Alwaleed Bin Talal Seminar in Islamic Studies

The Alwaleed Bin Talal Seminar in Islamic Studies brings experts from an array of fields within the field of Islamic studies to Harvard. These seminars are meant to bolster intellectual engagement within the field of Islamic studies more broadly on the Harvard campus, and to allow students to engage with cutting-edge insights and scholarship on Islam and Islamic studies. The seminar series serves as educational opportunity for students, reserchers, and faculty to interact and learn in a seminar-style setting from world class experts on topics ranging from Islamic philosophy, Islamic history, Islamic law, Sufism, Arabic and Qur'anic studies and modern Islamic thought.


Fall 2019 Seminars

Fall 2019

Seminar: Gender and Curriculum in the Islamic Studies Classroom
Thursday, September 26th | 4-5:30pm | William James Hall, 1550 
Kecia Ali, Associate Professor of Religion, Boston University 
Co-sponsors: Studies in Women, Gender and Sexuality 

Seminar: Anglo-Persian Texts and the Colonial Understanding of Religion 
Thursday, October 24th | 4-5:30pm | William James Hall, 1550 
Carl Ernst, William R. Keenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Co-sponsors: The Aga Khan Fund for Iranian Studies 

Seminar: Presentation on Law, Authority and Learning in Imami Shi'ite Islam Project 
Monday, November 25th | 1-2:30pm | Wasserstein Hall 3016
Robert Gleave, Professor of Arabic Studies, University of Exeter 
Co-sponsors: The Law and Religion Lecture Series (The Committee on Study of Religion, The Center for Middle Eastern Studies, The Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish & Israeli Law at Harvard Law school, Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World at Harvard Law School) and Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School

Please contact Farah El-Sharif, Seminar Coordinator, with any questions at


Spring 2019 

Recaps and videos are available through the links below! 

“The Quran in the American Imagination”
Zareena Grewal, Associate Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies
Yale University
February 25, 2019
William James Hall 601

“City and Countryside as Understood in Medieval Arabic-Persian Dictionaries”
Roy Mottahedeh, Professor Emeritus of History
Harvard University
March 28, 2019
3:00-4:30pm (tentative)

"Al-Ghazālī and the Epistemology of Legal Analogy (Qiyās): How Greek Logic Ascertains Islamic Law"
Felicitas Opwis, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies
Georgetown University
Thursday, April 11, 2019

“Race, Religion, and Revolution in Islamic West Africa since 1770”
Rudolph Ware, Associate Professor of History
University of California - Santa Barbara
Thursday, May 2, 2019