Professor Will Smiley

Will Smiley

Professor Will Smiley

Will Smiley is Assistant Professor in the Humanities Program at the University of New Hampshire. He is a historian of the Middle East, Eurasia, the Ottoman Empire, and international law; previously served as an Assistant Professor of History and Humanities at Reed College; and has held post-doctoral fellowships at Princeton and New York University. His first book, From Slaves to Prisoners of War: The Ottoman Empire, Russia, and International Law (Oxford University Press, 2018), examines the emergence of rules of warfare surrounding captivity and slavery in the context of the centuries-long rivalry between the Ottoman and Russian empires, which defined the future of the Middle East and Eurasia. His other publications include articles in the Law and History Review, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Journal of the History of International Law, Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association, Journal of Ottoman Studies, Turkish Historical Review, and International History Review. He received a BA from Hillsdale College, an MA from the University of Utah, a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and a JD from Yale Law School.

M. Qasim Zaman

Muhammad Qasim Zaman joined is the Robert H. Niehaus ’77 Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Religion at Princeton. He has written on the relation­ship between religious and political institutions in medieval and modern Islam, on social and legal thought in the modern Muslim world, on institutions and traditions of learning in Islam, and on the flow of ideas between South Asia and the Arab Middle East. He is the author of Religion and Politics under the Early Abbasids (1997), The Ulama in Contemporary Islam: Custodians of Change (2002), Ashraf Ali Thanawi: Islam in Modern South Asia(2008), Modern Islamic Thought in a Radical Age: Religious Authority and Internal Criticism (2012), and Islam in Pakistan: A History (2018). With Robert W. Hefner, he is also the co-editor of Schooling Islam: The Culture and Politics of Modern Muslim Education (2007); with Roxanne L. Euben, of Princeton Readings in Islamist Thought(2009); and, as associate editor, with Gerhard Bowering et al., of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought (2013). Among his current projects is a book on South Asia and the wider Muslim world in the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries.

Mathieu Tillier

Mathieu Tillier is Professor of History of Medieval Islam at Sorbonne University. 

Roy Mottahedeh

Roy Parviz Mottahedeh is the Gurney Professor of History, Emeritus, at Harvard University.  He served as the Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University from 1987 to 1990 and founded the Harvard Middle East and Islamic Review as a medium for Harvard students and teachers to publish their work. He was elected a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Council on Foreign Relations and has served as a series editor for several academic publishers. In 1994 he was appointed Gurney Professor of History. Together with Angeliki Laiou he co-edited The Crusades from the Perspective of Byzantium and the Muslim World (2001). His book Lessons in Islamic Jurisprudence, published in 2003, studies the philosophy of Islamic law as taught in Shi’ite seminaries. Professor Mottahedeh received an honorary degree from the University of Lund, Sweden, in 2006. He served as Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard from 2006 to 2011.

Professor Mottahedeh is the author of numerous articles that demonstrate his wide range of interests from the Abbasid period in the eighth century to Islamic revival movements of the present day. One of his most widely distributed articles, which has been translated into many languages, was his critique of Huntington’s theory of the clash of civilizations. Professor Mottahedeh’s other publications consider such diverse topics as the transmission of learning in the Muslim world, the social bonds that connected people in the early Islamic Middle East, the theme of “wonders” in The Thousand and One Nights, the concept of jihad in the early Islamic period, and perceptions of Persepolis among later Muslims.

Hossein Modarressi is the Bayard Dodge Professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. 

Cemal Kafadar

Cemal Kafadar is the Vehbi Koç Professor of Turkish Studies at Harvard University. Prof. Kafadar is interested in the social and cultural history of the Middle East and southeastern Europe in the late medieval/early modern era. He teaches courses on Ottoman history, urban space, travel, popular culture, history and cinema. His latest publications include “How Dark is the History of the Night, How Black the Story of Coffee, How Bitter the Tale of Love: the Changing Measure of Leisure and Pleasure in Early Modern Istanbul” and “Evliya Celebi in Dalmatia: an Ottoman Traveler’s Encounters with the Arts of the Franks.” 

