Allison Kanner-Botan is a PhD candidate in the Divinity School and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Her research interests include medieval literature, orality, and storytelling; Islamic philosophy and mysticism; love theory; and gender and sexuality studies. She is continuously fascinated by the question of how new subjects (women, animals, religious others) entered into medieval literature, and what impact the introduction of their subjectivities had on overall literary taste. In her dissertation, she compares Arabic and Persian versions of the legend of Layla and Majnun from the ninth through the twelfth centuries.
Allison holds an MA in Religious Studies from the Divinity School. She has assisted teaching in the College’s undergraduate core as well as in graduate-level courses on theories and methodologies of Religious Studies. She has also taught a comparative course entitled “Place, Memory, and Identity in Persian and Arabic Literature,” at Loyola University Chicago. She currently serves as a coordinator for the race and pedagogy working group for the University of Chicago. In her spare time, she enjoys outdoor adventures and making tasty messes in the kitchen.