Faiz Ahmed joins the dpartment as a historian of the modern Middle East and a specialist in the “socio-legal” history of late Ottoman Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan. His primary research explores comparative histories of Islamic legal modernism, especially the production of constitutional charters, civil law codes, and “rule of law” ideology in the late Ottoman and Qajar empires as well as Afghanistan during the long nineteenth century. Ahmed’s published articles on Islamic law and legal history have contributed to enhancing academic, professional and public knowledge of the often misunderstood role of Muslim scholars (the “ulema”) in contexts as diverse as the Indo-Afghan borderlands to Iran and Iraq. His current book project—based on archival research he conducted in Istanbul, Kabul and Delhi—presents a social and intellectual history of the first Afghan constitution of 1923, including a transnational genealogy of the jurists and institutions (and rivalries between them) that contributed to the drafting and promulgation of the pioneering yet oft-overlooked charter.
Trained as a lawyer and social historian, Ahmed’s abiding interest has been exploring how the contestations and conciliations of scholars, administrators, and everyday “citizen-subjects” constitute the life of the law in an amorphous region recently come to be known as the Middle East. He is a recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Program, Social Science Research Council, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for his research in Egypt, Turkey, and Afghanistan. In addition to his historical inquiries spanning Islamic jurisprudence, sufism, and socio-religious networks from Cairo to Kandahar, he occasionally publishes on contemporary Afghan affairs as well as U.S.-Middle East relations. Earning his Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Berkeley in 2013, Ahmed also holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law.
Roquinaldo Ferreira joins Brown University from the University of Virginia where he held a joint appointment in the History Department and the Carter Woodson Institute for African American and African Studies between 2005 and 2013. He specializes in African History, Atlantic History, and Colonial Brazilian History. After receiving a BA (1992) and MA (1996) in History at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeio, he did graduate studies at UCLA (PhD, 2003). He has held residential fellowships at the Du Bois Institute (Harvard University), the Gilder Lehrman Center (Yale University), and the David Rockefeller Center (Harvard University). His scholarship has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the Tinker Foundation, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. He has been visiting professor at the Institut de Hautes Études Internationales et du Développement (Geneva, ) and at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Paris).
Ferreira is the author of Cross-Cultural Exchange in the Atlantic World: Angola and Brazil during the Era of the Slave Trade (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Dos Sertões ao Atlântico: Tráfico Ilegal de Escravos e Comércio Lícito em Angola, 1830-1860 (Luanda: Kilombelombe, forthcoming in 2013). He is completing a book provisionally entitled Pathways to Colonialism: Abolitionism, Territorial Sovereignty, and Unfree Labor in Angola (ca. 1830s-1880s). He is at work on three research projects: a comparative history of Portuguese/African cultural and trade relations in the Bight of Benin, Angola, and the Gold Coast; a social history of the Carreira da India; and a socio-cultural history of Luanda from 1576 to the end of the nineteenth century.
Lukas Rieppel works at the intersection of the history of science and the history of capitalism, focusing especially on the life sciences in 19th and 20th century America. He is currently working on a book that traces how dinosaurs became a symbol of American economic might and power during the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. Entitled Assembling the Dinosaur: Money, Museums, and American Culture, 1870-1930, this project uses the history of paleontology as a means to examine how the ideals, norms, and practices of modern capitalism shaped the way scientific knowledge was made, certified, and distributed.
Lukas also has a longstanding interest in foundational debates about evolutionary theory and its relationship to social, political, and economic concerns. At the moment, he is working on an essay entitled “The Problem of the One and the Many in Modern Biology” about the attempt of scientists such as Ernst Haeckel, August Weismann, and Oskar Hertwig to reconcile the two great synthetic frameworks of 19th century biology: evolution and the cell theory. Achieving this goal was complicated by the fact that one stressed the way individual cells give up a measure of their autonomy for the good of the whole, whereas the other usually emphasized the salience of competitive over cooperative interactions in the natural world. Lukas comes to Brown from Northwestern University, where he currently serves as a post-doctoral fellow jointly appointed by the History Department and the Science in Human Culture Program. Before coming to Chicago, Lukas completed a PhD in the History of Science at Harvard. During his time in Cambridge, he also completed a Master’s degree in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, studying the population genetics of a hyper-diverse Lycaenid butterfly from Europe.