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Nancy Khalek

William A. Dyer, Jr. Assistant Professor of the Humanities:
Religious Studies
Phone: 401-863-3104


Nancy Khalek is the William A. Dyer Jr. Assistant Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Religious Studies and specializes in Late Antiquity and early Islam. She received her Ph.D. in history from Princeton University in 2006. In addition to her focus on the formative period of Islamic history, other interests include hagiography and historiography in the Byzantine and Islamic worlds, relic and saint veneration, Christian-Muslim dialogue, and the relationship of material culture to religious life. Professor Khalek has conducted archaeological and ethnographic field work in Jordan, Syria, Greece and Turkey. Her first book is entitled Damascus after the Muslim Conquest: Text and Image in Early Islam (Oxford University Press, 2011), and she has both published and forthcoming articles in a number of scholarly journals including the Journal of the American Oriental Society, Der Islam, and the Dumbarton Oaks Papers, among others. She is currently researching the hagiography, biography and material culture related to the Companions of Muhammad in the context of claims to orthodoxy and authority in medieval Islam.
At Brown, Professor Khalek has connections and affiliations with several departments and programs, including the Political Theory Project, the Programs in Medieval Studies and Middle East Studies, The Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology, and the Department of History.


I am currently researching the veneration of the Companions of Muhammad in Islamic literature and material culture, with a focus on the eastern Mediterranean in the early Middle Ages.


2014 Humanities Teaching and Research Fund (Visitor and Lectureship Award)
2013 Richard B. Salomon Research Award, Brown University
2013 SSRC Grant, "Our Shared Past" (Historical Consultant)
2012 Top-Five Finalist, Best First Book in the History of Religion Award, American Academy of Religion
2011- Named William A. Dyer Jr. Assistant professor of the Humanities
2011-12 Brown University Henry Merritt Wriston Fellowship
2011 Faculty Fellow, Cogut Center for the Humanities, Brown University
2011- Faculty Affiliate, Department of History, Brown University
2010-11 Faculty Development Fund
2009- Faculty Affiliate, Political Theory Project, Brown University
2005-06 Mrs. Giles C. Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities
2004-05 Fellow of the Princeton University Center for the Study of Religion


American Academy of Religion
Middle East Studies Association
American Historical Association
Middle East Medievalists
Byzantine Studies Association of North America

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