Ahmed El Shamsy
PhD, History and Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, June 2009
Dissertation: “From Tradition to Law: The Origins and Early Development of the Shafiâi School of Law in Ninth-Century Egypt”
Ahmed El Shamsy studies the intellectual history of Islam, focusing on Islamic law and theology, cultures of orality and literacy, and classical Islamic education. He is particularly interested in the changing ways that religious authority has been constructed and interpreted in the Muslim tradition. His first book, The Canonization of Islamic Law: A Social and Intellectual History, will be published by Cambridge University Press. He is now at work on his second book, a study of the reinvention of the Islamic scholarly tradition and its textual canon via the printing press in the early twentieth century. Other ongoing research projects investigate the influence of the Greek sage Galen on Islamic thought and the construction of self-identity among early Muslims. He teaches courses on all aspects of Islamic thought and the classical Muslim disciplines, and he is an associated faculty member at the Divinity School.
“Al-Shafi'i's Written Corpus: A Source-Critical Study,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 132, no. 2 (2012), forthcoming.
“Al-Buwayti's Abridgment of al-Shafi'i's Risala: Edition and Translation,” with Aron Zysow, Islamic Law and Society 19, no. 4 (2012), forthcoming.
“The Wisdom of God’s Law: Two Theories,” forthcoming in a Festschrift volume for Bernard Weiss, ed. Robert Gleave, Kevin Reinhart, and Peter Sluglett (Leiden and Boston: E. J. Brill).
“Rethinking Taqlid in the Early Shafi'i School,” Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 128, No. 1 (2008): 1-24.
“The Social Construction of Orthodoxy,” in The Cambridge Companion to Classical Islamic Theology, ed. Timothy J. Winter (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).
“The First Shafi'i: The Traditionalist Legal Thought of Abu Ya'qub al-Buwayti (d. 231/846),” Islamic Law and Society, Vol. 14, No. 3 (2007): 301-341.
SELECTED FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
American Council of Learned Societies/Mellon Recent Doctoral Recipient Fellowship (2010-2011)
Middle East Studies Association Malcolm H. Kerr Dissertation Award (2009)
American Council of Learned Societies/Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2008-2009)
Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School Visiting Fellowship (2007-2008, 2008-2009)
Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship (2006-2007)