Wali Ahmadi is an Associate Professor of Near Eastern Studies, where he also serves as the departmental undergraduate advisor. Ahmadi, a native of Kabul, Afghanistan, came to the United States after graduating high school in the early 1980s. He earned a B.A. in political and social sciences from California State University, Hayward (now East Bay) in 1987 and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1997. Ahmadi’s primary areas of interest include classical and modern Persian literature, literary theory and criticism, and cultural history.
Professor Asad Q. Ahmed joins the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Berkeley in the fall of 2012. He specializes in early Islamic social and religious history and post-classical Muslim intellectual history. In the former field, he focuses on the sociopolitical networks of the elite of the Hijaz during the first two centuries of the hijra. By using prosopographical and social network analysis methods on genealogies, biographical dictionaries, and transmission chains, he investigates the significance of formal and informal groups for the development of early Muslim politics, society, and dogma. These same methods have also allowed him to speculate on the metahistorical thrust of his sources and on the nature of kinship ties in early Islam.
The Religious Elite of the Early Islamic Hijaz. P&G, University of Oxford, 2011.
Avicenna's Deliverance: Logic. Oxford University Press, 2011.
In the field of intellectual history, Asad's long term goal is to write a responsible history of the rationalist sciences (ma'qulat) after the so-called Golden Age of Islam. Since such work first and foremost requires detailed and piecemeal studies of texts in logic, theology, philosophy, jurisprudence, etc., much of his output in this area focuses either on case studies of salient technical issues or on the rationalist tradition in pre-modern and early modern Muslim India. In this area of scholarly interest, Asad has published Avicenna's Deliverance: Logic (Oxford University Press, 2011), in addition to a number of articles. Asad's more general training includes classical Arabic poetry and poetics, Graeco-Arabica, and Qur'anic and Hadith studies.
Nezar AlSayyad is a Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Urban History. He served as Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies from 1996 to 2014.
AlSayyad holds a B.S. in Architectural Engineering and Diploma in Town Planning from Cairo University, an M.S. in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in Architectural History from UC Berkeley. He is the recipient of many grants and awards for his research, books, films, and projects. In 2008, AlSayyad was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest honor the University bestows on its faculty. In 1988, AlSayyad co-founded the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE). Today, he serves as president of the association and editor of its highly acclaimed peer-reviewed journal, Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review. Professionally, AlSayyad has an active practice in the Middle East and United States. He is also the Principal in the XXA: Office of Xross-Xultural Architecture, an urban design and planning firm with several award-winning credits.
View AlSayyad's complete CV here.
Benjamin Brinner is a professor of Music. His research interests include music cognition, Javanese and Balinese gamelan and Middle Eastern music. Before coming to UC Berkeley, Brinner taught in Israel at Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He also directed the Workshop for Non-Western Music at the Jerusalem Music Center, where he taught Javanese gamelan, coordinated instruction in Arab, Jewish, and East African music and produced concert series dedicated to exposing the public to a broader range of musical practices than was then generally known in Israel. Returning to Israel on numerous occasions from 1991 to 2003, he conducted research on the emergent field of performance involving Palestinian musicians from the West Bank, as well as Israeli Jews and Arabs.
Articles include “Beyond Ethnic Tinge or Ethnic Fringe: The Emergence of New Israeli/Palestinian Musical Competences & Connections.” Min-Ad: Israeli Studies in Musicology Online. 7:2 (2008-2009); “Beyond Israelis vs. Palestinians or Jews vs. Arabs: The Social Ramifications of Musical Interaction,” Music and Anthropology, 8 (2004); and “Performing Practice II: Non-Western and traditional music,” The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Ed. Stanley Sadie, 2001. Vol. 19: 384-88.
Samera Esmeir is Associate Professor of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley.
Juridical Humanity: A Colonial History. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012.
Munis Faruqui is an Associate Professor of South and Southeast Asian Studies. He teaches courses on Islam and the Muslim experience in South Asia. He is currently working on a monograph exploring state formation, imperial power, and dynastic decline in 16th and 17th century South Asia through the figure of the Mughal Prince. Recent and forthcoming publications include an examination of the creation of the Mughal Empire under Emperor Akbar; an investigation into the founding decades of the princely state of Hyderabad; and a study of the mystic and Mughal prince, Dara Shikoh. His other research interests include Islam’s interaction with non-Muslim religious traditions, prosopographical approaches to studying Mughal history, and the development of Persianate cultural traditions in South Asia. He received his M.Phil from the University of Cambridge in 1992 and his Ph.D. in History from Duke University in 2002.
