Assistant Professor of Religion, University of Florida
Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons is an Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of Florida whose areas of focus in her teaching, research and writing include Women and Islam, Muslims in America, and African American Muslims. Dr. Simmons’ publications include the following: “Striving for Muslim Women’s Human Rights – Before and Beyond Beijing,” in Windows of Faith: Muslim Women Scholar-Activists in North America (ed. by Gisela Webb, 2000); “Are We Up to The Challenge: The Need for a Radical Re-ordering of the Islamic Discourse on Women,” in Progressive Muslims (ed. by Omid Safi, 2003); “African American Islam as an Expression of Converts’ Religious Faith and Nationalist Dreams and Ambitions,” in Women Embracing Islam: Gender and Conversion in the West (ed. by Karin Neukirk, 2006); “From Muslims in America to American Muslims,” in the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture (Fall 2008). Currently, she is negotiating a book contract for her manuscript, Muslim Feminism: A Call for Reform with NYU Press and is under contract for a book: Islam Does not Equal Fundamentalism with the New Press for the Winter, 2010. Prior to her academic work, Dr. Simmons worked for years in the areas of peace, civil and human rights, working in the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee during the Civil Rights Movement and for twenty-three years as staff at the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker peace, justice, human rights and international development organization. Dr. Simmons received her Ph.D. & M.A. in Islamic Studies from Temple University. Her dissertation research on The Impact of Islamic Law on Women in Jordan was conducted in Jordan while on Fulbright and NMERTA fellowships, 1996-98.