Isil Acehan received her Ph.D. in History from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Dr. Acehan's research interests focus on Ottoman and early Muslim immigration to the U.S., immigration policies in the U.S., history of Islam in America, and American board missionaries and schools in the Ottoman Empire. She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the John XXXIII Foundation for Religious Studies in Bologna Italy. Prior to this, she served as Assistant Professor at Ipek University in the department of History in Ankara, Turkey. During her residency with the Center, she will be conducting research on Ottoman Muslim (ethnic Turks, Kurds, and Arabs) immigration to the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Christopher Anzalone received his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies with a focus on Africa and the Middle East from McGill University and he also earned an M.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a B.A. in History and Religious Studies from George Mason University. His research focuses on Islamic political thought, Shi'ite Islam, religion and violence, and the intersection of social movement dynamics with ideology and symbolic power. He previously was a predoctoral and a postdoctoral research fellow with the International Security Program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. While in residence at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies he will be working on his book, Islamizing Rebel Governance: Jihadi Insurgencies and Symbolic Power, an interdisciplinary project examining the strategies and experiences of Islamist insurgent organizations pursuing proto-state governing regimes by setting up civil governance systems through which to interact with local civilian populations. It situates the study of Islamist rebel groups with demonstrated governance and religion and violence.
Christopher B. Taylor
Christopher Taylor received his PhD from Boston University in Anthropology with a focus in economic anthropology, Islamic studies, and political anthropology. He was previously a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Research Innovation Fellow, a graduate fellow of the National Science Foundation (NSF), and a fellow at the Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. He has published on India, the ethics of economic practice, socioeconomic mobility, and Islamic law.