Keith P. Feldman is Assistant Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies and a core faculty member in the Program in Critical Theory. Trained in literary and cultural studies, his research interests include Theories of Race and Ethnicity; Cultures of the African, Arab, and Jewish Diasporas; Visual Culture Studies; Postcolonial Theory; and Critical Theory. Feldman received his BA in Literature from Brown University in 2000, his MA in Literature from the George Washington University in 2003, and his PhD in Literature from the University of Washington in 2008.
A Shadow over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2015.
Articles include: “Seeing is Believing: Envisioning U.S. Imperial Culture and the Jerusalem Exhibit of 1904,” Studies in American Jewish Literature (forthcoming); “#Notabugsplat: Becoming Human on the Terrain of Visual Culture,” Routledge Companion to Literature and Human Rights, eds. Sophia McClennen and Ali Schultheis Moore (forthcoming); “ ‘One Like Me’: The Refugee as Relational Figure,” Ethnic Literatures and Transnationalism, ed. Aparajita Nanda (Routledge, 2014); “Empire’s Verticality: The Af/Pak Frontier, Visual Culture, and Racialization from Above,” Comparative American Studies 9.4 (Winter 2011): 325-341; “Towards an Afro-Arab Diasporic Culture: The Translational Practices of David Graham Du Bois,” ALIF: Journal of Comparative Poetics 31 (2011): 152-172; “Representing Permanent War: Black Power’s Palestine and the End(s) of Civil Rights,” CR: New Centennial Review 8.2 (Fall 2008): 193-231; “The (Il)legible Arab Body and the Fantasy of National Democracy,” MELUS: Journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 31.4 (Winter 2006): 33-53.
Mia Fuller is an Associate Professor of Italian Studies. She is a cultural anthropologist who has combined fieldwork and archival research in her studies of architecture and city planning in the Italian colonies between 1869 and 1943. Her book on the subject, Moderns Abroad: Architecture, Cities, and Italian Imperialism (Routledge, 2007) won the International Planning History Society Book Prize, 2008. She is also the co-editor (with Ruth Ben-Ghiat) of Italian Colonialism (Palgrave, 2005), and she collaborated with filmmaker Caterina Borelli on the documentary film “Asmara, Eritrea” (2008). As part of her continuing interest in the afterlives of Italian colonialism, she organized a conference on Libyan Historiography hosted by the Center in 2009. Currently, she is preparing a book on the vestiges of Italian colonial rule in East Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, as well as an ethnographic, architectural, and oral-historical study of the 'New Towns' built in fascist Italy. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984 and 1994 respectively.
Articles and book chapters include: “Preservation and Self-Absorption: Italian Colonisation and the Walled City of Tripoli, Libya,” The Journal of North African Studies 5(4)(2000): 121–54; "The Medina and the Islamic City: Colonial Terms and Postcolonial Legacies," Public Affairs Report 43(4)(2002): 4-6; “Oases of Ambiguity: On How Italians Did Not Practice Urban Segregation in Tripoli,” in La Libia tra Mediterraneo e mondo islamico (Atti del convegno di Catania, Facoltà di Scienze Politiche, 1–2 dicembre 2000, Aggiornamenti e approfondimenti), edited by Federico Cresti, Milan: Giuffrè, 2006, 163-81; “Mediterraneanism: French and Italian Architects’ Designs in 1930s North African Cities,” in The City in the Islamic World, edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi, Renata Holod, Attilio Petruccioli, and André Raymond, Leiden: Brill, 2008, 977–92; and “Libya,” in A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Literatures in Continental Europe and Its Empires, edited by Prem Poddar, Rajeev Patke, and Lars Jensen; Edinburgh University Press and Columbia University Press, 2008, 300–304.
Emily Gottreich currently serves as the Interim Chair of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is an Associate Adjunct Professor of History and International and Area Studies, and Chair of the undergraduate major in Middle Eastern Studies. Between 2009-2013 she served as the President of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies.
Prof. Gottreich received a Ph.D. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University in 1999, an M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University in 1992, and a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from UC Berkeley in 1989. Her research focuses on Moroccan Jewish history and Muslim-Jewish relations in broader Arab-Islamic contexts.
Courses taught by Prof. Gottreich include: "Jews and Muslims" (MES 130/HIS 100), "North Africa: History, Culture, Society" (MES 150), "Scope and Methods of Research in MES" (MES 102) and "Senior Thesis in MES" (MES 190/H195).
Morocco: A Jewish History from Pre-Islamic to Post-Colonial Times. London: I.B. Tauris, in progress
The Mellah of Marrakesh: Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007
Jewish Culture and Society in North Africa, co-edited with Daniel Schroeter. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011
Of Messiahs and Sultans: Shabbatai Zevi and Early Modernity in Morocco," in Sites of Jewish Memory: Jews in and from Islamic Lands in Modern Times. London: Routledge, 2014.
