Graduate Students

Below you will find a listing of some of the current students of the Institute of Islamic Studies (IIS).

This list is intended to foster communication and scholarly interaction between Institute students, students of other institutions and also for potential Institute students who desire more information about the IIS from a student perspective.

To contact a particular student, please email them directly or send your request to info.islamics [at] (Students) and it will be forwarded.

Disclaimer: The following is a list of students in our department who have consented in writing to have their names appear below; it is not necessarily a complete list of all of our graduands and/or current students.

A-G | H-O | P-Z


Christopher Anzalone, PhD student
(B.A., History and Religious Studies, George Mason University)
(M.A., Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Indiana University, Bloomington)
Areas of Interest: Islamic Political Thought; Political Islam; Jihadism; Islam in Africa; Shi’ism; Social Movements and Political Violence
Research Topic: My core research focuses on contemporary Islam, Islamic politics, radical and militant movements and religious identity/sectarianism in comparative and global perspective.  I have also published on Shi’ism, Islamic visual cultures, and Islam in Africa and South Asia.
Awards: Pre-doctoral Research Fellowship, International Security Program at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Conferences: Middle East Studies Association; Midwest Political Science Association; Middle East History and Theory (University of Chicago)
Conference Presentations & Invited Lectures:

  • “Al-Shabab and Al-Qa’ida Affiliates and Allies in East Africa,” Al-Qaeda in 2017 workshop at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (Washington, D.C.; March 1, 2017).
  • “Al-Shabaab’s Media Insurgency,” Atlantic Council  (Washington, D.C.; November 10, 2016).
  • “Al-Shabab’s Media: The Evolution and Strategic Role of Al-Shabab’s Narrative Production and Insurgent Media Operations, 2007-2016,” Lecture at the Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University (September 21, 2016).
  • “In the Shadow of the ‘State’: Modern Conflicts and the Mobilizing and Contesting of Sacred History,” Sectarianism, Identity and Conflict in Islamic Contexts: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives Conference, George Mason University (Fairfax, VA; April 15-17, 2016; Invited). 
  • “Shi‘i Responses to Jihadist Narratives in a Turbulent MENA,” Jihadist Narratives in a Turbulent MENA Region conference, U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (London, UK; December 12, 2014). 
  • “Historical Memory, Piety, and Politics: ‘Sectarianization’ of Syria’s Civil War,” Lecture at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies and the Middle East Studies Program, George Mason University (Fairfax, VA; September 9, 2013).
  • “Landscapes of Mahdism: Millenarian Shi’ism in Modern Iraq,” 49th Annual Middle East Studies Association Conference (Denver, CO; November 19, 2012).   
  • “Insurgency, Governance, and Legitimacy in Somalia: A Reassessment of Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen,” 70th Annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference (Chicago, IL; April 12-15, 2012).  
  • “Ideological Aesthetics of Death & Life in the Portrayal of ‘the Martyr’ & Martyrdom in Transnational & Nationalist Islamist Media,” 47th Annual Middle East Studies Association Conference (San Diego, CA; November 18-21, 2010). 

A collection of his articles, other writings, and podcast interviews can be found at</br>
E-mail: christopher.anzalone [at] (Christopher Anzalone)

Hassan Arif, PhD Student
(MA, Islamic Philosophy and Theology, 2016, University of Tehran)
Area(s) of Interest: Islamic Philosophy and Theology; Developments in Post-Classical Epistemology.
Email: hassan.syedzaidi [at] (Hassan Arif)
Supervisor: Robert Wisnovsky

Kausar Bukhari, MA Student 
(BA, Cognitive Science, McGill University, 2015) 
Area of interest: Early history of Islam, focusing on women in the formative period. 
Supervisor: Professor Malek Abisaab

