Academic Islamic Studies and Middle East, Central Asian, and other Area Studies Sites

Table of Contents

Academic Islamic Studies Websites
Professors of Islamic Studies With Significant Websites
Major Figures in Academic Islamic Studies of Previous Generations
Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Islamic Studies Journals
Middle-East Studies and MES Websites
North African Studies
Central Asian Studies
Islamic Studies and Related Fields Email Listservs

Academic Islamic Studies Websites

In addition to the Islam and Islamic Studies Resources website of Prof. Godlas (here at the University of Georgia), there are a number of other academic web sites for the study of Islam:

  • Islamic Area Studies Project at the University of Tokyo.
  • Islamic Studies Pathways, compiled by Prof. Gary R. Bunt of the University of Wales, Lampeter, this site briefly describes and evaluates sites useful for students of Islam.
  • Syllabi for the Teaching of Islam This site includes a number of syllabi used by professors at the university level. (Link fixed, 2 April 2006.)
  • IslamWeb a project of professors Carl Ernst and Charles Kurzman at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. (As of 2 April 2006, this page was last updated in April 2001.)
  • Carolina, Duke, Emory Institute for the Study of Islam (CDEKISI) is a a cooperative project sponsoring, among other things, seminar presentations at each of the participating institutions. (As of 2 April 2006, this site does not appear to have been updated since 2003.)
  • Yale University Islamic Studies Program

    Professors of Islamic Studies with Significant Websites

  • Dr. Barbara R. Von Schlegell's Islamic Studies Page (link fixed 18 August 2005) Professor Von Schlegell teaches at the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Al-Khazina: The Treasury, the Islamic Studies site of Professor Jerome Clinton at Princeton.
  • Professor Jamal Elias teaches Islamic Studies and is the chair of the Religion dept. at Amherst College.]
  • Professor Omid Safi teaches Islamic Studies at Colgate University.
  • Prof. Juan Cole's Academic Fields Page comprises useful links for scholars in the areas of History as well as Middle East, South Asia, and Religious Studies (including Islamic Studies, Sufism, Khalil Gibran, Unitarian Universalist, and Baha'i Studies). See also --formatted for the web -- Prof. Cole's academic papers in the field of Iranian and Baha'i Studies.
  • Professor Michael Sells of the University of Chicago (formerly of Haverford College), whose book Approaching the Qur'an and its use at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill has recently been at the center of controversy. For this, see Professor Sells' website UNC-Approaching the Qur'an Controversy. Note as well Sell's Community of Bosnia website. For many years Sells was one of the more prominent American scholars to actively oppose the "ethnic cleansing" of Bosnia.
  • Prof. Carl Ernst of University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, was criticized along with Prof. Sells. See Dr. Ernst's webpage UNC Summer Reading Program on the Qur'an: A National Controversy.
  • Prof. Ibrahim Kalin's Islamic Studies Website (link fixed 18 August 2005) See especially the link to his articles, which primarily deal with topics in Islamic philosophy.
  • Professor David Powers' Islamic History Course at Cornell has a number of useful links.
  • Syllabi for the Teaching of Islam (link fixed 18 August 2005) This site, compiled for the American Academy of Religion, includes a number of syllabi used by professors at the university level.

    Major Figures Among Previous Generations of Scholars of Islamic Studies

  • Ignaz Goldziher (d. 1921) a brief article at Wikipedia.
  • Joseph Schacht by Prof. Bernard Lewis in Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, vol. 33, part 2 (1970), pp. 378-81.
  • Louis Massignon: "Reflections on Louis Massignon and His Legacy of Dialogue," by Prof. Herbert Mason
  • The mystical vision of Louis Massignon: Islam inspired scholar's gratitude, life work and Christian faith in National Catholic Reporter, Dec 17, 2004 by Jerry Ryan.
  • Louis Massignon at Wikipedia A detailed biography.

