Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
The first aspect of my research deals with Persian mystical literature in the classical (1000-1400) period. I am also interested in the interaction and negotiation of religion and politics in the same period, a topic I wrote on in my Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam book. My interest in this topic shapes the way that I trace the mystical commemoration and contestation of Muhammad, which I covered in my Memories of Muhammad volume. My future works on mystical Persian poetry and Rumi are from this aspect of my research.
The second major aspect of my work deals with contemporary issues of Islamic reform, and progressive interpretations of Islam, which I have covered in publications like Progressive Muslims, Voices of Islam: Voices of Change, and Cambridge Companion to American Islam.
Geographically, I am interested in everywhere that Persian has been a major presence in high-culture, meaning Iranian plateau, Central Asia, North India, and Turkey. The more contemporary aspects of my work are global in nature, and emphasize United States and Iran, among other sites.
QFI Summer Workshop for K-12 Teachers awarded by Qatar Foundation International (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2018
ARCUS Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity in Islamic Primary Sources awarded by ARCUS Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2016 to 2017