I’m a scholar of religion, gender, and ethics. I mostly write about the Muslim tradition, with an emphasis on law and biography. I also analyze modern intersections of Muslim and Western discourses about gender and sexuality. My newest book is something of a departure, using popular fiction to discuss gender and ethics. Human in Death explores J.D. Robb's futuristic police procedurals, analyzing their largely compelling model of human flourishing as well as their critical silences and omissions. I’m currently working on Women in Muslim Traditions, geared toward students and general readers, as well as a specialized study of consent, captivity, and concubinage in early Islamic law.
I’ve been a faculty member at Boston University’s Department of Religion since 2006. Before that, I held research and teaching fellowships at Brandeis University and Harvard Divinity School. I teach undergraduates and graduate students.
I earned my MA and PhD in Religion from Duke University. I attended Stanford University as an undergraduate, finishing with a BA in History and honors in Feminist Studies.
For well over a decade, I’ve been active in the American Academy of Religion, where I’ve held a number of service and leadership roles. I’m currently serving as Status Committee Director. I’m a past president of the Society for the Study of Muslim Ethics.
I’m originally from the Boston area. Outside of my professional activities, I read widely—including a lot of genre fiction—and paint colorful abstract acrylics. I’ve been involved with Oxfam America since 2010 and have served on its Leadership Council since 2013. In 2018, I co-founded Believers Bail Out, an initiative to free needy Muslims from pre-trial detention using zakat and to educate about money bail and mass incarceration.
Muslim Scholars, Islamic Studies, and the Gendered Academy
International Institute of Islamic Thought, 2017
Sexual Ethics & Islam
University of Edinburgh, 2017