Giovanni Carrera, PhD Student
(BA, Foreign Literatures and Linguistics, University of Lecce, Italy - BA, MA, Arabic Language and Literature, INALCO, Paris)
Area of research: Arabic philosophy and theology; Post-classical Islamic Intellectual history 900-1900; Philosophy of language and semantics in pre-modern intellectual traditions, Logic and Epistemology; Relations between language and metaphysics; Arabic codicology and manuscript tradition.
Research topic: Emergence and development of a new science in Islamic thought: the tradition of ʿilm al-waḍʿ, 1350-1950 AD.
Supervisor: Robert Wisnovsky

Omar Edaibat, PhD Student
(BA, Political Science & Human Rights (Honours), Carleton University; MA, Religious Studies, University of Toronto)
Area(s) of Interest: Islamic Law and Legal Theory / Modern Islamic thought / Early Modern and Contemporary Sufism
Research Topic: A Social and Intellectual History of the Ba 'Alawi Sayyids of the Hadramawt Valley 
Email: omar.edaibat [at] (Omar Edaibat)
Supervisor: Ahmed Fekry Ibrahim 
Co-Supervisor: Rula Abisaab

Osama Eshera, PhD Student
(BS, University of Maryland; MS, University of Virginia)
Area of interest: History and philosophy of mathematics in the Avicennian tradition and post-classical Islamic society.
Email: osama.eshera [at] (Osama Eshera)
Supervisors: F. Jamil Ragep and Robert Wisnovsky

Pauline Froissart, PhD student
(BA, Philosophy, Université Catholique de Louvain, 2009; MA, Philosophy, Université Catholique de Louvain, 2011)
Area of Interest: Islamic Philosophy - Avicennian and Post-Classical Philosophy – Abū’l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī
Research Topic: My research focuses on the psychological issues emerged in Ibn Sīnā’s work and developed later in Post-Classical Philosophy, more particularly  by Abū’l-Barakāt al-Baghdādī.
Email: pauline.froissart [at] (Pauline Froissart)
Supervisor: Robert Wisnovsky

Aqsa Ijaz, PhD student
(BA, English Literature and Philosophy, Government College University, 2010; MPhil, English Literature, 2014, Government College University, Lahore)
Area of Interest: Indo-Persian Literature, Translation, Intellectual History, Genre Theory, Early Modern Literary Traditions.
Research Topic: Indo-Persian Romance and Practices of Translation in 19th Century India.

  • “Narratives of the Local in Mirza Athar Baig’s early novels”. Invited Paper. American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Islamabad: Locally Sourced in Pakistan: Recovering the Local in History Culture and Politics. August, 2015
  • “Parallel Narratives of Identity and Self in Contemporary Pakistani Art and Literature.” Invited Talk. Asia Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • “Between the Postcolonial and Transcultural in Mirza Athar Baig’s Ghulām Bāgh.”  Invited Paper.  Heidelberg University, Germany.  Pakistan: Parallel Narratives of the Nation-State (December,2014).
  • Representation of Muslim Women in the Dutch Media: A Case Study of Netherlands.” University of Erfurt, Germany. Muslims in the West (August 1-15, 2011).

Email: aqsa.ijaz [at] (Aqsa Ijaz)
Supervisor: Pasha M. Khan and Prashant Keshavmurthy

Asif Iftikhar, PhD student
(B Com (Accounting) and MBA (Finance), Punjab University, Lahore; MA (Islamic Studies), McGill University -- thesis on jihad and establishment of Islamic global order).
Area of Interest: Islamic law and philosophy.
Research Topic: 'Ilm al-Wada' and Usul al-Fiqh
Email: Asif Iftikhar
Supervisor: Robert Wisnovsky

Ashutosh Kumar, PhD Student
(BA, University of Delhi; MA, University of Delhi; M.Phil, University of Delhi)
Area of Interest: Early modern South Asia, history of Islam in South Asia, politics and culture in the Mughal Empire.
My research is focused on questions related to the development of the Muslim community and its experience in South Asia. I am exploring issues of Mughal state formation, imperial power and dynastic identity in sixteenth and seventeenth century South Asia.
E-mail: ashutosh.kumar [at] (Ashutosh Kumar)
Supervisor: Prashant Keshavmurthy

