B.A., Wesleyan University; M.A., Ph.D., Princeton University
Pendleton Hall East Rm. 248
Ralph Emerson and Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of Political Science
Comparative political theorist, specializes in interactions between Islamic and Western thought.
My scholarship is in the emerging field of comparative political theory with a specific focus on the relationship between Islamic and Western political thought. I am the author of Enemy in the Mirror: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Limits of Modern Rationalism; Journeys to the Other Shore: Muslim and Western Travelers in Search of Knowledge; and writer/editor (with Muhammad Qasim Zaman) of Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought: Texts and Contexts from Al-Banna to Bin Laden. My scholarship has appeared in numerous anthologies, newspapers, and academic journals and I lecture extensively on topics such as jihad and political action, Muslim and Western cosmopolitanism, and travel and translation in European and Muslim traditions. I have previously been awarded fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
I teach political theory, one of the four subfields that comprise the political science curriculum at Wellesley College. My teaching interests include Western political theory, feminist theory, Muslim political thought past and present, and the study of Islam. I teach a range of thematically organized courses in political theory, such as Power and Politics, Feminist Theory, Western and Muslim Theories of Modern Politics and Encountering Islamist Political Thought. In addition, I teach courses in the history of Western political thought including Ancient Political Theory, Modern Political Theory, and Contemporary Political Thought. I was awarded Wellesley College's Pinanski Prize for Excellence in Teaching in 2003. Prior to joining the Wellesley faculty I was the recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of South Carolina.
I am an active member of the American Political Science Association (APSA), the main professional organization for North American political scientists. I am currently a member of the APSA Committee on Professional Ethics, Rights, and Freedoms. Previously, I have been Secretary of the APSA Council (the academic governing body of the Association), chaired the APSA's Leo Strauss Award Committee (which recognizes the best book in political theory published annually), and served on both the Foundations of Political Theory First Book Award Committee and the APSA's Foundations of Political Theory Council. I currently serve on the editorial board of The American Political Science Review, the flagship journal of the APSA, and am a member of the Executive Editorial Committee of Political Theory: An International Journal of Political Philosophy. I am also an advisory editor for the new Cambridge Dictionary of Political Thought, serve as manuscript referee for numerous academic journals, and regularly review prospective books and publications in disciplines ranging from political theory to religious studies, Middle Eastern politics to anthropology.