Scholars

Co-Directors

Dr. Omar Ali

Omar H. Ali is Professor of Comparative African Diaspora History and Dean of Lloyd International Honors College at UNCG. A graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, he studied ethnography at the School of Oriental and African Studies before receiving his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. He is the author of four books, including Islam in the Indian Ocean World (Bedford St. Martin’s) and Malik Ambar: Power and Slavery Across the Indian Ocean (Oxford University Press). A recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award and a Chancellor’s Recognition of Contributions to the UNCG Community, Ali is a Road Scholar for the North Carolina Humanities Council, lecturing on “The Many Faces of Islam,” and was its Lead Scholar for the “Muslim Journeys” Summer Institute. A former visiting Fulbright professor of history and anthropology at Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Library Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, Ali has appeared on CNN, NPR, PBS, and Al Jazeera. Ali was named the 2016 Carnegie Foundation North Carolina Professor of the Year.

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Dr. Alyssa Gabbay

Alyssa Gabbay is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the UNCG. Dr. Gabbay received her Ph.D. from University of Chicago with a specialization in Persian literature and medieval Islamic history. Her research interests include the status of women in Islam, Sufism in the medieval Persianate world, and religious pluralism and Islam. At UNCG, she teaches Introduction to Islam, The Qur’an, and Women, Autobiography, and Islam. Her book, Islamic Tolerance: Amir Khusraw and Pluralism, was published by Routledge in 2010.  She is currently working on two separate projects: The New Moon of Perfection and Other Prefaces (under advance contract with Murty Classical Library of India, Harvard University Press) and a monograph on bilateral descent in Islam. Dr. Gabbay has received numerous awards, including several Foreign Language and Area Studies Title VI fellowships (Persian and Arabic), an American Institute of Iranian Studies Fellowship for study in Iran; and a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship for study in India. In 2007, she was awarded the Foundation for Iranian Studies’ “Best Ph.D. Dissertation on a Topic of Iranian Studies” award.

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Dr. Asa Eger

Asa Eger is Associate Professor in the Department of History. He received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago in Islamic Archaeology with a specialization in the Early Islamic period. He has been conducting surveys and excavations in Anatolia and Syria-Palestine (the Levant) from the Byzantine period through the Early and Middle Islamic periods (until the 12th century) since 1996. He focuses on frontiers, landscape archaeology, and environmental history. as well as, issues of gender and sexuality in classical and modern Mediterranean cultures. Dr. Eger teaches Islamic Civilization 600-1200 C.E. (Fall), Islamic Civilization 1200-present (Spring), Islamic Archaeology, Byzantine Civilization (337-850 C.E.), Frontiers in the Mediterranean World, Town and Country in Medieval Islamic Society, and From Constantinople to Istanbul. His first book,The Spaces Between the Teeth: A Gazetteer of Towns on the Islamic-Byzantine Frontier was published in 2012 by Ege Yayınları in Istanbul with a second edition coming out 2014. His second book, The Islamic-Byzantine Frontier: Interaction and Exchange Among Muslim and Christian Communities, was published in 2015 by I. B. Tauris in London. In 2011-2012 he was a Fellow in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University and a Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks (Harvard University) in Byzantine Studies.

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Affiliated scholars

Dr. Ali Askerov Peace and Conflict Studies
Dr. Veronica Grossi Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Dr. Brooke Kreitinger Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Dr. Derek Krueger Religious Studies
Dr. Ellen Haskell Religious Studies
Dr. Jeff Jones History
Dr. Cybelle McFadden Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Dr. Tom Matyok Peace and Conflict Studies
Dr. Jerry Pubantz Political Science
Suja Sawafta Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Dr. Cathryne Schmitz Peace and Conflict Studies
Dr. Rohit Singh Religious Studies
Dr. John Sopper Religious Studies
Dr. Joan Titus Music