Scholar of Islam and Member of WISE Shura Council
Hijri Unknown-Present (AH); Common Era Unknown-Present (CE)
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. She is recently co-founder and co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group, and co-founder/co-editor for the Palgrave series Interreligious Studies in Theory and Practice.