Homayra Ziad

Homayra Ziad


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Research Interests: history, practice and literature of Islamic spirituality and virtue ethics; philosophical Sufism; Qur'an interpretation; contemporary Islam in the United States; Islam in the Mughal empire; language and subjectivity; religion and the arts; religion and vocation; community-based research; interreligious activism.

Education: Phd, Yale University

Homayra is a writer, a dreamer, a scholar-activist, and a mother. She is trained as a generalist in classical and modern Islam, with a specialization in Sufism and Indo-Persian textual traditions, and her research explores the creation of religious selfhood and subjectivity and its relationship to language, as well as pre-modern and modern interpretation of the Qur’an. Since receiving her doctorate in Religious Studies from Yale University, she has been an educator in multiple contexts and a practitioner of community-engaged teaching and scholarship. At Trinity College, she served on the Community Learning Initiatives advisory committee and guided students in community-based learning in Hartford, CT. At Johns Hopkins, she directs the Program in Islamic Studies and is leading a Wabash grant on community-engaged pedagogy partnering with Dr. Shawntay Stocks at the Center for Social Concern. She also serves as Associate Editor of The Commons, an online monthly where artists, activists, and academics explore the intersection of religion, social justice, and public life. Homayra has twenty years of experience in interreligious education and programming and was founding co-chair of the American Academy of Religion’s Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Group. For four years, she led education on Islam and engagement with Muslim communities at ICJS, a Baltimore interfaith organization, where she worked alongside teachers, activists, and emerging religious leaders on the intersections of religion and social justice, and created strong relationships with many religious, educational, and cultural organizations in the city. Homayra is Board Vice President of the ACLU of Maryland and active in the iCommunicate Cultural Collaborative, a Baltimore-based leadership incubator. She is a scholar in residence for the Institute for Muslim Mental Health, consultant and partner with Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, and frequent collaborator on artistic projects with the beloved community arts organization Creative Alliance. She is on the founding team of Art, Religion and Cities at Morgan State University, a public-facing teaching project that engages the display of religion in museums to ask questions about race, justice, and community, and creates internship opportunities for students from communities under-represented at cultural institutions. She is also part of the core team for 99 Clay Vessels: The Muslim Women Storytelling Project (https://www.99clayvessels.com/). Homayra has written for many academic and popular venues and consulted and created programs for film and media.