Hakim Abderrezak is an Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies in the Department of French and Italian. His research focuses on Mediterranean, Maghrebi and Francophone studies. He is the author of Ex-Centric Migrations: Europe and the Maghreb in Mediterranean Cinema, Literature, and Music, which was published by Indiana University Press in 2016. A major part of his work examines clandestine sea crossings in literary and artistic works that have appeared in French, Arabic, Spanish and Italian. His essays and articles have appeared in collected volumes, as well as in journals such as SITES: Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Expressions maghrébines and The Journal of North African Studies. In 2012, he co-edited a special issue of Expressions maghrébines on literary works produced in and about North Africa in languages other than French and Arabic. He has several forthcoming book chapters on the Mediterranean cemetery.
Shir Alon is Assistant Professor of Modern Middle Eastern Cultures and Comparative Literature at the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Her current research examines how modern Arabic and Hebrew prose forms, considered within a comparative framework of parallel (and at times intersecting) revival modernities, were shaped by orientalist historiographies and narratives of modernization. She is interested in modern Arabic and Hebrew literature and film, literary temporalities, theories of world literature, postcolonial theory and decolonization, gender theory, and historiography of the modern Middle East. Shir holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA. Her academic writing on contemporary Arab and Jewish cultures has appeared in boundary 2, Comparative Literature, Jewish Social Studies, and Arabic Studies Journal.
William O. Beeman is Professor of Anthropology. He has conducted research in the Middle East for more than 40 years with special expertise in Iran and the Persian Gulf region. His expertise has been widely sought as advisor to the U.S. State Department, the Department of Defense, the United Nations, and the European Union. He is author or editor of more than 100 scholarly articles, 500 opinion pieces and 14 books, including Language, Status and Power in Iran (Indiana University Press, 1986), and The "Great Satan" vs. the "Mad Mullahs": How the United States and Iran Demonize Each Other (University of Chicago Press, 2008). In addition, he has written extensively on music and performance traditions both in Western and non-Western traditions. His latest book on this topic is Iranian Performance Traditions Mazda Publishers, 2011). He is currently Visiting Scholar at Stanford University where he is completing two books: Understanding Iran, and Music, Emotion and Evolution.
Giancarlo Casale is a specialist in the history of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, and also teaches classes on Muslim-Christian relations, the history of Islam, and World history. His first book, The Ottoman Age of Exploration (Oxford University Press, 2011), was a study of the Ottoman empire's expansion in the Indian Ocean during the sixteenth century. More recently, he has been researching a new project on the history of the Renaissance from the perspective of Ottoman Istanbul. He is also involved in several smaller projects, including a study of ethnographic modes of writing in Ottoman Turkish, the development of Ottoman naval technology, and a geo-historical study of the earthquake of Dubrovnik in 1667. Since 2011, Casale has also served as executive editor of the Journal of Early Modern History.
Joseph R. Farag is Assistant Professor of Modern Arab Studies in the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of modern Arab culture, history, and politics with particular emphasis on the Palestinian context. His book, Politics and Palestinian Literature in Exile: Gender, Aesthetics and Resistance in the Short Story was published by I.B. Tauris in 2017. His writing has appeared in the Journal of Arabic Literature, Middle East Literatures, and The International Journal of Islamic Architecture. He has held a EUME Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Forum Transregionale Studien in affiliation with the Freie Universität Berlin. He holds MA degrees in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and Cultural Analysis and Social Theory from Wilfrid Laurier University and earned his doctorate from Queen Mary University of London.
Aisha Ghani is an anthropologist of religion and law. Her ethnographic work in the United States examines the management and regulation of Islam and Muslim communities in and through U.S.courts. She explores these issues by tracing the formation of "legal Islam,” a term that indexes the juridical processes, political contingencies, and secular sensibilities to which Islam is subject, and through which it is transformed into a legally permissible American religion. She is currently working on two projects. The first project, Questioning Terrorism, is a courtroom ethnography that demonstrates how terrorism trials assist the state in defining and establishing boundaries around American Islam and American secularism. The second project, The Science of Islamophobia, turns to a series of recent U.S. religious discrimination cases in which scientific discourses have been activated to argue that Islamic practices are unsafe, unsanitary, unhygienic, or environmentally corrosive. These legal contestations —around Muslim cemeteries, wudu (ablution), and workplace safety— will be explored as "scientific frontiers" in the evolution of Islamophobia.
