Islam on Dissertation Reviews


Under the stewardship of Matthew Melvin-Koushki, one of our Managing Editors, Islamic Studies has developed into one of the most popular series on Dissertation Reviews. In the fourth season (2013-2014), there will be a great deal of fresh content on Islam around the world — reviews of recently filed dissertations, latest updates on archives and libraries, and “Talking Shop” reflections. Be sure to check out two of our related series as well: Iran and Persian Studies and Ottoman and Turkish Studies. If you wish to participate in Dissertation Reviews, please click here to become a reviewer or to have your dissertation reviewed. You may also contact Matthew Melvin-Koushki.


Forthcoming content

Mushegh Astrayan, “Heresy and Rationalism in Early Islam: The Origins and Evolution of the Mufaddal-Tradition” (Yale University 2012), reviewed by Bella Tendler (Princeton University)

Catherine Bronson, “Imagining the Primal Woman: Islamic Selves of Eve” (University of Chicago 2012), reviewed by Karen Bauer (Institute of Ismaili Studies)

Guy Burak, “The Abu Hanifah of His Time: Islamic Law, Jurisprudential Authority and Empire in the Ottoman Domains (16th-17th Centuries)” (New York University 2012), reviewed by Nur Sobers-Khan (British Library)

Roy Fischel, “Society, Space, and the State in the Deccan Sultanates, 1565-1636” (University of Chicago 2012), reviewed by Jyoti Balachandran (Colgate University)

Scott Girdner, “Reasoning with Revelation: The Significance of the Qur’anic Contextualization of Philosophy in al-Ghazali’s Mishkat al-Anwar (‘The Niche of Lights’)” (Boston University 2010), reviewed by Ken Garden (Tufts University)

Ayesha Irani, “Sacred Biography, Translation, and Conversion: The Nabivamsa of Saiyad Sultan and the Making of Bengali Islam, 1600-Present” (University of Pennsylvania 2011), reviewed by Vikas Rathee (University of Arizona)

Alexander Key, “A Linguistic Frame of Mind: ar-Ragib al-Isfahani and What It Meant to Be Ambiguous” (Harvard University 2012), reviewed by Lara Harb (Dartmouth College)

Jessica Marglin, “In the Courts of the Nations: Jews, Muslims, and Legal Pluralism in Nineteenth-Century Morocco” (Princeton University 2013), reviewed by Alma Heckman (University of California, Los Angeles)

Kristian Petersen, “The Great Transformation: Contours of the Sino-Islamic Intellectual Tradition” (University of Washington 2012), reviewed by Jomo Smith (University of Michigan)

Nur Sobers-Khan, “Slaves without Shackles: Forced Labour and Manumission in the Galata Court Registers, 1560-1572” (University of Cambridge 2013), reviewed by Joshua White (University of Virginia)

Nathan Spannaus, “Islamic Thought and Revivalism in the Russian Empire: An Intellectual Biography of Abu Nasr Qursawi (1776-1812)” (McGill University 2012), reviewed by Rajarshi Ghose (University of Chicago)

And dozens more (and always counting!) …


Meet the editor

Melvin-KoushkiMatthew Melvin-Koushki (Islamic Studies) holds degrees in Islamic Studies from Yale University (PhD, MPhil, MA) and a BA in Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures from the University of Virginia. He recently completed a postdoctoral appointment at the University of Oxford, and following his post as Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton will join the faculty of the University of South Carolina as Assistant Professor of History. His 2012 dissertation, “The Quest for a Universal Science: The Occult Philosophy of Sa’in al-Din Turka Isfahani (1369-1432) and Intellectual Millenarianism in Early Timurid Iran,” won the Middle East Studies Association’s Malcolm H. Kerr award for best dissertation in the humanities. [Website here]



Image: Allan Grey, Interior decor of Shah-i Zinda, Samarkand (1 July 2011). Wikimedia Commons.


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