I am an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Puget Sound. I received my Ph.D. from Duke University’s Graduate Program in Religion, with a focus on Islamic Studies. My research interests include global histories of Muslim political, legal, theological, and mystical thought. I approach Islamic studies from within the disciplinary formations of religious studies and political theory. Global and transnational feminisms are also important theoretical touchstones in my work.
I am specifically focused on Muslim conceptions of territoriality and spatial belonging, the history of Islam in the Maghreb, and religion and law. I am currently completing a dissertation entitled, “Islamic Land: Muslim Genealogies of Territorial Sovereignty in Modern Morocco, 1900-1990,” which adds to contemporary scholarship on Islamic states and modern ‘ulama’ (traditionally-trained scholars) by asking how religious elites envisioned and helped to reshape the Moroccan national territory. This work will form the basis of my first monograph, tentatively titled, Islamic Terroir: Religion, Space, and Belonging in Modern Muslim Geopolitical Thought.
My teaching includes introductory and advanced courses on topics related to Islam and Muslims, introduction to Jewish studies, and various courses on the intersection of religion, politics, and law.
I am married to the poet, Ambalila Hemsell.