I am a historian of the Middle East and Islam researching, writing, and publishing on medieval and modern Muslim thought. I study how Muslims imagined the “Islamic world” through at the intersection of religion, science, and empire. I work on how Muslims in the premodern and modern world deployed the concept of homeland to etch the borders of empire, construct collective identity, and imagine the other. My research examines the Muslim imagination of the monstrous through the djinn, the early history of astronomy and its role in empire-building, and Islamic apocalypticism and cosmology. I have an interest in the deep roots of nationalism, the histories of science and rationality, Islamism, gender and sexuality, and the tension between global religious community and local identity. I have additional research and teaching interests in world history, critical theory, the global south, historiography, folklore, and mysticism.
In my teaching, I combine research-based critical pedagogy with digital technologies.