature of these languages in translation. He earned a postdoctoral fellowship in the Programme Zukuntsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Scholarship from Freie University, Berlin in the year 2012-13. As a faculty in the department, Dr. Mudasir teaches literary theory and criticism from Plato to the present. Besides several articles, he has authored two books, The Captured Gazelle: Poems of Ghani Kashmiri published as Penguin Classics, a work which introduced, for the first time, Tahir Ghani Kashmiri, the great seventeenth century Persian poet of Kashmir, to the larger world, and Towards a Poetics of Postmodern Drama: A Study of Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard (New Castle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing). Currently, he is working as Principal Investigator on a major project “Mahmud Gaami’s Divan: Translation with Annotations” sanctioned by the Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi.

Niyazioglu, Asli
University of Oxford

Asli Niyazioglu is Associate Professor in Ottoman History at the University of Oxford. She is an early modern historian working on literature, Sufism and urban life. Her publications include Dreams and Lives in Ottoman Istanbul: A Seventeenth Century Biographer's Perspective (London and New York: Routledge, 2017) and “How to Read an Ottoman Poet's Dream? Friends, Patrons and the Execution of Figani (d.1532)” in Middle Eastern Literatures 16.1. 2013: 48-60. Currently, she is working on a book project titled, “Early Modern Istanbul Imagined: A City of Poets, Sufis and Travelers” which aims to explores the role of imagination in the making of urban communities in early modern Istanbul.

Papademetriou, Tom
Stockton University

Dr. Tom Papademetriou is the Constantine and Georgiean Georgiou Endowed Professor of Greek History, and Director of the Dean C. and Zoë S. Interdisciplinary Center for Hellenic Studies of Stockton University. A graduate of both Hellenic College (B.A., 1988) and Holy Cross School of Theology (M. Divinity, 1992), Dr. Papademetriou received his Ph.D. in 2001 from Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies in Ottoman History. Conducting research in the Ottoman Archives, the Archives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, and at the Centre for Asia Minor Studies in Athens, he focuses on the history of non-Muslims under Ottoman rule, especially the relations of the Greek Orthodox Church and State in the early Ottoman centuries which is the subject of his book, Render Unto the Sultan published by Oxford University Press (Oxford, 2015).  Dr. Papademetriou has been awarded multiple research fellowships including from the Social Science Research Council, the American Research Institute in Turkey, and Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Research Center-Harvard University. Most recently he was appointed Edwin C. and Elizabeth A. Whitehead Member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Dr. Papademetriou also directs an international collaborative project called the Anatolian Churches Project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. As a member of the Historical Studies faculty of Stockton University since 2001, he teaches courses on the history of the Ottoman Empire, Islam and Eastern Christianity, Hellenism (memory & identity), Tourkokratia, Balkan, and Middle East history.

Perry, John
University of Chicago

John R. Perry is Professor of Persian Language and Civilization (emeritus) at the University of Chicago, USA. He studied Arabic and Persian at Cambridge University (Ph.D., 1970), supplemented by a year at Tehran University and further research in Iran on his dissertation topic, a history of the rule of Karim Khan Zand. This was later published twice in book form and in Persian and Kurdish translations. Perry first taught Arabic at St. Andrews University, Scotland, from 1968-71. He  has held visiting fellowships at Columbia and Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, has travelled and researched widely in the Middle East and Central and South Asia, and is a consulting editor for Encyclopaedia Iranica. His latest book (I.B. Tauris, 2018) is the edition of a volume in the 18-volume series conceived by the late Ehsan Yarshater: A History of Persian Literature IX: Persian Literature from Outside Iran, to which he also contributed two chapters. His other publications include translations from Arabic, Persian and Tajik; A Tajik Persian Reference Grammar (Leiden, 2005); Form and Meaning in Persian Vocabulary: The Arabic Feminine Ending (Costa Mesa, 1991), and more than forty articles, principally on aspects of the linguistic and cultural connections among Arabic, Persian, Turkish and adjacent languages and societies.

Pfeiffer, Judith
University of Bonn

Judith Pfeiffer received a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilization from the University of Chicago in 2003 and taught Islamic History at the University of Oxford from 2003 to 2016 before joining the University of Bonn to take up an Alexander von Humboldt professorship there. Her research focuses on Islamicate intellectual history during the later middle and early modern periods, conversion and confessionalization processes, and the interaction between the local and Mongol elites in the Ilkhanate. She has published on religion and politics in the Mongol and Ottoman contexts and is editor or co-editor of History and Historiography of Post-Mongol Central Asia and the Middle East. Studies in Honor of John E. Woods (Wiesbaden 2006, with Sholeh A. Quinn), Theoretical Approaches to the Transmission and Edition of Oriental Manuscripts (Würzburg 2007, with Manfred Kropp), Politics, Patronage and the Transmission of Knowledge in 13th—15th Century Tabriz (Leiden/New York, 2014) and “Rashīd al-Dīn’s Bayān al-ḥaqāʾiq and its Sitz im Leben” (Istanbul, 2016). She is currently preparing for publication the inventory of the early sixteenth century private library of the Ottoman scholar and bibliophile Müeyyedzade (d. 922/1516).