    Scholarly, Peer Reviewed Journals in Islamic Studies

    For scholars in all fields of study in the Western world, peer reviewed journals are those of higher quality. While there are numerous journals dealing with Islam, many of these are not peer reviewed and often represent the views of the organization that publishes the journal, and so the overall scholarly quality of the articles in such journals may be quite low. In contrast, peer reviewed journals have a board of editors consisting of established scholars who in principle accept or reject articles on the basis of their scholarly merits. Although of course the biases of the members of the editorial board play a certain role in determining which articles are accepted for publication, nevertheless the criteria for the inclusion of such articles are generally those of the academic field itself. Hence articles published in peer reviewed journals are regarded more highly by the scholarly community, especially in the West. Consequently, important research in any field of study is published in peer reviewed journals. This is important for scholars who wish to call scholarly attention to their work or impact the field and is especially significant for younger scholars who need to establish their credibility for the simple practical reason of obtaining a teaching/research position and later tenure (a secured position) at a university. See the short note titled What is a scholarly or peer reviewed journal? at the library of the University of Nevada, Reno. I am currently constructing a comprehensive list of peer reviewed journals in Islamic Studies. What follows is a preliminary list of such journals that have websites:
  • Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies Edited by Joseph N. Bell, et al.
  • Journal of Qur'anic Studies, published biannually by Edinburgh University Press, includes articles in English and Arabic (link fixed 18 March 2006).
  • The Muslim World (link fixed 18 August 2005) Edited by Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi', Hartford Seminary.
  • Journal of Islamic Studies Edited by Farhan Ahmed Nizami, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies.
  • Der Islam covering the history and culture of the Islamic Orient. The scholarly journal of the German Orientalist Society, edited by Jürgen Paul, comprised of articles in German and English.
  • Die Welt des Islams (link fixed 18 August 2005): International journal for the study of modern Islam (from the 18th century on), edited by Stefan Wild, Werner Ende, and Michael Ursinus, published by Brill, and comprised of articles in English, French, and German. Unfortunately the web page for this journal is limited and does not include important information such as where prospective contributors should send their articles.
  • American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (AJISS) (link fixed 18 August 2005) published by the Association of Muslim Social Sciences (AMSS) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), this journal endeavors to link Muslim intellectuals and scholars worldwide.
  • Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, edited by John Esposito and David Thomas.
  • Journal of the History of Sufism edited by Thierry Zarcone, Ekrem Isin, Arthur Buehler.
  • Transcendent Philosophy, a publication of the Institute of Islamic Studies, London, editor in chief, Seyed G. Safavi. (Link fixed, January 4, 2002; 18 March 2006.)

    A large list of scholarly journals (some of which have websites) dealing with Islamic law, the Middle East, and Islam is located at the website of CIMEL (Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law).

    Middle East Studies and Sites

  • The Changing Face of Medieval Near Eastern Studies: Challenges and Strategies by Prof. Josef Meri of the University of California, Berkeley, originally published in Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, Winter 1999. Prof. Meri discusses problems facing the field and presents solutions.

  • Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is the main academic organization for the study of the Middle East.

  • Contending Visions of the Middle East : The History and Politics of Orientalism by Professor Zachary Lockman deals with the history and current status of the academic study of the Middle East and Islam. Professor Lockman's perspective contrasts with that expressed by Dr. Martin Kramer (see below).

  • Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America (link fixed April 1, 2006) by Dr. Martin Kramer, editor of the Middle East Quarterly and past director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. This is an informative website devoted to Dr. Kramer's highly significant and controversial book by the same title. In his book, Dr. Kramer crosses swords with the entire field of Middle East Studies as it is practiced in the U.S. Read the author's introduction to Ivory Towers on Sand (link fixed April 1, 2006) and Chapter 3, Islam Obscured, which includes among other things critiques of Edward Said and John Esposito. In addition, scholars, students, and administrators would do well to peruse Dr. Kramer's personal website if for no other reason than to learn from its professional quality design. Style aside, his site is particularly rich in content, especially his online reader, consisting of a selection of articles that he has written and which is divided into four categories: Islamism, Hizbullah, Arab Predicaments, and Jews and Muslims. Kramer, whose mentor was Bernard Lewis, seems poised to fill at least partially the shoes of Professor Lewis. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with his strident pro-Israeli perspective, no student of Middle East studies and contemporary Islam can afford to ignore him.

  • Dr. Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum (which publishes the Middle East Quarterly) is probably the most visible and active pro-Israeli scholar involved in the current debate over the presentation of the Middle East and Islam in academia in the United States. A prolific writer, Dr. Pipes has put online numerous categorized articles on the Middle East and Islam that he has written, as well as his many book reviews. Over 150 of Dr. Pipes' book reviews are also available on Amazon.com (link fixed 18 August 2005). In the Fall of 2002, Dr. Pipes started the now infamous website Campus Watch, which is designed to inform the world about various American universities and scholars whose views on the Middle East are neither representative of [the generally pro-Israeli views held by] the American people nor of the policies of the U.S. government. Many scholars of Middle East and Islamic Studies have viewed this website as a McCarthyesque tactic designed to intimidate and "blacklist."

  • MESNET (link fixed 18 August 2005) constructed by Daniel Martin Varisco, professor of Anthropology at Hofstra University, is the website of the Middle East Section of the American Anthropological Association. See especially the well-organized page of links MES Links (link fixed 18 August 2005; 18 March, 2006) Middle East Anthropology and Archeology on the Internet.

  • MENALIB The Middle East Virtual Library (MENALIB), which is an information portal for Middle East and Islamic Studies. "It provides access to online information and to digital records of printed and other offline media." MENALIB, and especially its subsite, AlMISBAH, is certainly one of the best and most comprehensive online resources for Middle East and Islamic Studies. It is about time that librarians finally took the initiative and used their skills to create a real, professional quality online library for Middle East and Islam Studies. While more online content, more thorough annotations, and a subject index with many more categories would be appreciated, MENALIB is certainly on the right track. Other Middle East and Islamic Studies librarians should now be able to go to those who hold the purse strings at their own institutions, point to the poor or non-existent quality of their own Middle East or Islamic Studies online website/library (poor in quality relative to MENALIB), and shame them into funding something comparable. Perhaps if American institutions were to put sufficient money into facilitating online access to information about the Middle East and Islam in the manner that MENALIB has, the American people would make somewhat more informed decisions when they give the green light to their representatives in Washington to spend more billions to send American troops to another Middle Eastern or Muslim country.

