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Middle East Studies


Islam and the Humanities is a research initiative housed within Middle East Studies at Brown University. It aims at forging deliberate connections between the study of Islam and Muslims and topics engaged by scholars in the humanities in general. This entails bringing philosophical concerns to bear on materials pertaining to Islam as well as encouraging the discussion of Islamic perspectives in contemporary theorizing in the academy. The initiative is multidisciplinary by definition and open to all regions and time periods relevant to the study of Islam.

The initiative sponsors annual conferences that engage topical issues that are of concern to faculty and students at Brown and beyond. It is connected also to an Open Access book series entitled “Islamic Humanities” published by the University of California Press. In the future, the initiative will sponsor and cosponsor occasional events and workshops (both open and closed to the public). Brown faculty and graduate and undergraduate students are invited to affiliate with the initiative to create a lively community committed to discussion.


Shahzad Bashir
Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities
Professor of History and Religious Studies
Department: Religious Studies, History
Areas of interest: Temporality and historiography, corporeality, Sufism, Shi’ism, Iran, Central Asia, South Asia.
Latest book: A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures, published through MIT Press and the Digital Publications Initiative at Brown

The Center for Middle East Studies
Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Brown University
Box 1970
Providence, RI 02912
Phone: +1-401-863-6924