- Ph.D. Harvard University, 1999.
- Teaching at Chicago since 2002.
Current Research Projects
- “Classical Arabic Oratory: The Rhetoric and Politics of Public Address in the Islamic World.”
- “The Path of Eloquence (Nahj al-balagha): ‘Ali b. Abi Talib’s Orations, Epistles, and Wisdom Sayings, and their Influence on the Development of Arabic Prose.”
- A Treasury of Virtues: Sayings, Sermons, and Teachings of ‘Ali, edition and translation of the Dustur ma‘alim al-hikam compiled by al-Qadi al-Quda'i, with the Mi' at kalimah (One Hundred Proverbs) attributed to al-Jahiz. New York: New York University Press, in the series Library of Arabic Literature, 2013 LINK. See also Qutbuddin’s August 29, 2013 interview with M.L. Qualey about the Treasury of Virtues LINK
- Al-Mu’ayyad al-Shirazi and Fatimid Da’wa Poetry: A Case of Commitment in Classical Arabic Literature, 412 pages, volume 57 in the series Islamic History and Civilization, ed. Wadad Kadi and Rotraud Wielandt, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2005. LINK
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
- "The Sermons of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib: At the Confluence of the Core Islamic Teachings of the Qur'an and the Oral, Nature-Based Cultural Ethos of Seventh Century Arabia," Anuario de Estudios Medievales 42/1 (2012), monograph volume titled La predicación medieval: sermones cristianos, judios e islámicos en el Mediterráneo, ed. Linda G. Jones, pp. 201-228. PDF
- “Fatimid Aspirations of Conquest and Doctrinal Underpinnings in the Poetry of al-Qa’im bi-Amr Allāh, Ibn Hani’ al-Andalusi, Amir Tamim b. al-Mu’izz, and al-Mu’ayyad al-Shirazi,” in Poetry and History: The Value of Poetry in Reconstructing Arab History, ed. Ramzi Baalbaki, Saleh Said Agha, and Tarif Khalidi, American University of Beirut Press, 2011, pp. 195-246. PDF
- "Muhammad," in Islam: A Short Guide to the Faith, eds. Roger Allen and Shawkat Toorawa, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Press, 2011, pp. 28-37.
- "The Da'udi Bohra Tayyibis: Ideology, Literature, Learning and Social Practice," in A Modern History of the Ismailis: Continuity and Change in a Muslim Community, ed. Farhad Daftary, London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2011, pp. 331-54. PDF
- “ Khutba: The Evolution of Early Arabic Oration,” in Classical Arabic Humanities in their Own Terms: Festschrift for Wolfhart Heinrichs on his 65 th Birthday, ed. Beatrice Gruendler, Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2008, pp. 176-273. PDF
- “Arabic in India: A Survey and Classification of its Uses, Compared with Persian,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 127:3 (2007), pp. 315-338. PDF
- “Ali b. Abi Talib,” in Arabic Literary Culture, 500-925, vol. 311 in series Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. eds. Michael Cooperson and Shawkat Toorawa, Thomson Gale, 2005, pp. 68-76. PDF
- "Healing the Soul: Perspectives of Medieval Muslim Writers," Harvard Middle Eastern and Islamic Review 2 (1995), pp. 62-87. PDF
- “Khoṭba,” in Encyclopaedia Iranica, ed. Ehsan Yarshater, online edition, 2013, LINK
- “Bohras,” in Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, ed. Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas and Everett Rowson, Brill online, 2013. PDF
- "Husayn b. ‘Ali (626-80)," in The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, ed. Gerhard Bowering et al, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2012, pp. 227-28.
- "Fatimids" in Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, vol. 2: Africa, ed. Edward Ramsamy, Sage Publications, 2011, pp. 37-40. PDF
- "Arabic Literature," in World History Encyclopedia Era 4: Expanding Regional Civilizations 300-1000, ed. Wilfred Bisson, Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2011, pp. 152-56.