  • AlMadina Research Center (Markaz al-Madina al-Munawwara li-Dirasat wa-Buhuth al-Istishraq) created and operated by Dr. Mazen Mutabagani, has as its focus the study of Orientalism (istishraq), which is the term used to refer to the study of Islam by Western scholars. A Muslim view of Orientalism, such as that which Dr. Mutabagani provides, should be useful not only to Muslim scholars who are trying to navigate through the often turbulent waters of Western scholarship on Islam but also to Western scholars who would like to add to their scholarship viewpoints that are not Eurocentric. Dr. Mutabagani is an Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Department of Orientalism, Faculty of Da’wa-Al-Madina, Muhammad Ben Saud Islamic Universiy, Saudi Arabia. This extensive website, although primarily in Arabic, also has some material in English.

  • MEDEA Database MEDEA (European Institute for Research on Mediterranean and Euro-Arab Co-operation) is a hypertext encyclopedic database for much that is significant in the political arena of the Middle East today. It contains information such as amounts of monetary aid to Israel and Egypt, important UN Security Council resolutions, and names of many significant political leaders in the Middle East and North Africa today.

  • Arab World Project website, constructed after 9/11 by the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education (NITLE) and funded by the Mellon Foundation, is a comprehensive online presentation of the Arab world. It is divided up into the following teaching and learning modules: history, ethnicity and identity, Islam, Arab Americans, literature and philosophy, popular culture and the performing arts, family and society, art and architecture, the Arabic language, and lastly, geography, demographics, and resources (link fixed 18 March, 2006).

    While Islam extends far beyond the Middle East, a good place to look for academic resources for the study of Islam are the various Middle East Studies centers in the US and Europe.

  • Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. This contains an excellent set of links to each of the countries of the Middle East.

  • Harvard's Center of Middle Eastern Studies In particular, see their Internet Resources on the Middle East page (link fixed 18 August 2005). Among its contents are sections for general resources, religion, news, poetry, music, computing, languages, and organizations related to the Middle East.

  • Middle East Resources at the University of California, Berkeley

  • Middle East Studies: Columbia University

  • Middle East Links (link fixed 18 August 2005; 18 March, 2006) Compiled at Macquarie University in Australia.

    On-line Journals for the Middle East

  • MERIA, the Middle East Review of International Affairs, is an on-line scholarly publication of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar-Ilan University in Israel. Their journal, both current and back issues, often contains articles that are relevant to the Islamic dimensions of Middle Eastern political affairs.
  • Arab Net is a comprehensive index of links for the entire Arab world.

    North African Area Studies

  • American Institute for Maghreb Studies

    Central Asian Studies

  • Central Asian Studies World Wide Excellent comprehenisve guide maintained at Harvard.

  • Bibliography of Recent Literature on Central Asia (link fixed 18 August 2005) compiled by the Harvard Central Asian Studies center.

    Electronic Discussion Lists for the Muslim World

    Once you sign up for a "listserv" discussion group, you will receive instructions on how to participate. In general a listserv discussion group is like emailing a message to a large group of people with a similar interest. The listserv, however, automatically sends your message to everyone on the list. The following list servs are mostly moderated, which is to say that if people write in a manner demeaning to others, "flame," or "go ballistic" in the course of the discussion, their posts will often be censored. Members are free to participate or simply "lurk" and observe the discussions.
  • Islam-L, For scholarly discussion of the history of Islam.
    To Subscribe: Send an e-mail with the text "subscribe islam-l YourLastName YourFirstName" to listserv@listserv.louisville.edu
    Posting Address: islam-l@listserv.louisville.edu
  • Adabiyat e-list: Scholarly discussions of Persian, Arabic, Urdu and Turkish literatures.
    To Subscribe: Send an e-mail with the text "subscribe adabiyat" to majordomo@listhost.uchicago.edu
    Posting Address: adabiyat@listhost.uchicago.edu
  • MENA-H Discussion list on Middle East-North Africa History
    To Subscribe: Send an e-mail with the text "sub MENA-L YourFirstName Your LastName" to listserv@ulkyvm.louisville.edu>
    Posting Address: MENA-H@ulkyvm.louisville.edu
  • Turkoloji - Turkology Communication and Discussion Group Turkology Communication and Discussion Group is an e-mail group on Turkish language, literature, history, art etc.
    To Subscribe: Send a blank e-mail to turkoloji-subscribe@yahoogroups.com>
    Posting Address: turkoloji@yahoogroups.com
    Turkoloji Website
  • Islamic Studies Section of American Academy of Religion Listserv Scroll down on the page of this link to find information about subscribing to this scholarly list serv on Islam. The members are primarily professors of Islamic Studies in American universities.
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