Pratyay, Nath
Ashoka University

Pratyay Nath is Assistant Professor and Head, Department of History, Ashoka University. Trained as a historian of medieval and early modern South Asia, he specializes in the history of early modern war and empire. He is the author of Climate of Conquest: War, Environment, and Empire in Mughal North India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, forthcoming in June 2019). Several of Nath's research articles have been published in journals, edited volumes, and conference proceedings. He is currently writing a monograph on Akbar’s wars. Areas of his research interest include Mughal history, imperial history, military history, global history, early modern history, and the history of medieval and early modern South Asia.
Prior to joining Ashoka, Nath taught medieval and early modern history at Miranda House, University of Delhi; at St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi; and at Presidency College (now Presidency University), University of Calcutta. He was awarded the DAAD-funded A New Passage to India III fellowship for 2013-14, whereby he worked for a year as a research fellow at the Centre for Modern Indian Studies, Georg-August Universität, Göttingen, Germany. Nath completed his Bachelor’s in History from Presidency College, Calcutta in 2006 and his Master’s in History from University of Calcutta in 2008 with a specialization in the history of early medieval South Asia. He earned his MPhil and Ph.D. in History from Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, in 2011 and 2016 respectively.

Ramsey, Charles
Baylor University

Charles M. Ramsey holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from the University of Birmingham (UK), an M.A. in the History of Religion from Baylor University, and PGC in Poverty Reduction from the Centre for Development, Environment, and Policy at the University of London (SOAS). Prior to joining Baylor, Ramsey was Assistant Professor of Religion and Public Policy at Forman Christian College (Lahore, Pakistan) with dual appointments in the Department of Religion and the Center for Public Policy and Governance (peace studies). He has been awarded grants from the British Library, United States Institute of Peace, and the American Institute for Pakistan Studies. Ramsey is Editor, South Asia Section of the Brill Encyclopedia of Christian-Muslim Relations (CMR 1500-1900) and the author of several books and articles including: South Asian Sufis: Devotion, Deviation, and Destiny (London: Continuum, 2012); Sir Sayyid’s Commentary of the Gospel: Tabyīn al-kalām, Part 3, translated and annotated by Charles M. Ramsey and Christian W. Troll (Lahore: Maktaba Jadid, 2017); and God’s Word, Spoken and Otherwise (Leiden: Bril, forthcoming).

Rizvi, Sajjad
University of Exeter

Sajjad Rizvi is Associate Professor of Islamic Intellectual History and Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam at the University of Exeter. A specialist of Islamic philosophical and theological traditions as well as Quranic exegesis in the Safavid-Mughal period, he is the author of Mulla Sadra and Metaphysics (Routledge, 2009), An Anthology of Quranic Commentaries (with Feras Hamza, Oxford, 2008), and The Spirit and the Letter (with Annabel Keeler, Oxford, 2016). He is currently completing a monograph on philosophy in Safavid Iran 1600-1800, another tentatively titled Avicenna in the Qasbas, Mulla Sadra in the Libraries on philosophy in Iran and North India in the eighteenth century, and a short monograph on Time in Islam.

Sobers-Khan, Nur
The British Library

Nur Sobers-Khan completed a B.A. in Oriental Studies (Arabic and Persian) in 2006 and a Ph.D. in Islamic History in 2012 at the Oriental Studies Faculty at the University Cambridge.  In 2012-13, Dr. Sobers-Khan was the Iran Heritage Curator for Persian manuscripts at the British Library, and in 2014-215, she was a curator at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, where she curated the exhibition, Building Our Collection: Mughal and Safavid Albums and co-curated, Qajar Women: Images of Women in 19th-Century Iran.  She is currently Lead Curator for South Asia at the British Library, responsible for the South Asian language books and manuscripts in Perso-Arabic script.  She is currently Principle Investigator of the AHRC/Newton-Babha-funded “Two Centuries of Indian Print” research and digitization project that aims to create a digitized corpus of the BL’s early printed South Asian book collections. She is the author of the monograph Slaves Without Shackles: Forced Labour and Manumission in the Galata Court Registers, 1560–1572 (Berlin: Klaus Schwarz Verlag, 2014), and co-author, with Mounia Chekhab-Abudaya, of Qajar Women: Images of Women in 19th-Century Iran (Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2016). Her book reviews and articles have appeared in Oriens, Journal of Early Modern History, New Middle Eastern Studies, Critical Muslim, Renaissance Quarterly, and Global Intellectual History.

