Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies / St John’s College
I study classical Arabic literature and Islamic studies, focusing on intersections of the literary, the religious, and the political in poetry and prose. Since July 2023, I am the AlBabtain Laudian Professor of Arabic. I am also Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago, where I taught from 2002 till June 2023. Born in Mumbai, I earned a PhD from Harvard, and Tamhidi Magister and BA from Ain Shams, Cairo.
- Classical Arabic literature, including poetry, orations, epistles, aphorisms, narrative, poetics, and philology
- Orations and sayings of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib
- Ethical hadith and orations of the Prophet Muhammad
- Fatimid and Tayyibi Bohra poetry, history, theology, and law
- Literary features and symbolic exegesis of the Quran
- Classical Arabic women’s literature, including orations and poetry
- History, functions, and literary genres of Arabic in India
- Nahj al-Balāghah: The Wisdom and Eloquence of ʿAlī (critical edition and translation, Brill forthcoming).
- Arabic Oration: Art and Function (monograph, Brill 2019, winner of Sheikh Zayed Book Award).
- Light in the Heavens: Sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (critical edition and translation, NYU 2016).
- A Treasury of Virtues: Sayings, Sermons, and Teachings of ʿAli (critical edition and translation, NYU 2013).
- Al-Muʾayyad al-Shīrāzī and Fatimid Daʿwa Poetry: A Case of Commitment in Classical Arabic Literature (monograph, Brill 2005).
Articles: journal articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries available for online viewing/download at: LINK
- Arabic Literature: Classical, Prose and Poetry (FHS Core Paper: Arabic/EMEL Undergraduate Year 3)
- Arabic Literary Texts: Classical, Wisdom Literature (FHS: Core Paper for Subsidiary Arabic for Classics and Islamic Studies Undergraduate Year 1; Further Subject for Arabic/EMEL Undergraduate Year 3)
- Option Papers in Classical Arabic poetry and prose for undergraduates and postgraduates
Presentations available online:
- Early Islamic Oration: Rhetoric, Religion, and Ritual. University of Chicago Divinity School Nuveen Lecture 2022: LINK
- Principles of Fatimid ta’wīl in the Majālis Mu’ayyadiyya of al-Mu’ayyad fī al-Dīn al-Shīrāzī: IIS, London 2022: LINK
- Meet the Scholar: Snapshots of Intellectual Journeys. Georgetown University 2021: LINK
- Haza Ana (هذا أنا). Abu Dhabi Television Arabic Talk Show, season 5:14, 2021: LINK
- Art and Power of Arabic Oration (Khutba): Past and Present. NYU, Abu Dhabi 2021: LINK
- Normative Islam and Denominational Identities: Points of Unity and Difference among Sunni and Shia Muslims. Brigham Young University conference “The Islamic World Today” 2021: LINK
- Al-Markaz: Majallat al-Dirāsāt al-ʿArabiyya journal (Brill, Leiden)
- Qur’anic Studies book series (IIS, London, and Oxford Univ. Press)
- Shii Islam: Texts and Studies book series (Brill, Leiden)
- Taqreeb interfaith harmony conference series (Qutbi Jubilee Scholarship Program, Mumbai)
- Library of Arabic Literature edition-translation book series (NYU, Abu Dhabi)
- John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, New York (2021-20)
- American Council of Learned Societies, New York (2016-17)
- Carnegie Corporation of New York (2008-09)
- Franke Institute for the Humanities, University of Chicago (2006-07)
CV: For further information on publications, conferences, students, and other academic activities, please see my Curriculum Vitae: LINK