Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Core Faculty

Maria M Dakake

Maria M Dakake

Associate Professor

Dr. Dakake researches and publishes on Islamic intellectual history, Quranic studies, Shi`ite and Sufi traditions, and women's spirituality and religious experience. She has just completed work on a major collaborative project to produce the first HarperCollins Study Quran, which comprises a verse-by-verse commentary on the Quranic text (November 2015). This work draws upon classical and modern Quran commentaries, making the rich and varied tradition of Muslim commentary on their own scripture, written almost exclusively in Arabic and Persian, accessible to an English-speaking audience for the first time in such a comprehensive manner. She is also currently working with Daniel Madigan on a co-edited volume, The Routledge Companion to the Qur'an, and is working independently on a monograph on the concept of religion as a universal phenomenon in the Quran and Islamic intellectual tradition.

Bassam S. Haddad

Bassam S. Haddad

Associate Professor

Bassam Haddad is Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and Associate Professor at the Schar School for Policy and Government and a core faculty member in the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics program at George Mason University. He is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience (Stanford University Press, 2011) and Co-Editor of Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of an Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012). Bassam serves as Founding Editor of the Arab Studies Journal, a peer-reviewed research publication, and is co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, About Baghdad, and director of a critically acclaimed film series on Arabs and Terrorism, based on extensive field research/interviews. Bassam is Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine and the Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute, an umbrella for five organizations dealing with knowledge production on the Middle East. He serves on the Board of the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and is Executive Producer of Status Audio Journal.

Sumaiya A. Hamdani

Sumaiya A. Hamdani

Associate Professor

Dr. Hamdani received her B.A. from Georgetown University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University in the field of Islamic history. Her book, Between Revolution and State: the Construction of Fatimid Legitimacy (I.B. Tauris 2006) examines the development of legal and historical literature by the Ismaili Shi’i Fatimid state. Her research has also included articles and reviews in the fields of Shi’i thought, Islamic history, and women in Islam. Her teaching interests include Islamic, Middle East, and world history. Her current research examines the construction of identity in Muslim minority communities in South Asia during the colonial and post-colonial periods. Dr. Hamdani has served on advisory boards of the Middle East Studies Association, the American Institute of Yemeni Studies, and the North American Association of Islamic and Muslim Studies, among others. She also founded and was director of the Islamic Studies program at George Mason University from 2003-2008.

Cortney Hughes Rinker

Cortney Hughes Rinker

Assistant Professor

Cortney Hughes Rinker earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Irvine with emphases in Feminist Studies and Medicine, Science, and Technology Studies. Her teaching and research interests are in medical anthropology, Islam, aging and end-of-life care, public policy, reproduction, Middle East Studies, development, science and technology, and applied anthropology. She conducted long-term research (2005-2009) on reproductive healthcare among working-class women in Rabat, Morocco, which turned into her book Islam, Development, and Urban Women’s Reproductive Practices (Routledge 2013). This research focused on the ways the country’s new development policies impact how childbearing and childrearing practices are promoted to women and how women incorporate these practices into their ideas of citizenship. AnthroWorks, a popular academic blog, selected her dissertation on this subject as one of the Top 40 North American Dissertations in Cultural Anthropology for 2010. Before joining George Mason, Cortney was a postdoctoral fellow at the Arlington Innovation Center for Health Research at Virginia Tech where she worked in conjunction with a healthcare organization in southwest Virginia developing projects to improve end-of-life care and psychiatric services in a rural Appalachian town. She is currently engaged in three research projects. The first examines the role of Islam in end-of-life care and examines how Islamic beliefs about the body, illness, and death intersect with policies, practices, and standards in the United States health care system. She conducts ethnographic research primarily in the Washington, D.C. area. The second project focuses on the experience of pain during terminal illness in Morocco. She has a particular interest in the use of pain medication and how laws and regulations surrounding prescriptions impact people’s bodies and physical suffering. The third study looks at how religious apps for the iPhone and similar devices help people (Jewish, Muslim, and Christian) develop or carry out their faith and how people consider themselves to be religious within the context of neoliberalism and mobility. Cortney has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Medical Anthropology Quarterly, the Arab Studies Journal, Medical Anthropology, the Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, and the Journal of Telemedicine and e-Health. A chapter of hers appears in the edited volume Anthropology of the Middle East and North Africa: Into the New Millennium (Indiana University Press, 2013) and she has been a guest on WVTF Roanoke to discuss end-of-life care. Cortney also co-edited (with Sheena Nahm) and contributed to Applied Anthropology: Unexpected Spaces, Topics, and Methods (Routledge, 2016) and serves as the co-editor of Anthropology & Aging (2017-19), the official publication of the Association for Association for Anthropology, Gerontology, and the Life Course.

