MemberElizabeth Lisot-Nelson

…f Federico Barocci,” Chair: Dr. Deborah Stott       
M.A. in Fine Arts / Art History – 1996
University of Colorado, Boulder
Specialization: Italian Renaissance & Baroque Art History, Minor: Islamic Art
Thesis: “Light, Color and Mystical Vision: The Art of Federico Barocci,”
Chair: Dr. Claire Farago.
CU Graduate Summer Study Abroad Program in Rome & Florence, Italy

Dr. Lisot-Nelson specializes in Renaissance and Baroque art history, and also teaches the history of women in art, ancient Greek, Roman, early Christian, Medieval, Latin  American Colonial and Islamic art. Her research interests include aesthetics and post-migration theory, including images representing marginalized populations such as illegitimate children, Ebrei italiani, refugees, slaves and servants.   Prior to coming to UTT in 2013, Dr. Lisot-Nelson was a visiting assistant professor with the University of Dallas at their Rome campus. Her doctoral dissertation on Federico Barocci was under the direction of Deborah Stott at University of Texas, Dallas, and her master’s thesis was chaired by Claire Farago at University of Colorado, Boulder.

MemberKeelan Overton

…PhD, Islamic Art History, University of California, Los Angeles, 2011

MA, History of Art, Williams College, 2004…
…sign History, and Material Culture 19, 1 (Spring-Summer 2012): 61-87.
“A History of Ottoman Art History through the Private Database of Edwin Binney, 3rd.” Journal of Art Historiography 6, special volume on “Islamic Art Historiography,” eds. Moya Carey and Margaret Graves (June 2012): 1-19.

Essays in edited volumes

“Introduction to Iranian Mobilities and Persianate Mediations in the Deccan.” In Iran and the De…

Keelan Overton is a historian of art and architecture specializing in the eastern Islamic world from Greater Iran to South Asia. She received her PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (2011) and her MA from Williams College (2004). She approaches visual culture broadly—urbanism, architecture and the environment, surface revetment, portable objects, arts of the book, the craft industries, documentary photography and film—and ideally from an interdisciplinary lens.   Since summer 2015, Overton has been an Independent Scholar based in Santa Barbara, California, where she divides her time between research, writing, teaching, and travel. She has taught at Occidental College, UCLA, UCSB, and Pomona College, and her recent travels as a researcher and tour lecturer have taken her to the Deccan (southern India), Iran, Morocco, Scotland, Armenia, and Georgia. In 2019-20, she was a Visiting Scholar in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and in the summers of 2016 and 2018, she held research residencies at the University of St Andrews.   Overton previously served as the Curator of Islamic Art at the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (Shangri La) in Honolulu (2011-12) and as an Associate Curator in the Art of the Middle East department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2014-15). Her exposure to the Shangri La collection in 2003 inspired a longstanding interest in the reviving, collecting, and recasting of Iran’s cultural heritage. This research has been published in the journal West 86th (Bard/Chicago), the edited volume Arthur Upham Pope and a New Survey of Persian Art (Brill), and the exhibition catalog Doris Duke’s Shangri La (Rizzoli).   Overton’s recent edited volume Iran and the Deccan: Persianate Art, Culture, and Talent in Circulation, 1400-1700 (Indiana University Press, June 2020) features 14 essays by an interdisciplinary cast of 18 scholars specializing in history, art and architectural history, literatures and languages, and book arts and conservation.   Iran and the Deccan emerged out of Overton’s 2011 UCLA dissertation on book arts, painting, and collecting at the Bijapur court of Ibrahim ‘Adil Shah II (r. 1580-1627). Her dissertation research has been published as a series of journal articles (Muqarnas) and essays in edited volumes, including The Visual World of Muslim India (ed. Parodi, I.B. Tauris), Indo-Muslim Cultures in Transition (eds. Patel & Leonard, Brill), and The Empires of the Near East (ed. Khafipour, Columbia). Most recently, chapter 10 of Iran and the Deccan is the culmination of her multi-year study, with book conservator Kristine Rose-Beers, of a Timurid-Safavid Qur’an manuscript once preserved in Ibrahim II’s Bijapur library and today in the University of St Andrews.   Overton’s current book project—Iran Unglazed: A Local-Global History of Persian Tilework—explores Persian tilework as a potent shapeshifting commodity between the field, museum, photograph, market, and imagination. She has been named a 2020-21 Getty Scholar (theme “The Fragment”) and hopes to be in residence at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles at some point in 2021 (timing tbd, per covid-19). Her Getty project is titled “Persian Architecture Fragmented: The Biographies, Trails, and Economies of Iran’s Tiled Surfaces, c. 1820–2020.” A component of this research has recently been published as a journal article: “The Emamzadeh Yahya at Varamin: A Present History of a Living Shrine, 2018–20” (with Kimia Maleki).   Current teaching (spring 2021): Pomona College, Department of Art History, ARHI 120, Introduction to Islamic Art and Architecture

