My training is in Comparative Literature and Middle East Studies—at the intersection of cultures, languages, peoples, civilizations, and literatures—with a specific focus on religion and cultural production. My doctorate was in Arabic literature from Columbia University, but my research turned toward the fertile Islamic literary tradition as a Stanford Humanities Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies. My new research uses a literary hermeneutics to approach current Islamic cultural production that extends far beyond the text, into film, audio, video, radio, television, and the digital world. My book Soft Force: Women in Egypt’s Islamic Awakening (published in the Princeton University Press series in Muslim Politics) Soft Force analyzes how women revivalists have contributed to shaping an Islamic public sphere through writings on Islamic law, family, motherhood, sexuality, girls’ education, women’s work, and women’s liberation.
I also served as Editor-in-Chief for JMEWS Volume 17.