Cortney Hughes Rinker will teach ANTH 308 & ANTH 381 in Spring 2017.

Peter Mandaville

Peter Mandaville

Professor of International Affairs

Dr. Peter Mandaville is Professor of International Affairs in the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. From 2015-2016 he served as Senior Adviser in the Secretary of State’s Office of Religion & Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State where he led that office’s work on ISIS and sectarian conflict in the Middle East. He has also been a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Pew Research Center. From 2011-12 he served as a member of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Policy Planning Staff where he helped to shape the U.S. response to the Arab Uprisings. He is the author of the books Islam & Politics (2007) and Transnational Muslim Politics: Reimagining the Umma (2001) as well as many journal articles, book chapters, and op-ed/commentary pieces in outlets such as the International Herald Tribune, The Guardian, The Atlantic and Foreign Policy. He has testified multiple times before the U.S. Congress on topics including political Islam and human rights in the Middle East. His research has been supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Henry Luce Foundation.

Eric McGlinchey

Eric McGlinchey

Associate Professor

Eric McGlinchey is Associate Professor of Politics at the Schar School of Policy and Government. He is the author of Chaos, Violence, Dynasty: Politics and Islam in Central Asia (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011). McGlinchey’s areas of research include U.S. foreign policy in Eurasia and Central Asian politics. McGlinchey received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2003. A list of Dr. McGlinchey’s academic writings as well as his Congressional briefings and policy papers can be found here.

Abdulaziz Sachedina

Abdulaziz Sachedina

IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies

Abdulaziz Sachedina, Ph.D., is Professor and IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.  Dr. Sachedina, who has studied in India, Iraq, Iran, and Canada, obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto.  He has been conducting research and writing in the field of Islamic Law, Ethics, and Theology (Sunni and Shiite) for more than two decades.  In the last ten years he has concentrated on social and political ethics, including Interfaith and Intrafaith Relations, Islamic Biomedical Ethics and Islam and Human Rights.  Dr. Sachedina’s publications include: Islamic Messianism (State University of New York, 1980); Human Rights and the Conflicts of Culture, co-authored (University of South Carolina, 1988) The Just Ruler in Shiite Islam (Oxford University Press, 1988); The Prolegomena to the Qur’an (Oxford University Press, 1998), The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism (Oxford University Press, 2002), Islamic Biomedical Ethics: Theory and Application (Oxford University Press, February 2009),  Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, September 2009), in addition to numerous articles in academic journals.   He is an American citizen born in Tanzania.

Huseyin Yilmaz

Huseyin Yilmaz

Director

Assistant Professor

Huseyin Yilmaz specializes in cultural and intellectual history of the Ottoman Empire. He received his PhD in 2005 from Harvard University in History and Middle Eastern Studies. He formerly taught at the University of South Florida and Stanford University. His previous fellowships include American Research Institute in Turkey and Internationales Forschungszentrum Kulturwissenschaften, Vienna. He published articles and book chapters on such topics as constitutionalism, imperial ideology, historiography, and cultural geography. He is currently working on a book project examining imageries of the caliphate in sixteenth century Ottoman Empire.

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