Menu Close

Denise A. Spellberg

Professor of History and Middle Eastern Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

Denise Spellberg's research in intellectual, religious, and gender history focuses on the medieval Islamic world, from Iran to North Africa, and also on Islam and Muslims in early modern and contemporary Europe and the United States.

Her recent book, "Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders" (Knopf, 2013) has been translated into Indonesian and Arabic, a Turkish version is in the works.

Spellberg's first book," Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of 'Aisha bint Abi Bakr" (Columbia, 1994), will be re-issued with a new introduction by Columbia Press.

She is currently revising a third book, " ‘A’isha and the Islamic Historical Tradition: A Life," a biography of ‘A’isha bint Abi Bakr is about the life of the most controversial wife of the Prophet Muhammad.


  • –present
    Professor of History, University of Texas at Austin


  • 1989 
    Columbia University, PhD

Professional Memberships

  • Middle East Studies Association, American Historical Association


Grand Prize Winner Hamilton Book Award, best book published by faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin in 2013; Dost (Friend) Prize for "Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past: The Legacy of 'A'isha bint Abi Bakr," awarded by the Turkish Women's Cultural Society, Istanbul, Turkey, for "universal contributions" to Islamic Studies, 2009