We are delighted to introduce our two guest bloggers for the month of December: Marion Katz, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU, and Ahmed El Shamsy, Associate Professor of Islamic Thought at the University of Chicago.
Marion Holmes Katz is a Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU, where she has been teaching since 2002. She received a BA from Yale and a PhD from the University of Chicago, and has taught at Franklin and Marshall College and Mount Holyoke College. Her research revolves around issues of Islamic law, ethics, gender, and ritual. Her publications include Body of Text: The Emergence of the Sunni Law of Ritual Purity (SUNY Press, 2002), The Birth of the Prophet Muhammad (Routledge, 2007), Prayer in Islamic Thought and Practice (Cambridge, 2013) and Women in the Mosque (Columbia University Press, 2014). Her current book project uses the issue of domestic labor to examine the relationship between pre-modern Islamic law, ethics, and social custom.
Ahmed El Shamsy is Associate Professor of Islamic Thought at the University of Chicago. He studies the intellectual history of Islam, focusing on the evolution of the classical Islamic disciplines and scholarly culture within their broader historical context. His research addresses themes such as orality and literacy, the history of the book, and the theory and practice of Islamic law. El Shamsy’s first book, The Canonization of Islamic Law: A Social and Intellectual History, traces the transformation of Islamic law from a primarily oral tradition to a systematic written discipline in the eighth and ninth centuries. In his second book, Rediscovering the Islamic Classics: How Editors and Print Culture Transformed an Intellectual Tradition, he shows how Arab editors and intellectuals in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries used the newly adopted medium of printing to rescue classical Arabic texts from oblivion and to popularize them as the classics of Islamic thought.