Islamic Studies

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The Ph.D. program in Islamic Studies at Duke covers the study of Islam as a religious and intellectual tradition as well as the study of Muslim societies past and present. Rigorous emphasis on the humanities and social sciences requires students to explore the classical Islamic sciences at the same time that they examine the cultural and historical expression of Islamicate civilization in its various historical phases.

Areas of strength include: history (medieval, modern and postmodern; intellectual, cultural and social) and Islamic thought (also medieval, modern and postmodern; legal, philosophical and theological), with special attention to global and comparative history, law and society, Islamic political thought, ethics, and gender studies.

Convener: Mona Hassan

Major Field Requirements

  • Course Work
    • At least 3 advanced courses each semester for 2-3 years.
      • Students entering directly from an undergraduate program ordinarily will complete six semesters of course work
      • Students entering with advanced degrees, such as M.Div. or M.A. in religion ordinarily will complete four semesters of course work
    • All course work will be in doctoral seminars that result in major papers
    • Among the core courses all students are required to take are: Methodology and Pedagogy, Text and Society in Formative and Classical Islam, Hermeneutics, History and the Making of Authority in Islam, Modern Islamic Thought and Muslim Societies, and Theorizing Religion
  • Languages
    • Demonstration by course-work and written exam of proficiency in Arabic as well as one other Near Eastern, African or Asian language appropriate to the student's special interests.
    • Demonstration by written exam of competency in one modern European language, preferably French or German.
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Training
  • Preliminary Examinations
    • 4 written components:
      • General exam in Islamic thought
      • Exam in the dissertation area
      • Exam in the internal minor
      • Exam in the external minor
    • 1 oral exam that takes place after the written exam and reviews all 4 of them
  • Dissertation

Inside Minor Requirements

  • 2 courses

Islamic Studies

Hunter Bandy: "Building a Mountain of Light: Niẓām al-Dīn Gīlānī and Shiʿi Naturalism Between Safavid Iran and the Deccan." 2019. Co-advisors: Ebrahim Moosa and David Morgan

Sam Kigar: "lslamic Land: Muslim Genealogies of Territorial Sovereignty in Modern MoroCco, c. 1900-1990." 2018. Co-advisors: Ebrahim Moosa and David Morgan

Saadia Yacoob: "Hermeneutics of Desire: Ontologies of Gender in Early Hanafi Law." 2016. Co-advisors: Ebrahim Moosa and Leela Prasad

Ali Mian: "Surviving Modernity: Ashraf ' Ali Thanvi (1863-1943) and the Making of Muslim Orthodoxy in Colonial India." 2015. Advisor: Ebrahim Moosa