Mohsen Goudarzi's research focuses on the intellectual and social aspects of Islam’s emergence, in particular the Qur'an's relationship to Late Antique literature as well as its textual history. He is also interested in various fields of Islamic learning, especially the sciences of exegesis (tafsir), theology (kalam), and law (fiqh). Currently, Goudarzi is working on his first book project, which proposes a new reading of major elements of the qur'anic worldview, including the Qur'an’s conception of scriptural and prophetic history. He has previously co-authored the first complete edition of the ancient Sana'a Qur'an palimpsest, and has forthcoming publications on post-classical Muslim exegesis and the significance of Ishmael in the Qur'an.
Carol Hakim is Associate Professor of Modern Middle Eastern History. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the political, social, economic and intellectual history of the region in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Her research focuses on the Arab lands of the Middle East with a special focus on nationalism, political and socioeconomic development and authoritarianism. She is the author of The Origins of the Lebanese National idea, 1840-1920 (University of California Press, 2013). The book revisits the rise of nationalism in Lebanon and the wider Middle East challenging conventional nationalist accounts that trace the origins of nationalism in a distant legendary past. Her new research project explores the legacy of the cold war in the region and its impact on developments in the Middle East.
Serra Hakyemez, Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Institute for Global Studies, holds a PhD in Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University. Based on the archival and ethnographic fieldwork she has been conducting on the terror trials in Diyarbakır, Turkey since 2008, she examines what the “political” looks like within the space of law where Turkey resumes its war of terror against the Kurdish freedom movement through myriad judicial and penitentiary technologies. Hakyemez’s current book project, The Enemy's Law: A Theater of Mass Trials, approaches legal vulnerability before the courts as generative of a grammar of defense that is at once aspirational, corporal, and collective. Hakyemez’s research has been awarded by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS Mellon), National Science Foundation (NSF), and Wenner-Gren Foundation. Her publications draw on the literature on critical theory, performance studies, and political and legal anthropology to examine the imbrications of law, war, and violence. The courses she offers include Anthropology of the Middle East, Human Rights Beyond States, and The Force of Law. They concentrate on a wide range of topics including political violence, social movements, human rights, national security, and revolutionary politics. (On leave during the 2019-2020 academic year).
Michelle M. Hamilton is the Director for the Center of Medieval Studies and Professor of Spanish. Her scholarship explores the intersection of Arab, Jewish and Christian cultural production in medieval Iberia. She obtained her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 2001, where her advisor was James T. Monroe, who is a scholar of the Arabic literature of al-Andalus. She has lived in Jerusalem, Morocco and Spain. In her recent work, Hamilton is investigating medieval material culture and its use in the construction of modern narratives of the past. She is author of two monographs, Beyond Faith: Belief, Morality and Memory in a Fifteenth-Century Judeo-Iberian Manuscript (Brill, 2015), and Representing Others in Medieval Iberian Literature (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), and several articles on medieval literature and culture. She is also the co-editor/organizer of a volume of essays on Iberia and the Medieval Mediterranean (In and of the Mediterranean; Vanderbilt University Press, 2015), as well as a collection of essays focusing on Al-Andalus (The Study of al-Andalus; Harvard University Press, 2018).
Alexander Jabbari is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. He is a literary historian working at the intersections of literary studies, history, and philology. His current book project examines the emergence of literary history as a genre of writing in Persian and Urdu in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. More broadly, his research interests focus on intellectual and literary exchange between the Middle East and South Asia, literary modernization, nationalism, and sexuality. He received his PhD in Comparative Literature with a designated emphasis in Feminist Studies from the University of California, Irvine.
Bernard M. Levinson holds the Berman Family Chair in Jewish Studies and Hebrew Bible at the University of Minnesota, in the Department of Classical & Near Eastern Studies, with a joint appointment to the Law School. His research focuses on biblical and cuneiform law, textual reinterpretation in the Second Temple period, and the Bible’s relation to Western intellectual history. The interdisciplinary significance of his work has been recognized with appointments to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (1997); the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2007); the National Humanities Center (2010); and the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem (2012), where he co-directed an international research team of eight scholars. He is the author of Deuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation (1997); “The Right Chorale”: Studies in Biblical Law and Interpretation (2008); Legal Revision and Religious Renewal in Ancient Israel (2008); and A More Perfect Torah: At the Intersection of Philology and Hermeneutics in Deuteronomy and the Temple Scroll (2013). He recently co-edited The Formation of the Pentateuch: Bridging the Academic Discourses of Europe, Israel, and North America (Mohr Siebeck 2016); and The Betrayal of the Humanities: The Transformation of the University under National Socialism (under review). He has been elected to membership in the American Academy for Jewish Research and the Biblical Colloquium.
