I received my PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. My research stands at the intersection of anthropology, history, and Islamic legal studies, and spans the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries in the Levant. Throughout my work, I address how, beginning in the nineteenth century, Islamic tradition has transformed while continuing to challenge and provide alternatives to dominant sensibilities, conceptions, and institutions of the modern world. My book God’s Property: Islam, Charity, and the Modern State examines the contemporary Islamic revival of a centuries-old charitable practice of pious endowment in Beirut to shed new light on the secularization of religion through the lens of its separation from “the economy.” I am currently researching the fate of these endowments in the post-war reconstruction of Beirut since the 1990s, with particular attention to the intersection and friction of these endowments with capitalism. I am also hoping to embark on a new project to examine practices of elderly care among Sunni Muslims in Beirut.
I would be happy to supervise students working on the contemporary Islamic tradition (grounded in ethnography), but also those working on questions of economy, property, charity, modernity, secularism, and law in various traditions.