Islamic World Studies (IWS) offers a unique and interdisciplinary study of Muslim majority and minority societies. The program explores the politics, geographies, histories, and cultures of these societies, and provides students with an education that matches the complexity of its subject. This education is drawn from a variety of disciplines, including Finance, Geography, History, History of Art and Architecture, International Studies, Modern Languages, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. The regional focus of these courses includes Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

With nearly 2 billion adherents—approximately 3.5 million of whom are in the United States and 300,000 in Chicago—Islam is the world’s second largest and fastest growing religion. Despite these impressive facts Islam, Islamic societies, and Islamic history remain poorly understood in the United States. The IWS curriculum aims to remedy this. Its students will be able to ask questions that are historically situated, regionally specific, analytically rich, and grounded in urgent contemporary realities. In short, IWS is structured to produce engaged and informed citizens of a world that is affected by Islam in ways big and small and graduates who are better prepared for careers in politics, public policy, diplomacy, social services, medicine, education, finance, development, law, cultural heritage, academia, museums, or the arts.


Lisa Mahoney, PhD
Director, Islamic World Studies
Associate Professor (History of Art and Architecture)
Johns Hopkins University

Affiliated Faculty

Aminah Al-Deen, PhD
Professor Emeritus (Religious Studies)
Temple University

Elena Boeck, PhD
Professor (History of Art and Architecture)
Yale University

Mark DeLancey, PhD
Professor and Department Chair (History of Art and Architecture)
Harvard University

Kaveh Ehsani, PhD
Associate Professor (International Studies)
Leiden University

Laila Farah, PhD
Associate Professor (Women's and Gender Studies)
Southern Illinois University

Ahmed Hashim
Lecturer (Religious Studies)
University of Chicago (PhD candidate)

Scott Hibbard, PhD
Associate Professor and Department Chair (Political Science)
Johns Hopkins University

Khaled Keskh, PhD
Associate Professor (Religious Studies)
University of Chicago

Shiera Malik, PhD
Associate Professor (International Studies)
Trinity College, University of Dublin

Polly Mangerson, PhD
Associate Professor and Associate Chair (Modern Languages)
University of Georgia

Babacar Mbengue, PhD
Instructor (History)
University of Dakar, Senegal

Kalyani Menon, PhD
Associate Professor (Religious Studies)
Syracuse University

Warren Schultz, PhD
Professor (History)
University of Chicago

Shailja Sharma, PhD
Professor and Department Chair (International Studies)
Director (Refugee and Forced Migration Studies)
SUNY Stony Brook