Faisal Mairiga, PhD Student
(Diploma, Study of Religions - University of Ghana; B.A Linguistics and Study of Religions - University of Ghana, MLitt. Islamic Studies, University of Aberdeen, Scotland; M.A. Contemporary Islamic Thought and Muslim Societies - Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar.)
Areas of Interest: Islam and politics in West Africa, Boko Haram, and Islamic extremism in the sub-region.
Email: faisal.mairiga [at] (Faisal Mairiga)
Supervisor: Khalid Medani

Muhammad Ahmad Munir, PhD student
(BA (Hons.), Islamic Studies, Arabic, Computer Technology, Sheikh Zayed Islamic Center (SZIC), University of the Punjab, 1997; MA, Islamic Studies, 1998, M.Phil, Islamic Law,2003, SZIC, University of the Punjab,)
Area of Interest: Eclectic fiqh and Muslim family laws in Pakistan / History of Islamic legal theory / Therapeutic jurisprudence.
Research Topic: I am interested in exploring the question of “an eclectic fiqh” in Pakistani Muslim family law that invokes legal theories of all four Sunnī classical schools of thought in a way that is intended to bring conformity between law and the needs of a modern, diverse and cosmopolitan society.
Email: ahmad.munir [at] (Muhammad Ahmad Munir)
Supervisor: Prof. Ahmed F. Ibrahim

Jean-Mathieu Potvin; PhD candidate
Research Topic: Islamic legal thought and practice in the contemporary world

Shirin Radjavi, PhD Student
(BA, Linguistics, McGill University; MA, Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto)
Area of Interest: Anthropology of Contemporary Iran
Email: shirin.radjavi [at] (Shirin Radjavi)
Supervisor: Setrag Manoukian

Sabeena Shaikh, PhD Student
(BS & BA, Public Health and Asian Cultures and Languages, University of Texas at Austin, 2014; MA, South Asian Studies, Columbia University, 2016)
Area of Interest: Urdu literature and history of South Asia
Email: sabeena.shaikh [at] (Sabeena Shaikh)
Supervisor: Professor Mohammad Khan Pasha

Zeliha Uluyurt, MA Student
(BA, Theology Faculty, Uludag University)
Area of interest: Islamic Theology (Kalam)
Supervisor: Prof. Robert Wisnovsky

Hasan Umut, PhD student
(BSc, Industrial Engineering, Bogazici University, 2009; MA, History, Istanbul Bilgi University, 2011)
Area of Interest: History of Science in Islamic Socieites
Email: hasan.umut [at] (Hasan Umut)
Supervisor: F. Jamil Ragep

Fiona Williams, MA Student 
(BA, McGill University)
Area of Interest: Women's Literature
Supervisor: Michelle Hartman

Brian Wright, PhD Student
(BA, University of North Texas; MA, American University in Cairo)
Area of Interest: History of Islamic Law, Legal Change, and Law and Societies
My research focuses on the development and change of Islamic criminal law in the 19th Century comparing the Ottoman, Egyptian, and South Asian contexts
E-mail: brian.wright [at] (Brian Wright)
Supervisor: Ahmed Fekry Ibrahim

Peiyu Yang, PhD student
(BA, Shanghai International Studies University, 2011; MA, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2013)
Area of Interest: Contemporary Arabic Literature; Al-Nahdah
Supervisor: Michelle Hartman

Wadha al Zuair, PhD Student
(BA, Arabic Language, Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud University; MA, Rhetoric and Literary Criticism. Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud University)
Area of Interest: Arabic Literature, Saudi Literature, Feminist Literature, Rhetoric
Email: wadha.alzuair [at] (Wadha al Zuair)
Supervisor: Dr. Michelle Hartman