Historicizing the Concept of 'Arab Jews' in the Maghrib," Jewish Quarterly Review (98, 4) 2008
Charles Hirschkind is an Associate Professor of Anthropology. His research interests include religious practice, media technologies, and emergent forms of political community in the Middle East and North America. He has held teaching positions at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the University of Toronto, and the New School of Social Research in New York. Hirschkind received his M.A. in Anthropology from Columbia University in 1989 and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1999.
Articles and edited contributions include: “Feminism, the Taliban, and Politics of Counter-Insurgency” (with Saba Mahmood), Anthropological Quarterly Vol. 75, no. 2 (2002): 339-354; “Media and the Quran” in The Encyclopedia of the Quran, J. McAuliffe, ed. Leiden: Brill Press: (2003); and “Hearing Modernity” in Hearing Cultures: Essays on Sound, Listening, and Modernity. V. Erlman, ed. New York: Berg Publishers (2004).
Margaret Larkin is a Professor of Arabic Literature. She works on both classical and modern Arabic literature in literary and colloquial Arabic. Larkin was named the 2010 Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Civilizations at the American University in Cairo. She is currently at work on a book exploring the tenth century poet, Abu’l-Tayyib al-Mutanabbī, which includes a series of studies on the inter-textual engagement with al-Mutanabbī’s poetry by successive generations of Arab poets. Larkin received her M.A. from New York University in 1980 and her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1989.
Anneka Lenssen is an Assistant Professor of Global Modern Art in the History of Art department. A specialist in visual practices and cultural politics in the modern Middle East, her research and teaching interests include modernism and global mass culture, Islamic art (historical and contemporary), theories of representation, and translational practices. Her current book project is a study of avant-garde painting and the making of Syria as a contested territory between 1920 and 1970. It traces emerging ideas about artistic form and social activation within new regimes of political representation, from French Mandate rule after the first war to the mass mobilizations of youth-oriented ideological parties to Cold War cultural diplomacy. She is also a co-editor (with Sarah A. Rogers and Nada Shabout) for a volume of translated art writings tentatively titled Arab Art in the Twentieth Century: Primary Documents, to be published in the MoMA's Primary Documents series in 2017. Before coming to Berkeley, she taught in the visual cultures program at the American University in Cairo and served as its director, 2013-2014. She received her Ph.D. (2014) from M.I.T.'s History, Theory, and Criticism of Art and Architecture program and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture.
Saba Mahmood is an Associate Professor of Social Cultural Anthropology. Her focus includes the anthropology of subject formation, liberalism, and secular modernity; feminist and poststructuralist theory; religion and politics; and Islam, the Middle East, and South Asia. Mahmood is the recipient of the 2005 Victoria Schuck Award from the American Political Science Association. She also received an Honorable Mention for the 2005 Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association. She was awarded a grant in 2010 from the Luce Foundation to study how law and politics are transforming religious freedom. Mahmood received her M.A. in 1994 and Ph.D. in 1998 from Stanford University.
Her articles include: “Feminism, the Taliban, and Politics of Counter-Insurgency” (with Charles Hirschkind), Anthropological Quarterly Vol. 75, no. 2 (2002): 339-354; “Ethical Formation and Politics of Individual Autonomy in Contemporary Egypt,” Social Research vol. 70, no. 3 (2003): 1501-1530; “Secularism, Hermeneutics, and Empire: The Politics of Islamic Reformation,” Public Culture, vol. 18, no. 2, Spring 2006; “Retooling Feminism and Democracy in the Age of Empire,” in Women Studies on the Edge, edited by Joan W. Scott, Elizabeth Weed, Ellen Rooney, Duke University Press, 2007.
Maria Mavroudi is a Professor of History and Classics. She is a Byzantinist, whose research focuses on the relations between Byzantium and the Arabs, especially bilingualism in Greek and Arabic in the Middle Ages and its implications for cultural exchange between the Byzantine and Islamic world, including the development of Byzantine and Islamic science. Mavroudi earned her B.A. in Philology from the University of Thessaloniki and her Ph.D. in Byzantine Studies at Harvard University. She is one of the world’s foremost scholars in the field of Byzantine Greek History, especially in the domain of Greek-Arabic cultural, literary, and intellectual interaction. She is also a leading figure in the area of ancient science and occult practices, and cross-cultural exchange within these domains. Her interests include Byzantium and the Arabs; bilinguals in the Middle Ages; Byzantine and Islamic science; the recycling of the ancient tradition between Byzantium and Islam; Byzantine intellectual history; survival and transformation of Byzantine culture after 1453. Mavroudi is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (2004-2009).
