College of Arts and Sciences

Asma Afsaruddin

Distinguished LecturersPhoto of Asma Afsaruddin

"Islam, Democratic Virtues, and Pluralism"
Asma Afsaruddin

Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Liberal Arts Building, Room 159
7:30 p.m.
Host Department: Philosophy


Asma Afsaruddin received her Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University in 1993 and is associate professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame. She previously taught at Harvard University and has been a visiting scholar at the Centre of Islamic Studies, SOAS, University of London. Her fields of specialization are the religious and political thought of Islam, Qur'an and Hadith studies, Islamic intellectual history, and gender studies.

She is the author of Excellence and Precedence: Medieval Islamic Discourse on Legitimate Leadership (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2002) and of the forthcoming The First Muslims: A Short History ((Oxford: OneWorld Publications, 2007). Among her other publications are two edited volumes and over fifty research articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries on various aspects of Islamic thought. Afsaruddin lectures widely in the U.S. and abroad and consults with U.S. governmental and private agencies on contemporary Islamic movements, inter-faith, and gender issues.

She is currently serving on the editorial boards of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Modern Islam (forthcoming) and the Bulletin of the Middle East Studies Association (Cambridge University Press). Afsaruddin is chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, and serves on the advisory board of Karamah, a human and women's rights organization, and on the advisory committee of the Muslim World Initiative of the United States Institute of Peace, all based in Washington, D.C.

Among her current research projects is a a book length manuscript about competing perspectives on jihad and martyrdom in pre-modern and modern Islamic thought. Her research has won funding from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, among others, and she was named a Carnegie Scholar for 2005 by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.