Spannaus, Nathan
University of Jyvaskyla

Nathan Spannaus is currently a postdoctoral researcher in Islamic philosophy at the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, specializing in Islamic intellectual history and religious thought. He is a graduate of McGill University’s Institute of Islamic Studies and Harvard’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and he has held positions at Princeton and Oxford. His work has appeared in Islamic Law and Society, Muslim World, Arabica, and Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, and he has contributed to The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology, the Encyclopedia of Islam and the two-volume Modern Islamic Authority and Social Change (Edinburgh University Press, 2018). His monograph, Preserving Islamic Tradition: Abu Nasr Qursawi and the Beginnings of Modern Reformism, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2019.

Yilmaz, Hüseyin
George Mason University

Hüseyin Yilmaz is currently an associate professor in the Department of History and Art History, and Director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University. He received his Ph.D. in 2005 from Harvard University in History and Middle Eastern Studies. From 2005 to 2009 he taught at the Introduction to the Humanities Program and Department of History, Stanford University. From 2009 to 2012 he taught in the Department of History, University of South Florida. As a research fellow, he spent Spring 2010 at Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften, Vienna. His research interests include political thought, geographic imageries, social movements, and cultural history of the Ottoman Empire and the broader Islamicate world of the early modern era. He is the author of Caliphate Redefined: The Mystical Turn in Ottoman Political Thought (Princeton University Press, 2018).  His recent publications include The Eastern Question and the Ottoman Empire: The Genesis of the Near and Middle East in the Nineteenth Century and From Serbestiyet to Hürriyet: Ottoman Statesmen and the Question of Freedom During the Late Enlightenment.

Moderators

Ágoston, Gábor
Georgetown University

Gábor Ágoston earned his M.A. and University Doctorate (doctor universitatis) from the University of Budapest (ELTE) and his Ph.D. from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Between 1985 and 1998 he taught Hungarian, Ottoman and Balkan history at the Universities of Budapest and Pecs (JPTE), Hungary. Since 1998 he has been a faculty member of Georgetown University’s History department, where he teaches courses on Ottoman and Middle Eastern history, the Balkans and the Black Sea. In 2003 he was Gastprofessor at the Institute of History, University of Vienna, Austria. In 2008 and 2009 he taught at Georgetown's McGhee Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies in Alanya, Turkey. His field of research includes Ottoman military, economic and social history from the fifteenth through the late eighteenth centuries, early modern Hungarian history, and the comparative study of the Ottoman and Habsburg empires. His book Guns of the Sultan: Military Power and the Weapons Industry in the Ottoman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2005; paperback edition, 2009; Turkish- and German-language editions, 2006 and 2009) challenges the sweeping generalizations of Eurocentric and Orientalist scholarship regarding Ottoman and Islamic societies. In addition to four Hungarian-language monographs, he has published three books of collected studies in Turkish and more than seventy scholarly articles and book chapters in English, Hungarian, and Turkish on Ottoman, European and Hungarian history. He is also co-author and co-editor of the first English-language Encyclopedia of the Ottoman Empire (2009).

Abdul Rahman Chamseddine
Georgetown University in Qatar

Abdul Rahman Chamseddine completed his undergraduate work, with honors, at the Makassed Institute of Islamic Studies in Beirut, where he learned to handle primary Arabic and Islamic sources in accordance with traditional Muslim practice. After completing the second year of his B.A. at Makassed, he enrolled at St. Joseph University in Beirut in the Faculté des Sciences Religieuses, at the Institut d’Études Islamo-Chrétiennes, for the study of comparative religion. Here, engagement in Muslim-Christian dialogue made him reconsider his understanding of religion in general. This brought him to the History Department at the American University of Beirut to pursue his Master’s degree where he began to read Western literature on Islam, which had not been a major component of his earlier training. During his coursework at AUB, he began teaching Social Studies for the Secondary Division at the International College in Beirut. Since the summer of 2006, he has also taught Arabic for the Summer Arabic Program at the AUB Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES), which provides non-native students an intensive Arabic course for eight weeks during the summer. Through teaching students of various backgrounds, he has realized that he can play a crucial role in enriching cross-cultural awareness, especially in terms of religion. His familiarity with Eastern as well as Western literature on Islam, along with his undergraduate training in Muslim and Christian thought, had equipped him to join the doctoral program at Georgetown University. He currently works as an Arabic Faculty member at Georgetown University in Qatar, and proceeding with his research. His research is focused on Arabic terminology of early Islam and more specifically the Qur’anic terms that describe religious identities and other social groupings, in addition to the notion of Listening to the Qur'an.