Patricia Lorcin is holder of the Samuel Russell Chair in Humanities and Professor of History. Her research focuses mainly on colonial Algeria and Western imperialism. She is the author of Imperial Identities: Stereotyping Prejudice and Race in Colonial Algeria (I.B. Tauris, 1999) and Historicizing Colonial Nostalgia: European Women’s Narratives of Algeria and Kenya 1900 to the present (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). She has edited or co-edited 5 volumes and 3 special issues, the most recent being French Mediterraneans: Transnational and Imperial Histories (University of Nebraska Press, 2016) and a special issue of Gender & History on global war. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on different aspects of French and Western imperialism. She is at present working on a project tentatively entitled The Cold War, Art, Politics and Transnational Activism during Decolonization. She has taught courses on imperialism, colonialism, post-colonialism and, more recently, violence relative to North Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
Nabil Matar (PhD, University of Cambridge) is Presidential Professor in the President’s Interdisciplinary Initiative on Arts and Humanities, and the Samuel Russell Chair in the Humanities. He teaches in the Departments of English and History and in the Religious Studies Program. He has authored two trilogies: Islam in Britain, 1558-1685 (Cambridge, 1998), Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery (Columbia, 1999), and Britain and Barbary, 1589-1689 (University Press of Florida, 2005); and, secondly, In the Lands of the Christians (Routledge, 2003), Europe through Arab Eyes, 1578-1727 (Columbia, 2009); and An Arab Ambassador in the Mediterranean (Routledge, 2015). His publications also include Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713 with Gerald MacLean (Oxford, 2011); Through the Eyes of the Beholder, co-edited with Judy Hayden (Brill, 2012); Henry Stubbe and the Beginnings of Islam (Columbia, 2013); and British Captives in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, 1563-1760 (Brill, 2014), in addition to dozens of articles, book chapters and encyclopedia entries. Matar is co-executive editor (with Giancarlo Casale) of the Journal of Early Modern History, and has been the recipient of a large number of grants. After his first book came out in 1998, The Sunday Times praised Matar for pioneering a new area of study. In 2004, NYRB reviewed his books as presenting a measured challenge to the arguments of Bernard Lewis. In 2011, he was named Scholar of the College at the University of Minnesota and was PI on an NEH grant entitled “Mutual Spaces: Islam and the West.” In 2012, he received the “Building Bridges” award at the University of Cambridge.
Sonali Pahwa is an ethnographer of stage, street, and digital performance, with a particular interest in youth culture in the Arab world. Her first book, Theaters of Citizenship (Northwestern University Press, forthcoming Spring 2020), examines the cultural politics of identity in Egyptian underground theater, before and after 2011. A generation of Egyptians disillusioned with electoral process used theatrical performance and acting workshops as sites of staging cultural politics. Their embodied debates on gender, media, refugee rights, and self-help were a locus of the underground intellectual scene that endured through Egypt’s political cataclysms. Since 2011, Pahwa has initiated a second project on young Arab women’s digital performances, including Egyptian bloggers, a Saudi beauty vlogger, and an Egyptian Instagram star. Their multiple stages —on personal and corporate media platforms— allowed them to assemble inventive embodiments of young Arab womanhood. Pahwa is interested in how their gendered roles evolve across platforms, and studies them as posthuman performances, built by algorithmic, technological, and bodily processes.
Zozan Pehlivan is a historian of the modern Middle East, the Ottoman Empire, and Ottoman Kurdistan whose research and teaching focus mostly on the history of environments, comparative empires, and pastoral nomads. She received her Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario where her dissertation was awarded an "honorable mention" in 2015-16 dissertation prize competition for its original contribution to the fields of environmental and Middle Eastern historiography. Before joining the University of Minnesota in Fall 2018, she held a two-year fellowship at the Indian Ocean World Centre (IOWC) of McGill University, Montréal, Quebec.
Daniel J. Schroeter is the Amos S. Deinard Memorial Chair in Jewish History and Professor of History. He received a PhD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Manchester, and specializes in the history of Morocco and the Jews of the Islamic and Mediterranean worlds. His books include The Sultan’s Jew: Morocco and the Sephardi World (Stanford University Press, 2002), and Merchants of Essaouira: Urban Society and Imperialism in Southwestern Morocco, 1844-1886 (Cambridge University Press, 1988; Arabic translation won the national Morocco Book Prize in 1997); he is co-editor of Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa (Indiana University Press, 2011). He recently published “Philo-Sephardism, Anti-Semitism and Arab Nationalism: Muslims and Jews in the Spanish Protectorate of Morocco during the Period of the Third Reich,” in Nazism, the Holocaust and the Middle East: Arab and Turkish Responses, ed. Frank Nicosia and Boĝaç Ergene (New York: Berghahn Books, 2018). He was the Shoshana Shier Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Toronto in Fall 2016, and was the 2014-2015 Ina Levine Scholar-in-Residence at the Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He is writing a book on Morocco and the Holocaust, 1940-2018: The Story of King Mohammed V Saving the Jews during World War II.
