During my year at Stanford as a postdoctoral fellow, I had the opportunity to both continue my work on the complex relationship between literary aesthetics and religious beliefs in premodern Indo-Persian and Urdu poetry and to teach related courses. At present, as a postdoctoral scholar in the Zukunftsphilologie program of the Forum Transregionale Studien and Freie Universität (Berlin), I continue my research on the literary culture of late Mughal India, focusing on the polemical literature on the competence of Indian poets in the Persian literary language.
Islamic Studies was critical in helping me stay connected to the peoples and places that are the focus of my research as a political scientist, while broadening my personal and professional network within the Stanford community. Now, as I begin the next phase of my career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois, I hope to be able to recreate this rich interdisciplinary experience, for myself as well as for my students.
As Assistant Professor of History and Arab Crossroads Studies at NYU Abu Dhabi, I endeavor to formulate courses and research that bridge various geographic and historical spaces. My teaching of African History and research in West Africa and the Sahara often relies on the history of Islam and its practitioners as part of the foundation of this bridge. Situated intellectually- and now physically - between the histories of Africa and the Middle East, I am grateful for the support that was provided by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies for the vibrant research and scholarly community during my time at Stanford.
Some highlights of my time at Stanford have been Professor Robert Crews’ class on the Islamic Republics and Professor Ali Yaycioglu’s class on early Islamic civilization. My capstone project was a comparative examination of the offshoring and corruption that was involved in the Sochi Olympics in Russia and the nexus of bribery, money laundering, and gold smuggling that led to the December 17th Scandal in Turkey. Professor Burcu Karahan, my Turkish language lecturer, was an excellent source of help for sorting through the complex language of Turkish police files and parliamentary reports. Upon graduation, I look forward to taking a Persian language class at the University of California at Berkeley and plan then to work in the field of consulting and research issues related to post-Soviet Eurasia and the Near East.