National Endowment for the Humanities Recognizes Whittier Professor

April 12, 2018

Irfana HashmiAssistant Professor of Religious Studies Irfana Hashmi received a Faculty Grant Award from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  The grant, which is awarded for humanities research conducted by individual scholars at Hispanic-Serving Institutions, will support 12 months of research and writing of Hashmi’s book manuscript, The Cosmopolitan World of Islamic Learning at al-Azhar Mosque.

“Receiving this grant is an honor and I am grateful to the NEH for supporting my research.” Said Hashmi. “I hope that it will bring to light important discoveries.”

The book is a cultural biography of al-Azhar, the second oldest center of Islamic learning located in Cairo, Egypt, during a formative 250-year period of its 1,000-year history. Based on a rich cache of untapped Ottoman court records, it investigates the complex interplay between the social structures and material culture that scaffolded Islamic learning at al-Azhar from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries and the practices performed by people in day-to-day life that gave structure and meaning to its rich and varied landscape.

The NEH is an independent federal agency that promotes excellence in the humanities and conveys the lessons to everyone in the country. It accomplishes this mission by awarding grants for top-rated proposals examined by panels of independent, external reviewers.