Middle East Studies

Announcement of Aga Khan Chair Appointment

September 16, 2016

Dear Colleagues, Students, and Friends of Middle East Studies

As you may recall, Middle East Studies conducted a search for a senior scholar to fill the recently endowed Aga Khan chair in Islamic Humanities.  I am thrilled to share with you the news that Professor Shahzad Bashir has formally accepted the offer from Brown University. Currently at Stanford University, he will join us next year as a member of the  Religious Studies Department.

Please join me in welcoming Professor Bashir.  His email is sbashir@stanford.edu

More information on Professor Bashir is pasted below. 

Beshara Doumani
Joukowsky Family Distinguished Professor of Modern Middle East History
Director, Middle East Studies
Brown University


Shahzad Bashir biography

Shahzad Bashir specializes in Islamic Studies with a particular interest in the intellectual and social histories of Iran and Central and South Asia circa fourteenth century CE to the present. His published work is concerned with the study of Sufism and Shi’ism, messianic movements originating in Islamic contexts, representation of corporeality in hagiographic texts and Persian miniature paintings, religious developments during the Timurid and Safavid periods, and modern transformations of Islamic societies.

Bashir is currently working on two major projects. The first is a book entitled Islamic Pasts and Futures: Conceptual Explorations. This is a wide-ranging treatment that critiques the way Islamic history has been conceptualized in modern scholarship and suggests alternatives, with emphasis on the multiplicity of temporal configurations found in Islamic materials. The second project is tentatively entitled Building the Past: Memory, Metaphor, and Reality in Persianate Islamic Societies. This is a cultural history of an Islamic cosmopolitan arena based on assessing materials produced circa 1400-1600 CE that claim to represent the past. Both these projects engage contemporary academic debates regarding religion, language, historiography, and history on the basis of materials of Islamic provenance. 

Bashir's work has been supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Research Institute in Turkey, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Most recently, he was named an inaugural Andrew F. Carnegie Fellow for the academic year 2015-16.