Maribel Fierro

Maribel Fierro is Research Professor in the history of Islam and Islamic Law at the Humanities branch of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid, Spain. She has held fellowships and research positions at the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School, at the Institute for Advanced Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, at the University of Chicago, and at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. She has published works on The Almohad Revolution: Politics and Religion in the Islamic West during the Twelfth-Thirteenth Centuries (Burlington, VT: Variorum, 2012), Abd al-Rahman III: The First Cordoban Caliph (Oneworld, 2005), among dozens of other books, articles, and translations of early Islamic historical and legal works. Fierro received her doctorate degree at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain.

Aslı Bâli

Professor Bâli is Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law, Faculty Director of the UCLA Law Promise Institute for Human Rights, and Director of the UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies. She currently teaches Public International LawInternational Human Rights, a seminar on the Laws of War and a Perspectives seminar on Third World Approaches to International Law.

Bâli is a graduate of Williams College, the University of Cambridge where she was a Herschel Smith Scholar, Yale Law School and Princeton University, where she earned her Ph.D. in Politics. During law school, she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal and the Yale Journal of International Law, and as an articles editor of the Yale Journal of Human Rights & Development. After law school, she worked for the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and as an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where she specialized in international transactions and sovereign representation. Bâli currently serves as co-chair of the Advisory Board for the Middle East Division of Human Rights Watch and as a national board member of the Middle East Studies Association. Immediately prior to her appointment at UCLA, Bâli served as the Irving S. Ribicoff Fellow in Law at the Yale Law School.

Bâli’s principal scholarly interests lie in two areas: public international law—including human rights law and the law of the international security order—and comparative constitutional law, with a focus on the Middle East. Her current research examines questions of constitutional design in religiously-divided societies. She has previously written on the nuclear non-proliferation regime, international legal arguments concerning humanitarian intervention, and the role of judicial independence in constitutional transitions. Bâli’s recent scholarship has appeared in the American Journal of International Law UnboundInternational Journal of Constitutional LawUCLA Law ReviewYale Journal of International LawCornell Journal of International LawVirginia Journal of International LawGeopoliticsStudies in LawPolitics and Society and edited volumes published by Cambridge University Press and Oxford University Press.

Khaled Abou El Fadl

Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl is one of the world’s leading authorities on Islamic law and Islam, and a prominent scholar in the field of human rights.  He is the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Professor in Islamic Law at the UCLA School of Law where he teaches International Human Rights, Islamic Jurisprudence, National Security Law, Law and Terrorism, Islam and Human Rights, Political Asylum and Political Crimes and Legal Systems.  He is also the Chair of the Islamic Studies Interdepartmental Program at UCLA. 

Among his many honors and distinctions, Dr. Abou El Fadl was awarded the University of Oslo Human Rights Award, the Leo and Lisl Eitinger Prize in 2007, and named a Carnegie Scholar in Islamic Law in 2005.  He was previously appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, and also served as a member of the board of directors of Human Rights Watch.  He continues to serve on the advisory board of Middle East Watch (part of Human Rights Watch) and regularly works with human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights (Human Rights First) as an expert in a wide variety of cases involving human rights, terrorism, political asylum, and international and commercial law.  In 2005, he was also listed as one of LawDragon’s Top 500 Lawyers in the Nation.

Naz K. Modirzadeh

Naz K. Modirzadeh is the founding Director of the Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (HLS PILAC). In May 2016, she was appointed as a Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School. In the Spring 2019 term, she will teach International Humanitarian Law/Laws of War, Counterterrorism and International Law, and Public International Law. At HLS PILAC, Modirzadeh is responsible for overall direction of the Program, contributing to its cutting-edge research initiatives and briefing senior decision-makers.