Almond, Ian
Georgetown University in Qatar

Ian Almond is Professor of World Literature at Georgetown University. He is the author of five books, most recently Two Faiths, One Banner (Harvard University Press, 2009) and The Thought of Nirad C. Chaudhuri (Cambridge University Press, 2015), and over forty articles in a variety of journals including PMLA, Radical Philosophy, ELH, New Literary History and the Harvard Theological Review. He specializes in comparative world literature, with a tri-continental emphasis on Mexico, Bengal and Turkey. His work has been translated into twelve languages (Arabic, Arabic, German, Korean, Indonesian, Bengali, Bosnian/Serbo-Croat, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Persian, and Turkish). The Arabic translation of his book Sufism and Deconstruction was shortlisted (one of 7) for the largest literary prize in existence, the Sheikh Zayed Book Prize. The Korean translation of his book Two Faiths One Banner won the Book of the Month award.

Chandra, Uday
Georgetown University in Qatar

Uday Chandra is an Assistant Professor of Government. He received his B.A. in economics from Grinnell College and his Ph.D. in political science from Yale University in 2013. He received the 2013 Sardar Patel Award for writing the best dissertation in a US university on any aspect of modern South Asia. Before coming to Doha, he held a prestigious research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity in Goettingen, Germany. Uday's research lies at the intersection between critical agrarian studies, political anthropology, postcolonial theory, and South Asian studies He is interested in state-society relations, power and resistance, political violence, agrarian change, rural-urban migration, popular religion, and the philosophy of the social sciences. Uday's work has been published in the Law & Society Review, Social Movement Studies, New Political Science, The Journal of Contemporary Asia, Contemporary South Asia, and the Indian Economic & Social History Review; forthcoming articles will appear in Critical Sociology and Modern Asian Studies. He has co-edited volumes and journal special issues on the ethics of self-making in modern South Asia, subaltern politics and the state in contemporary India, caste relations in colonial and postcolonial eastern India, social movements in rural India today, and religion and politics in Asian borderlands.

Siddiqui, Sohaira
Georgetown University in Qatar

Sohaira Siddiqui is an Assistant Professor of Theology at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar. In 2014, she received her doctorate in Religious Studies from the University of California Santa Barbara, where she wrote her dissertation on the legal and political thought of the eleventh century jurist and theologian Abu Ma'ali al-Juwayni. Her research interests include classical Islamic legal theory (usul ul-fiqh), classical Islamic political thought, the development and intersection of legal thought and political thought from the ninth to eleventh centuries, and secularism and modernity in relation to Islamic law and Muslims in the West. She has previously taught Islam, Islamic Law, Gender and the Modern Muslim World at the University of Saskatchewan
Her first monograph, Knowledge, Law and Politics: An Intellectual Portrait of al-Juwayni, analyzes the thought of al-Juwayni through a close reading of his legal, political and theological treatises. She has published a series of shorter articles on comparative Islamic political thought in the eleventh century, scholarly connections and mechanisms of critique in the medieval period, and modern arguments for legal reform. She has also edited a forthcoming volume entitled Locating the Shari'a: Legal Fluidity in Theory, History and Practice.

Pirbhai, Reza
Georgetown University in Qatar

M. Reza Pirbhai is an Associate Professor, specializing in South Asian and World history. His research is focused on Islam in Modern South Asia. He earned a doctorate in history from the University of Toronto (Canada) in 2004. Before joining the faculty at Georgetown he was Assistant Professor at the University of Manitoba, Canada, and Associate Professor at Louisiana State University, USA. His articles and book chapters on such topics as Islamic law and theology, Hindu nationalism and British travel literature have appeared in the Journal of Asian History, Modern Intellectual History and South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, HAWWA: the Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World, and The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law. He is also the author of the books Reconsidering Islam in a South Asian Context, published by E.J. Brill (2009), and Fatima Jinnah: Mother of the Nation, published by Cambridge University Press (2017).

Sonbol, Amira
Georgetown University in Qatar

Amira Sonbol specializes in the history of modern Egypt, Islamic history and law, women, gender and Islam, and is the author of several books including The New Mamluks: Egyptian Society and Modern Feudalism; Women, the Family and Divorce Laws in Islamic History; The Creation of a Medical Profession in Egypt: 1800-1922; The Memoirs of Abbas Hilmi II: Sovereign of Egypt; Women of the Jordan: Islam, Labor and Law; and Beyond the Exotic: Muslim Women's Histories. Professor Sonbol is Editor-in-Chief of HAWWA: The Journal of Women of the Middle East and the Islamic World, published by E.J. Brill, and Co-Editor of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, a quarterly journal co-published with Selly Oak Colleges (UK). She teaches courses History of Modern Egypt, Women and Law, and Islamic Civilization.