Sima Shakhsari teaches in the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. Their book manuscript titled Blogging in Times of War: Civil Society, Gender, and Sexuality in Weblogistan (forthcoming 2019, Duke University Press) provides an analysis of Weblogistan as a site of cybergovernmentality where simultaneously national and neoliberal gendered subjectivities are produced through online and offline heteronormative disciplining and normalizing techniques. Shakhsari’s new research examines the way that Iranian transgender refugees are nationalized/denationalized, sexed, gendered, and raced in multiple re-reterritorializations as they transition across national boundaries, online and offline “frontiers,” sexual norms, religious discourses, and geopolitical terrains during the “war on terror.”
Roozbeh Shirazi is an Assistant Professor in the Comparative and International Development Education program in the College of Education and Human Development. Informed by ethnographic inquiry and educational policy analysis, his scholarship focuses on secondary and postsecondary education as arenas of cultural and political struggle in Jordan. His educational research in Jordan has traced, over a ten-year period, how political and economic shifts in Jordan have transformed the meanings attached to citizenship and belonging, gender, and schooling as well. Shirazi’s research also uses educational settings to explore the intersections of diasporic subjectivities, racism, and the politics of belonging of Middle Eastern and Muslim migrant and diaspora communities in the United States and Europe. Currently, he is working on a project with a team of researchers examining civic practices of youth from Muslim immigrant communities in the United States. He is also beginning a multimedia project with educators, school leaders, and recently resettled Syrian and Afghan youth in France. These projects are unified by his commitment to interrupt —and imagine alternatives to— hegemonic and dehumanizing depictions of Iranian, Arab, and Muslim immigrant communities that animate contemporary migration and educational policies, curricular resources, and pedagogical practices. He is interested in how formal and community-organized educational settings and practices may be productive of new diasporic imaginaries and solidarities with other minoritized communities in the United States and Europe.
Shaden M. Tageldin is Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and Director of the African Studies Initiative. She is the author of Disarming Words: Empire and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt (University of California Press, 2011), which was awarded an Honorable Mention for the Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association. Tageldin’s work in comparative literatures in Arabic, English, and French; empire and postcolonial studies; and critical translation theory has appeared in Comparative Literature, Comparative Literature Studies, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of Arabic Literature, Journal of Historical Sociology, Philological Encounters, and PMLA, as well as in numerous edited volumes. Her latest essay is forthcoming (2019) in the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to World Literature. The recipient of the 2011 Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) Essay Prize and Honorable Mentions for the 2017 INCS Richard Stein Essay Prize and the 2018 Nineteenth Century Studies Association Article Prize, Tageldin is a member of the editorial boards of Comparative Literature and Philological Encounters and the editorial advisory board of Journal of Arabic Literature, as well as Senior Editor for Arabic literature on the editorial board of the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. She has held key leadership roles in the Modern Language Association. With the support of a 2016–2017 American Council of Learned Societies Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship at the Kluge Center of the Library of Congress and a 2019 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Tageldin is completing her second book, Toward a Transcontinental Theory of Modern Comparative Literature.
Katrien Vanpee is Director of the Arabic Language Program in the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, where she teaches courses on Arabic poetry, classical and modern Arabic literature, and various levels of intensive Arabic. She holds a PhD in Arabic from Georgetown University, where she focused on Arabic literature and linguistics, and MA degrees from Georgetown and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. Her research interests include classical and modern Arabic poetry, Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (TAFL), curriculum design and program management, nabati poetry, and the cultural heritage of the Arabian Peninsula. With Mark Van Mol and Amal Marogy, she published La Mafarr: Leermethode Arabisch (Peeters, 2007), a three-volume Arabic textbook for Dutch speakers. Her more recent work in the fields of literature and TAFL has appeared in the Journal of Arabic Literature, The Modern Language Journal and Al-‘Arabiyya. A book chapter on proficiency assessment, co-authored with Dan Soneson, appeared in the edited volume Foreign Language Proficiency in Higher Education (Springer) in January 2019. She is currently working on a project on the late Syrian poet and playwright Muhammad al-Maghut.