Dr. Alyssa Gabbay
Alyssa Gabbay is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at UNCG. Dr. Gabbay received her Ph.D. from University of Chicago with a specialization in classical Persian literature and medieval Islamic history. Her research interests include women and gender in Islam, Shi‘ism, Sufism in the medieval Persianate world, and religious pluralism. At UNCG, she teaches Introduction to Islam, Approaches to the Qur’an, Islamic Mysticism, and Religions of Iran, among other courses. She is the author of Islamic Tolerance: Amir Khusraw and Pluralism (Abingdon: Routledge, 2010) and Gender and Succession in Medieval and Early Modern Islam: Bilateral Descent and the Legacy of Fatima (London: I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2020), as well as several other publications. She is currently working on a critical edition and translation of Amir Khusraw’s prefaces (under advance contract with Murty Classical Library of India, Harvard University Press). Dr. Gabbay is the recipient of the Candace Bernard and Robert Glickman Dean’s Professorship in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Foundation for Iranian Studies’ Best Ph.D. Dissertation on a Topic of Iranian Studies award, among other honors.
Dr. Asa Eger
Asa Eger is Associate Professor in the Department of History and Associate Director of the Humanities Network and Consortium (HNAC). He received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago in Islamic Archaeology with a specialization in the Early Islamic period. He has been conducting surveys and excavations in Anatolia and Syria-Palestine (the Levant) from the Byzantine period through the Early and Middle Islamic periods (until the 12th century) since 1996. He focuses on frontiers, landscape archaeology, and environmental history. as well as, issues of gender and sexuality in classical and modern Mediterranean cultures. Dr. Eger teaches Islamic Civilization 600-1200 C.E. (Fall), Islamic Civilization 1200-present (Spring), Islamic Art and Architecture, Byzantine Civilization (337-850 C.E.), Frontiers in the Mediterranean World, Town and Country in Medieval Islamic Society, and has co-taught two courses on the monuments of Istanbul and sites of Cyprus with study abroad to each country incorporated in each. His first book,The Spaces Between the Teeth: A Gazetteer of Towns on the Islamic-Byzantine Frontier was published in 2012 by Ege Yayınları in Istanbul with a second edition in 2014. His second book, The Islamic-Byzantine Frontier: Interaction and Exchange Among Muslim and Christian Communities, was published in 2015 by I. B. Tauris in London. He most recently edited The Archaeology of Medieval Islamic Frontiers: From the Mediterranean to Caspian Seas by University of Colorado Press in 2019. In 2011-2012 he was a Fellow in Hellenic Studies at Princeton University and a Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks (Harvard University) in Byzantine Studies and in 2016-2017 a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies.
Dr. Omar Ali
Omar H. Ali is Professor of Comparative African Diaspora History and Dean of Lloyd International Honors College at UNCG. A graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, he studied ethnography at the School of Oriental and African Studies before receiving his Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. He is the author of four books, including Islam in the Indian Ocean World (Bedford St. Martin’s) and Malik Ambar: Power and Slavery Across the Indian Ocean (Oxford University Press). A recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award and a Chancellor’s Recognition of Contributions to the UNCG Community, Ali is a Road Scholar for the North Carolina Humanities Council, lecturing on “The Many Faces of Islam,” and was its Lead Scholar for the “Muslim Journeys” Summer Institute. A former visiting Fulbright professor of history and anthropology at Universidad Nacional de Colombia and Library Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, Ali has appeared on CNN, NPR, PBS, and Al Jazeera. Ali was named the 2016 Carnegie Foundation North Carolina Professor of the Year.