Faculty Research Grants

The Alwaleed Program offers grants for early-career faculty that are conducting new research in Islamic studies.

2020-21 Awardees

Rosie Bsheer

Rosie Bsheer

Assistant Professor of History, Department of History

Professor Bsheer received funding to support research for her current book project, A Return to Land: Private Property, Corporatization, and Agro-Imperialism in Saudi Arabia, which explores questions of how land rights, corporatization, and the exploitation of nature have produced novel forms of Saudi sovereignty, sociality, and territoriality.

Shady Nasser

Shady Nasser

Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations

Professor Nasser received funding to develop his new website, The Encyclopedia of the Variant Readings of the Qur’an (EvQ), that aims to be the foundation of a critical edition of the Qur’an. While most scholarly critical editions rely on physical manuscripts, EvQ gives priority to the most important defining characteristic of the Qur’an, its orality. EvQ offers a flexible online interface through which users can access variant readings, canonical and non-canonical, for each verse and phrase and their audio recordings.

Teren Sevea

Teren Sevea

Alwaleed Bin Talal Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Harvard Divinity School

Professor Sevea used his funds to convene three workshops on Islam in Southeast Asia. The first, “Islamic Third Worldism” focused on an early 20th century ideological network that was managed in Southeast Asian cities that propagated “Islamic Third Worldism” across the globe. The second, “Materials from the Islamic East: Textual Traditions from the Malay World” focused on texts and print materials from the Malay world and Bay of Bengal. The third, “Tarikh-i Lanka: Histories of Sri Lankan Islam,” aims to describe the distinctive characteristics of Islam in Sri Lanka as a multilingual maritime crossroads of various Muslim communities.

2019 - 20 Awardees

Intisar Rabb

Intisar Rabb

Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law, Harvard Law School 

In December 2019, Professor Intisar Rabb held an international workshop and book launch for a new English translation of one of the earliest works on Islamic law, Malik b. Anas’s al-Muwaṭṭaʾ (Harvard University Press, 2019). A recording of this event can be found at pil.law.harvard.edu/videos. 

Melani Cammett

Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs, Department of Government

Professor Melani Cammett was awarded a grant for a workshop entitled, “Explaining Poverty in the Middle East: The Economics and Politics of Solidarity,” that aims to serve as the incubator for an ambitious comparative project on the role of solidarity-based economic mechanisms in achieving reductions in extreme poverty in the Middle East. 

Justine K. Landau

Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Professor Justine Landau was awarded a grant for a workshop entitled, “Occasion and Circumstance in Premodern Persian Court Poetry” that will bring together a variety of scholars from Europe and the United States whose work offers fresh critical thought on the conditions and circulation of pre-modern Persian court poetry, aiming to unpack the very notion of “poetic occasion” at the core of the courtly patronage system, and open new avenues for research.

Pablo Pérez-Ramos

Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design

Professor Pablo Pérez-Ramos received a grant to conduct research for a project entitled, “The Possible Garden: Arid Landscape Morphologies and Islamic Agronomic Tradition,” where he investigates and documents the agricultural strategies and horticultural tactics from the Islamic agronomic tradition that are currently in use in the cultivation of arid lands in Tunisia and Algeria.

2018-19 Awardees

Shady Nasser

Shady Nasser

Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Faculty of Arts and Sciences 

Professor Nasser plans to hold a workshop on the Reception History of the Qurʾān that will bring together scholars from around the world who are working on the Qurʾān's textual tradition. This workshop will focus on recent scholarship around the standardization of the Qurʾānic text and will also be an opportunity for Professor Nasser to present and discuss his forthcoming book, The Second Canonization of the Qurʾān.

Gareth Doherty

Gareth Doherty

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Master in Landscape Architecture Program, Graduate School of Design

Professor Doherty will use his grant for travel and research in the Arabian Peninsula to investigate the concept of "chromatic metaphor" in Bahrain.  Professor Doherty suspects that green, a color often associated with Islam, is considered to be the color of the Shiʿa and Iran in Bahrain and that the Sunni-controlled nation thus seeks to use red as a "chromatic metaphor" for green. 

Ahmed Ragab

Ahmed Ragab

Richard T. Watson Associate Professor of Religion and Science, Harvard Divinity School, and Associate Professor, Department of the History of science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences 

Professor Ragab will travel and conduct research for his book, The Islam Archive: a Meta-History of Islam in the Colonial and Post-Colonial World, which is currently under agreement with Princeton University Press.  This book will construct a meta-history and investigate how “Islamic history” was produced in the traditional Golden Age/Decline dichotomy that emerged in Orientalist and Colonial discourses and spread to the Islamic world.