Minoo Moallem is a Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies. She chaired the Gender and Women’s Studies department at the University of California at Berkeley from 2008–2010 and the Women’s Studies department at San Francisco State University from 2001–2006. Moallem has recently ventured in digital media. Her online project, “Nation-on-the Move”(design by Eric Loyer), was recently published in Vectors. Journal of Culture and Technology in a Dynamic Vernacular (Special issue on Difference, Fall 2007). She is currently working on a book exploring the commodification of the nation through consumptive production and circulation commodities, such as the Persian carpet. She is also working on a research project on gender, media and religion and another project on Iran-Iraq war movies and masculinity. She received her M.A. in 1982 from the University of Tehran and her Ph.D. in 1990 from the University of Montreal.
Laura Nader is a Professor of Social Cultural Anthropology. Her current work focuses on how central dogmas are made and how they work in law, energy science, and anthropology. Nader’s areas of interest include comparative ethnography of law and dispute resolution, conflict, comparative family organization, the anthropology of professional mindsets and ethnology of the Middle East, Mexico, Latin America, and the contemporary United States. Her films To Make the Balance and Little Injustices are widely disseminated. Nader is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in 1961 from Radcliffe College.
Nader’s recent articles and edited contributions include a review of “An Invitation to Laughter: A Lebanese Anthropologist in the Arab World” by Fuad I. Khouri. American Anthropologist June 2008; “What the Rest Think of the West-Legal Dimensions.” Global Jurist. Berkeley Electronic Press. Hastings International and Comparative Law Review, vol. 32. no. 2, pp 765-77. Summer 2009; “The Words We Use: Justice, Human Rights and the Sense of Injustices.” In Justice in the Mirror, eds. K. Clarke and M. Goodale. Also to be published in Annuario di Anthropologia, Metemi Publishers 2008. Ugo Fabietti, editor. 2009; “Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Contexts” (with Alison Dundes Renteln). In Marie-Claire Foblets et al. (eds). The Response of State Law to the Expression of Cultural Diversity. Bruselles: Francqui foundation. 2009; and “Law and the Frontiers of Illegalities,” In Law, Power, and Control, A. Griffiths, K and F. von Benda-Beckmann, eds. New York: Berghahn Press. 2009
Stefania Pandolfo is a Professor of Social Cultural Anthropology. Her research involves the study of theories and forms of subjectivity and their contemporary predicaments in the Middle Eastern and Muslim world. Pandolfo’s writing, teaching and research cover the following themes: narrative, trauma, psychoanalysis and the unconscious, memory, historicity and the hermeneutics of disjuncture, language and poetics, experimental ethnographic writing, anthropology and literature, dreaming and the anthropological study of the imagination, intercultural approaches to different ontologies and systems of knowledge, modernity, colonialism and post-colonialism, madness and mental illness. Her areas of interest include Morocco and the Maghreb, the Middle East, Maghribi migration to Europe, Islam, and Sufism. She received her M.A. in 1989 and her Ph.D. in 1991 from Princeton University.
Benjamin Porter is an Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology in the Near Eastern Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley, and a curator of Near Eastern archaeology at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology. Porter co-directs the Dhiban Excavation and Development Project in Jordan, an archaeological field project investigating how agricultural communities dominated by imperial systems use technologies to organize agricultural and craft production in semi-arid, resource-scarce environments. He also co-directs the Dilmun Bioarchaeology Project with Sonoma State University’s Alexis Boutin. This project is researching and publishing skeletal evidence and artifacts from Peter B. Cornwall’s 1941 expedition to Bahrain and Eastern Saudi Arabia. Porter received his PhD in 2007 from the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Anthropology.
Cihan Tugal is a Professor of Sociology. His research explores how the interaction between religion and politics shapes everyday life, urban space, class relations, and national identity. Tugal also studies Islamic mobilization in Turkey, Iran and Egypt to understand why similar movements have not resulted in a comparable Islamic market consensus in these countries. He argues that Islamic politics has interacted with civil society and the state in different ways in these three cases, leading to the victory of neo-liberalized Islam in Turkey, its defeat in Iran, and a stalemate in Egypt. Tugal has also written extensively in Turkish.
Articles include “Islamism in Turkey: Beyond Instrument and Meaning,” Economy of Society 31(1): 85-111; 2002; “State and Society in the Study of Islam: Discontents of a Dichotomy,” New Perspectives on Turkey 31. (Review Essay), 2005; “The Appeal of Islamic Politics: Ritual and Dialogue in a Poor District of Turkey,” The Sociological Quarterly, 2006; and “Memories of Violence, Memoirs of Nation: 1915 and the Construction of Armenian Identity,” in Esra Ozyurek (ed.) Politics of Public Memory, Syracuse University Press, 2007. His research was also published in Economy and Society, Theory and Society, Sociological Theory, the New Left Review, the Sociological Quarterly, and edited volumes.