Scholars in Residence and Research Associates

Dr. Kamran Bashir

Dr. Kamran Bashir is a historian of modern Islam, whose research focuses on the history of the interpretations of the Qur’an in South Asia and the allied question of how modern Muslim views of the life and person of the Prophet Muhammad evolved in the historical contexts of colonial and post-colonial India and Pakistan. He did his MA in Muslim Cultures from the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (London, United Kingdom) and earned his PhD in History in 2018 from the University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada). Dr. Bashir published his book The Qur’an in South Asia with the Routledge Studies in the Qur’an Series (September 2021) and contributed a chapter to Religious Imaginations: How Narratives of Faith are Shaping Today’s World (ed. James Walters, Gingko Library, London, 2018). His research work has appeared in the Journal of Qur’anic Studies on Qur’anic hermeneutics, and Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture on the ethnohistory of marginalized communities in modern South Asia. He has taught courses in liberal arts at the University of Victoria, Camosun College, and Beaconhouse National University (Lahore, Pakistan).

Dr. Jakob Krais


Jakob Krais has obtained his PhD in Islamic Studies from Freie Universität Berlin in 2016 with a dissertation on historiography and nation-building in Qaddafi’s Libya. He has taught at several universities in Germany and was affiliated with the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) and the Centre Marc Bloch, both in Berlin. Over the last years, he has done research on sports and modernity in colonial Algeria. At the CCMS, Jakob will write his second book which focuses on notions about “muscular Islam,” gender, and middle-classness in late colonial Algeria’s Muslim reform movement. Based on autobiographical and press material, the book will also trace Muslim reformists’ entanglements with local and transnational Christian and Jewish actors in the fields of youth, education, and sports. Jakob’s publications include: “Muscular Muslims: Scouting in Late Colonial Algeria between Nationalism and Religion.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 51, no. 4 (2019); “Girl Guides, Athletes, and Educators: Women and the National Body in Late Colonial Algeria.” Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies 15, no. 2 (2019); “Mastering the Wheel of Chance: Motor Racing in French Algeria and Italian Libya.” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 39, no. 1 (2019); “Youth and Sports in Algeria’s Diplomatic Struggle for International Recognition (1957-1962).” The Maghreb Review 42, no. 3 (2017); Geschichte als Widerstand. Geschichtsschreibung und nation-building in Qaḏḏāfīs Libyen. Würzburg: Ergon, 2016.

Dr. Behrang Nabavi Nejad

Dr. Behrang Nabavi Nejad received her PhD in Art History and Visual Studies from the University of Victoria (2017) where she also teaches courses on Islamic art and architecture as a sessional instructor. Her doctoral research examines the illustrations of royal manuscripts of the Persian national epics, the Shāhnāma through an intertextual analysis of the pre-Islamic written sources and contemporary historiographies. Her research proposes three distinctive iconographic categories for the representations of the mythical bird, the Sīmurgh in Persian painting. Behrang is currently preparing her doctoral thesis for publication. She published the second edition of the ARTiculate, as the editor in chief.

Dr. Amyn B. Sajoo

Amyn Sajoo lectures in the School of International Studies on Middle East politics, human rights, and international law.  His research is at the interface of citizenship & public religion. He served as the Canada-ASEAN Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, with fieldwork in Indonesia and Malaysia — followed by academic affiliations at Cambridge and McGill universities, and the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), London. His early career was with the Canadian departments of Justice and Global Affairs, and he was the latter’s Visiting Academic in the Middle East in 2010.  

Dr. Sajoo is contributing editor of the Muslim Heritage Series, in which the fifth volume, The Shari'a: History, Ethics, and Law, was selected as a 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association. Since 2018, he has hosted a series of public conversations on “Identity & Citizenship,” co-sponsored by this Centre.  The theme for the 2022 series is “Islamophobia,” in which his onstage guests will include Anver Emon, Kamal al-Solaylee, Ulrike al-Khamis, Mohammed Fadel, and Jasmin Zine.   

Youcef Soufi

Youcef Soufi is in the final stages of completing his book, The Rise and Fall of Critical Islam, which examines the formation of a legal debate culture in 10th century Iraq and Persia. He has used his last year with the CCMS to present sections of the book before public and academic audiences in Vancouver and elsewhere, gaining invaluable feedback for the final product. In addition, his contribution to the Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law came out in hardcopy and he has contributed an article to an forthcoming book on Islamic dialectic.

Dr. Nozhat Ahmadi

Nozhat Ahmadi is an associate professor of History at the University of Isfahan in Iran. The main area of her research is on the Safavid history, with a focus on Endowment (Waqf), women history and manuscripts. She is the author and editor of several books, articles and manuscripts and has collaborated in a number of research projects with international colleagues. She is currently working on Farsi anthologies in Ottoman Empire.