- “India,” in Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, ed. Kees Versteegh, Brill Academic Publishers, vol. 2, 2006, pp. 325-331. PDF
- “Women Poets,” in Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, 2006, ed. Josef Meri, Routledge, vol. 2, pp. 865-867. PDF
- “ Fatima (al-Zahra’) bint Muhammad,” in Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, 2006, ed. Josef Meri, Routledge, vol. 1, pp. 248-250. PDF
- “Zaynab bint Ali,” Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., ed. Lindsay Jones, Macmillan Reference USA, 2005, vol. 14, pp. 9937-9939. PDF
- Classical Arabic poetry (text focused seminars, including: Mutanabbi; Pre-Islamic Poetry; Abbasid Poetry; Classical Poetics; Shi'a Poetry; Introduction to Arabic Poetry)
- Classical Arabic prose (text focused seminars, including: Maqamat; Khutba; Nahj al-Balagha; Abbasid Prose: Ibn al-Muqaffa', Jahiz, Tawhidi, Badi' al-Zaman)
- Classical Arabic Literature in Translation (including: Survey of Arabic Literature; Women in Arabic Literature; Arabic Wisdom Literature; Sufi (Mystical) Literature; Sensuality, Madness & Grace: The Prose & Poetry of Love)
- Advanced Arabic Syntax (focuses on syntax theory and application, and on structure-oriented readings in different genres from the corpus of classical Arabic texts; the course also includes some morphology, prosody, and rhetoric)
Islamic Thought and Literature I (covers the period from ca. 600 to 950, concentrating on the career of the Prophet Muhammad; Qur'an and Hadith; the Caliphate; the development of Islamic legal, theological, philosophical, and mystical discourses; sectarian movements; and Arabic literature)
Harvard University - Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Ph.D. in Arabic Literature with distinction. (1999)
- A.M. in Arabic Literature. (1994)
Ain Shams University - Cairo, Egypt
- Tamhidi Magister in Arabic Language & Literature. (1990)
- License in Arabic Language & Literature (equivalent to 4-year BA degree in the United States; 1988)
Previously Taught at
- Yale University - New Haven, Connecticut (1999-2000)
- The University of Utah - Salt Lake City, Utah (2000-2002)
- The Carnegie Corporation of New York: Carnegie Scholar (2008-09)
- The University of Chicago Franke Institute for the Humanities: Franke Fellow (2006-07)
- “The Experience of Being a Muslim Woman: Spiritual, Social and Intellectual Aspects,” invited talk at the Kennedy Center for International Studies, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (March 2013).
- “The Khutba of Sayyida Zaynab at Yazid's Court in Damascus. An Annotated Reading,” invited talk for a panel titled “Modern Social Movements and the Karbala Paradigm,” Columbia University and Barnard College, New York (February 2013).
- “Al-Madih al-nabawi: Praise-poetry for the Prophet Muhammad: Historical Development, Themes, and Reception,” invited talk for a program titled “Mawlid: An Evening with the Prophet. An artistic celebration of the life of Prophet Muhammad,” University of Chicago (January 2013).
- “Ethics and Aesthetics of Early Islamic Arabia: Translating the Sayings, Sermons, and Teachings of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib” NYU-Abu Dhabi, New York (May 2012).
- “Qur’an Citations in EarlyArabic Oration (khutba): Mnemonic, Liturgical, and Testimonial Functions,”
The Qur'an in the Adab Traditions, Institute of Ismaili Studies, London (April 2012).
- “Poetry as Nexus of History and Ideology: Fatimid Conquests in the Verse of the Imam-Caliph al-Qa’im bi-Amr Allah.” American Oriental Society, Chicago (March, 2011).
- “A Sermon on Piety Attributed to Ali b. Abi Talib: How the Rhythm of the Classical Arabic Oration Tacitly Persuaded,” Middle Eastern Studies Association, San Diego (November, 2010). Also presented at an invited conference on “Aesthetics of the Sublime: Religious Texts and Rhetorical Theory,” Orient Institut Beirut and Heidelberg University, Cairo (December, 2012).
- “The Address of Husayn b. Ali to the Kufan Army in Karbala on the Day of ‘Ashura: Dynamics of Orator-Audience Engagement and Authority Assertion in the Classical Arabic Oration,” American Oriental Society, Saint Louis (March, 2010).
- “The Art of Arabic Oratory: A Classical Sermon on Piety by Imam Ali,” invited outreach conference on “Beauty in the Worlds of Islam,” University of Texas, Austin (April, 2009).
- “Nature Imagery in the Classical Arabic Oration (Khutba): Aesthetics of Orality and Persuasion,” American Oriental Society, Chicago (March, 2008).
- “Al-Mu’ayyad al-Shīrāzī on the Isma’ili ‘Imam of the Age’ and his Authority to Interpret the Qur’an and Shari’a,” invited conference on “The Shaping of Many Islams: Struggle over Authority between God, Texts, and People,” Smith College, Northampton, MA (April, 2008).
- “Fatimid Aspirations for World Hegemony: Political History and Religious Ideology in the Matrix of Poetry,” invited conference on “The Value of Poetry in Reconstructing Arab/Islamic History,” American University of Beirut, Beirut. (January, 2008).
- “Contemplations on this World and the Hereafter in the khutbas of Ali in the Nahj al-balagha,” Middle East Studies Association, Boston (November, 2006).
- "The Early Arabic Khutba (Oration): Terminology, Applications, and Literary Features," American Oriental Society, Seattle. (March, 2006).
- “Arabic in India: A Sacred Language,” American Oriental Society, San Diego. (March 2004). Also presented at a conference funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, titled “Middle-Eastern Islam from Afar,” Bellagio, Italy. (February, 2003).
- “Metaphor as Manifestation: Religious Symbolism in Fatimid-Tayyibi Poetry,” American Oriental Society, Nashville, Tennessee. (April, 2003). Also presented at the University of Chicago’s Franke Institute for the Humanities (May, 2003).
- “Communion with God: Early Attestations of the Munajat Genre in the Poetry of the Fatimid Da’i al-Mu’ayyad," Arabic Colloquium, Yale University. (December 1999).
- "Fatimid Concepts of the Imamate in the Poetry of al-Mu’ayyad fi al-Din al-Shirazi," Islamic Studies Workshop, Harvard University. (December 1998).