Combining ethnographic, textual, and historic methods
I received my PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. 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 research stands at the intersection of anthropology, history, and Islamic legal studies, and spans the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries in the Levant. My book God’s Property: Islam, Charity, and the Modern State, coming out in winter 2021, 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.