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Haverford College
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Maris Gillette


On Leave

Maris Gillette is Professor of Anthropology at Haverford College. She has conducted extensive field research in a Chinese Muslim neighborhood in the northwest Chinese city of Xi’an and is the author of Between Mecca and Beijing: Modernization and Consumption among Urban Chinese Muslims. She has also studied history and memory in this community, including how residents of this neighborhood commemorate the large-scale slaughter of Muslims that took place in northwest China in the 1860s and 1870s. Gillette is also the co-director of a digital media and community history project entitled Muslim Voices of Philadelphia that is hosted by Scribe Video Center. Her teaching for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies includes the course Ethnographies of Islam.

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Mark Gould

On Leave

Mark Gould is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Haverford College. He is a social theorist and has taught and researched a wide range of topics, including the logic of religious commitment and its consequences in Islam, Islamic constitutionalism, the role of reason in Christianity and Islam, and about a group of Islamic jurists, including Kemal A. Faruki, who have attempted to reconstruct Islam(ic law). He is writing currently about the Iranian Revolution and about contemporary events in Iran in light of the Revolution. Gould’s teaching for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies includes courses on Iran and Islamic law.

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Alex Kitroeff


Alexander Kitroeff is Associate Professor of History and Academic Director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College. Kitroeff's research revolves around the study of Greek identity in modern Greece, the Eastern Mediterranean and the diaspora. His publications related to the field of Middle Eastern Studies include: The Greeks in Egypt, 1919-1937: Ethnicity & Class (London, 1989); “Greek Images of the Ottomans & Turks” in Kuran-Burcoglu & Miller eds. Representations of the “Others” in the Mediterranean World and their Impact on the Region (Istanbul, 2005); “End of an Era: Smyrna Catastrophe” Odyssey Magazine #24 July/Aug. 1997. He recently served as consultant to the Cultural Foundation of the Bank of Piraeus on a project about the history of cotton in Egypt and is currently historical advisor for two documentary projects, on the destruction of Smyrna in 1922 and the Greco-Turkish exchange of populations of 1923. Kitroeff's teaching for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies includes courses on the history of the Mediterranean and the Ottoman Empire.

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Naomi Koltun-Fromm


Naomi Koltun-Fromm is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at Haverford College. Koltun-Fromm specializes in Late Ancient Jewish history, Jewish and Christian relations, religious polemics, comparative biblical exegesis, rabbinic culture and the Syriac speaking churches. Her present work focuses on the interchanges and parallels both historically and exegetically between Syriac Christianity and rabbinic Judaism in fourth-century Persian Mesopotamia. She has just published a book entitled Hermeneutics of Holiness: Ancient Jewish and Christian Notions of Sexuality and Religious Community which traces the nexus of sexuality and holiness from the biblical texts into the fourth century rabbinic and patristic writings. Her next research project focuses on religious representations of Jerusalem. Koltun-Fromm’s teaching for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies includes courses on religious polemics, Judaism and Christianity in the ancient world, and the city of Jerusalem.

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Barak Mendelsohn


Barak Mendelsohn is Associate Professor of Political Science and Program Coordinator for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at Haverford College. He is the author of Combating Jihadism: American Hegemony and Interstate Cooperation in the War on Terrorism. Mendelson’s research interests include terrorism and counter-terrorism, radical Islamic movements, the politics of the Middle East, and religion and international relations. Mendelson’s teaching for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies includes War on Terrorism, The Evolution of the Jihadi Movement, Conflict and the Middle East, and Introduction to Terrorism Studies.

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Zainab Saleh


Her research interests include: diaspora and exile; media; memory and identification; gender; modernity and sectarianism; conceptions of “the other”. Her dissertation, entitled “Diminishing Returns," was an Anthropological Study of Iraqis in the UK. Saleh earned her B.A. in English Literature and Language from Baghdad University and a B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology at the American University of Beirut. Prior to coming to Haverford, Saleh was a Sultan Postdoctoral Fellow in Arab Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.


Carol Solomon


Carol Solomon is Visiting Associate Professor of Art History at Haverford College. Her research focuses on postcolonial and transcultural identity in contemporary art with a special interest in artists of the Middle East and North African diasporas. Her other scholarly and teaching interest is the art of the Napoleonic Empire. She has curated several exhibitions including The Pain of War (Amherst College, 2004), The Third Space (Amherst College, 2008) and most recently, Mapping Identity (2010) in the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford, with student co-curator Janet Yoon (Haverford, 2010). In 2009, working as a curator in collaboration with the French-Algerian artist Zoulikha Bouabdellah, she was one of the inaugural recipients of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, a competition open to artists from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Her most recent publication is an essay entitled “Walk on the Sky. Pisces,” in Soft Transgression: Zoulikha Bouabdella (Paris, 2010), a volume on the art of Zoulikha Bouabdellah. Her teaching for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies includes the courses “Art and Cultural Identity,” “Picturing War: Goya to Abu Ghraib,” and “Art, Politics, and Society in Nineteenth-Century Europe,” which includes the topics of Orientalism and French colonialism.

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Banu Nilgun Uygun

Banu Nilgun Uygun is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Haverford College. She has done ethnographic research in Trabzon, Turkey on the experiences of migrant women from the former Soviet Union. She has also studied Islam and secularism in modern Turkey, globalization, and gender and sexuality. Her teaching for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies includes the course Modern Turkey.

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Jamel Velji


Jamel Velji received his B.A. in Religion from Haverford College, his M.A. in Islamic Studies from McGill University, and his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He teaches courses in Islam; the comparative study of religion (primarily Judaism, Christianity, and Islam); method and theory in the study of religion; and apocalyptic texts and movements.

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Susanna Wing


Susanna received her B.A in International Relations and French from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, a M.A from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in African Area Studies, and a PhD from UCLA in Political Science. Her book, "Constructing Democracy in Transitioning Societies of Africa" received the 2009 Best Book Award from the African Politics Conference Group. It was published in paperback in 2010 as "Constructing Democracy in Africa: Mali in Transition."

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Travis Zadeh


Travis Zadeh is Associate Professor of Religion at Haverford College. His research focuses on the role of translation in the formative stages of Islamic intellectual history, particularly in the areas of geographical writings on the wonders ('aja'ib) of the world and scriptural hermeneutics concerning the transcendental nature of the Qur’ān. His forthcoming book, Mapping Frontiers across Medieval Islam: Geography, Translation, and the 'Abbasid Empire (I.B. Tauris), explores the intersection of scriptural hermenutics and descriptive geography in the projection of imperial power. Zadeh’s teaching for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies includes Vocabularies of Islam, The Qur’an, Imagining Islam: Icon, Object and Image, Of Monsters and Miracles: Wonder in Islamic Traditions, and Mystical Literatures of Islam.

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Sam Halfont

coming soon

Visiting Instructor

Phone: 610-896-2962 • Office: Founders 25