My work is principally concerned with the production and transmission of knowledge in, and about, the Islamic tradition. In this way, it bridges the fields of Islamic and European intellectual history and is regionally focused on the Middle East and Africa.
I studied Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, concentrating on Islamic legal traditions both classical and modern, and later History at Columbia University, New York, where my doctoral dissertation explored the Cairene mosque-seminary of al-Azhar and the orders of knowledge in the long eighteenth century. I am currently working on a related research project entitled 'Virtuous Narratives and the Many Lives of Luqmān al-Ḥakīm.' It traces iterations of a polymorphous figure, central to an elusive concept of knowledge in the Islamic tradition (and its interlocutors in the variegated cultures of late Antiquity) across different generic and textual formations surveying connections between wisdom-knowledge, myth-history, virtue and tradition in light of their enduring discursive resonances.
Research Fields and Interests:
Intellectual history, history of ideas; Islamic studies; Middle East and African history and historiography; history and philosophy of religion.
Subfields: Production of knowledge, transmission of learning, liberal arts; Islamic law and jurisprudence; textual criticism and hermeneutics, philology; history of science; race and slavery; archetypal theory; magic and the occult; angelology.