MemberHussein Rashid

Hussein Rashid, PhD, is founder of islamicate, L3C, a consultancy focusing on religious literacy and cultural competency. He works with a variety of NGOs, foundations, non-profits, and governmental agencies for content expertise on religion broadly, with a specialization on Islam. His work includes exploring theology, the interaction between culture and religion, and the role of the arts in conflict mediation. Hussein has a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University, a Masters in Theological Studies focusing on Islam, and an MA and PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, focusing on South and Central Asia from Harvard University. He is a contingent faculty member and has taught at Hofstra University, Fordham University, Iona College, Virginia Theological Seminary, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, SUNY Old Westbury, Barnard College, Columbia University, and The New School. His research focuses on Muslims and American popular culture. He writes and speaks about music, comics, movies, and the blogistan. He also has a background in South and Central Asian studies, with a deep interest in Shi’i justice theology. He has published academic works on Muslims and American Popular Culture, Malcolm X, qawwali, intra-Muslim racism, teaching Shi’ism, Islam and comics, free speech, Sikhs and Islamophobia, Muslims in film, and American Muslim spaces of worship. His current project focuses on the role of technology in teaching religion. He is a fellow with The Ariane de Rothschild Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship, the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, and the Truman National Security Project. He was a fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, and a term member on the Council of Foreign Relations. He is on the advisory boards of The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (Building Bridges Program), Sacred Matters, Anikaya Dance Theater, the Tanenbaum Center, and Al-Rawiya. He served on the advisory board of Project Interfaith, Everplans, Intersections International, Deily, and the British Council’s Our Shared Future Program. He is currently working with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan as a content expert. He was on the editorial boards of Religion Dispatches, The Islamic Monthly, and Cyber Orient, in addition to being an emeritus scholar at State of Formation. Hussein appears on mainstream media, including CNN, Channel 4 (UK),  Al-Jazeera America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and has published at On Faith (Washington Post), Belief Blog (CNN), On Being (NPR), The Revealer, and as a contributor to Religion News Service.

MemberBakir S. Mohammad, FRSA

My main career interests revolve around education, languages, translation, and particularly classical Islamic theology. I completed my PhD on the impact of a modern-day Islamic figure and his efforts in countering extremism at the University of Glasgow in 2020. I taught religion at Deerfield Academy (MA, U.S), King’s Academy (Jordan) and I am now a Research Associate & Translator for the GlobalLit project at the University of Birmingham. I am also a Board Member of a Utah-based (US) counter-extremism organisation as well as advising and consulting on multiple UK examination boards (theology & language).

MemberMohd Muzhafar Idrus

Mohd Muzhafar Idrus (PhD) has taught English at all levels at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia and received 2014 Outstanding E-Learning Award from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia. He served as ESL Lecturer at Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, West Virginia University. His field of specialization includes popular culture, literature, and discourse analysis. His research on Malay popular television fiction has appeared in International Journal of Youth and Adolescence, The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, and International Education Studies. He has been a member of the editorial board for International Journal of Literature and Arts and Environment and Social Psychology.

MemberEdmund Hayes

  Edmund Hayes is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leiden. He gained his doctorate with honours from the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago in June 2015. He works on early Islamic history, in particular Shiʿi history, focusing on the intersection of intellectual developments and social and political dynamics. He also has interests in group dynamics, ethnicity, and gender and sexuality.   He is working on a book  entitled Agents of the Hidden Imam: the Birth Pangs of Twelver Shiʿism, 850-950 CE. He has published, or has articles forthcoming in Iranian Studies, Comparative Islamic Studies and the Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies.   He is  investigating letters as a case-study in the embodiment of authority in pre-modern society. In particular, he uses a comparative perspective to place Shiʿi excommunication letters from the Imams within a typology of excommunication and anathematization practices in Jewish, Christian, Zoroastrian and Muslim (Shiʿi and Sunni) communities. This allows us to understand how the ecclesiastical punishment of excommunication can complement, replace or subvert coercive governmental power. He is also looking at tax-demand letters and the relationship between fiscal policy and religious protest in early Islam. This involves  investigating  the development of Islamic canonical revenues, ghanīma, fayʾ, kharāj, khums, anfāl, ṣadaqa, and zakāt, the ways in which these terms overlap and relate to each other, and the ways in which they were both practically applied and conceptualized by early Islamic jurists and thinkers.  

MemberHenry Colburn

A once and future classicist, my research focuses on the art and archaeology of ancient Iran, and on the regions of the Near East, Eastern Mediterranean, and Central Asia that interacted with Iran prior to the advent of Islam. I am especially interested in reconstructing the social, cultural, political and even economic environments in which objects were created. I am also interested in how our modern knowledge of the ancient world was created, since this affects how we interpret objects and the conclusions we draw about the people who made them. I have held fellowships at the Harvard Art Museums, the Getty Research Institute and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and teaching positions at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Southern California. I am currently Lecturer in Classics at the University of California, Riverside and adjunct faculty at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. I am also, by virtue of my work on the seals of the Persepolis Fortification Archive, a Research Associate of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology.

MemberMohammad Reza Azadehfar

Developing a computer game for blind teenagers by aid of music
Cooperation of Tehran University of Arts and Tabriz Islamic Arts
Developing Program in Music Tourism in Iran
Iran National Science Foundation, INSF
Melodic Structure in Iranian Music
Iran National Science Foundation, INSF
A Consideration of Iranian Philosophical and Theosophical Views toward Music and their acceptances by Ira…

Mohammad Reza Azadehfar’s research and publications in music focus on Iranian music, rhythm, and music interdisciplinary studies. He has received five grants for researches in University of London, University of Arts, and INSF. He is an academic member of Faculty of Music at University of Arts Tehran and ex-dean of Music Faculty.