Jamal J. Elias


Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities

Professor of Religious Studies and South Asia Studies



Jamal J. Elias teaches courses on Islamic thought, culture and history, with a focus on Sufism, Islamic and modernity, as well as visual and material culture in the Middle East and South Asia. A recipient of many grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Social Science Research Council (among others), he has lectured and published broadly on history, religion, literature and material and visual culture in the medieval and modern Islamic world. His two most recent books are Alef is for Allah: Childhood Emotion and Visual Culture in Isamic Societies (Berkeley, 2017); Aisha's Cushion: Religious Art, Perception and Practice in Islam (Cambridge: Harvard University Press (2012); "Ultimate sacrifice: Women and Motherhood in Iranian Visual Culture." In The 'Other' Martyrs: Women and the Poetics of Sexuality, Sacrifice and Death in World Literatures, edited by Alireza Korangy and Leyla Rouhi, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag (forthcoming); "Mevlevi Sufis and the Representation of Emotion in the Arts of the Ottoman World," to appear in Emotion and Subjectivity in the Art and Architecture  of Early Morden Muslim Empires, edited by Kishwar Rizvi, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2017: 185-209.

B.A., Stanford University (1983)
M.A., University of Pennsylvania (1985)
M.A., Yale University (1987)
Ph.D., Yale University (1991)