Scott Bursey

MA Candidate

BA, University of Alberta, 2015

Supervisor: Paul Sedra


Research Description

Scott is a historian of Islamist thought; more specifically, he is keen on exploring the connections between Sayyid Qutb’s Islamist ideals and contemporary Islamists by means of his lesser known younger brother and intellectual successor - Muhammad Qutb. Currently, no biographical studies treat Muhammad Qutb as a stand-alone thinker; he exists explicitly in the shadow of his brother Sayyid’s work.  Therefore, Scott’s project aims to bring forward Muhammad Qutb not as a keeper of his brother’s intellectual flame, nor as a subordinate, but as a scholar in his own right – with an extensive body of work that remains overlooked. Therefore, Scott’s project will deliver an intellectual biography of the Brothers Qutb, by interrogating their work discursively both as atomized intellectuals as well as equal contributors to the school of thought which bears their name – the Qutbian Ideology, the story of the Brothers Qutb.

Working Dissertation Title

Finding Muhammad Qutb: The Missing Link Between Sayyid Qutb and al-qāʿidah


Scott Bursey is a Masters student in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University and a historian of the contemporary Middle East. While his central focus is on modern Islamist thinkers, terrorism and neo-classical economics, his work focuses more generally on the relationship between the fanaticism of neo-liberal political-economy and Islamist terrorism and their shared memory of a pristine past, transposed on to the future. He currently holds a BA in History from the University of Alberta, with a focus on the Middle East, Near-Eastern Politics and Philosophy.   


“Contrasting Islamist Modernities: Sayyid Qutb and Ali Shari’ati on Remembering the Future.”Qualicum Graduate History Conference, Parksville, BC. January 30 to February 1, 2016.

“Islamist Modernities of Futures-Past.” History and Classics Graduate Students’ Association Annual Conference; University of Alberta; Edmonton, Alberta. February 26 to February 28, 2016. 

Teaching Assistantships

HIST 151:  The Modern Middle East  (Fall 2015) - Dr. Paul Sedra

HIST 215: The Making of the British Isles (Spring 2016) - Dr. Aaron Windel

HIST 101: Canada Before Confederation (Summer 2016) - Prof. John-Henry Harter

HIST 151: The Modern Middle East (Fall 2016) - Dr. Paul Sedra


Graduate Fellowship, Simon Fraser University, 2015-2017

Jason Lang Scholarship for Academic Achievement, 2009, 2011-2013

Apple Corporate Experience, 2010

Personal Profile