Assistant Professor of Religion
Homayra Ziad teaches courses on Islam at the Department of Religion. Her scholarly interests include intellectual and cultural trends in Muslim India, theoretical Sufism, Sufism and language, women’s religious production, and Qur’anic hermeneutics. Her dissertation analyzed the writings of a key Sufi thinker and his interpretive project of moral reform in late Mughal India.
Homayra compares the classroom to a spiritual voyage – a vehicle of transformation for both student and teacher. A teacher is a guide, and her job is to find a structure and style that allows a student's mind to open. At the same time, she values a fresh perspective and urges students to help her find new ways of approaching her subject matter. Her first hope is that students should not leave the classroom thinking that they know all there is to know about Islam. Her second hope is to kindle a spark of intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, and a sense of humility that will help them on their voyage through every religious tradition.
In graduate school, Homayra was both an independent instructor and teaching assistant for courses on Islam, and worked as an Associate at the Chaplain’s Office. She earned her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies and an M.A. in International Relations from Yale University, and her B.A. in economics from Bryn Mawr College.
“Poetry, Music and the Path of Muhammad: How Khvajah Mir Dard brought three worlds together in eighteenth-century Delhi,” Journal of Islamic Studies 21:3 (2010) pp. 345–376 (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
“Grassroots Scriptural Reasoning on Campus,” (co-written with Peter Ochs) Journal of Inter-religious Dialogue Issue 4 (June 2010).
"Women and Islam" in Essays on Islam, ed. Roger Allen and Shawkat Toorawa (Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans, 2011) (forthcoming).
“I transcend myself like a melody: Khwajah Mir Dard and the Art of Sama‘ in Eighteenth-century Delhi,” Muslim World, Special Issue on Qawwali Volume 97 Issue 4 (Hartford: Hartford Seminary, 2007).
“The Nature and Art of Discourse in the Religious Writings of Khwajah Mir Dard,” The Annual of Urdu Studies (Wisconsin: University of Madison, 2005), 145-165.
Encyclopedia Articles “Liberation Theology,” Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, ed. Gerhard Bowering (Princeton University Press, 2010) (in preparation)
“Andalib, Khwaja Muhammad,” Encyclopedia of Islam Third Edition, eds. Gudrun Kramer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, and Everett Rowson (accepted for publication)
“Banu Israil,” “Battle of Badr,” “Silsilah,” The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World, ed. John L. Esposito (Oxford University Press, 2008).
“Mahmud of Ghazna,” Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, Volume 2, ed. Joseph W. Meri, (New York: Routledge, 2006), 458.
“Ghaznavids,” Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, Volume 1, ed. Joseph W. Meri, (New York: Routledge, 2006), 293-294.