We are so pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Aliyah Khan as the new director of the Global Islamic Studies Center for a three-year term, effective July 1, 2021. Please join us in congratulating Aliyah on this new position.

Dr. Aliyah Khan is an associate professor in the U-M Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and the Department of English Language and Literature. She specializes in postcolonial Caribbean literature and the contemporary literature of the Muslim and Islamic worlds, with a particular focus on the intersections of race, gender, and Islam in the hemispheric Americas, including in immigrant communities in North America. She has also presented and taught widely in the field of Muslim representation in comics and graphic novels. 

Far from Mecca: Globalizing the Muslim Caribbean (Rutgers University Press 2020, University of the West Indies Press 2021), Dr. Khan’s recent book, is the first academic monograph on the literature, history, and music of Caribbean Islam, focusing on Guyana, Trinidad, and Jamaica, and on enslaved Muslim West Africans, indentured Indian colonial sugar plantation laborers, and their Muslim Caribbean descendants. This book garnered the 2017-2018 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Postdoctoral Research National Fellowship Award and the 2018-2019 American Comparative Literature Association Helen Tartar First Book Subvention Award. Dr. Khan’s work has also appeared in academic venues, including GLQ, the Caribbean Review of Gender Studies, Caribbean Quarterly, the Journal of West Indian Literature, Studies in Canadian Literature/Études en littérature canadienne, and forthcoming in the Bloomsbury Handbook of Muslims and Popular Culture. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in media including Pree: Caribbean Literature and Agents of Ishq.

Dr. Khan is a member of the editorial board of Bloomsbury Critical Guides in Comics Studies, an advisory board member of the Journal for the Study of Indentureship and its Legacies, a longstanding member of the advisory board of the U-M Arab and Muslim American Studies Program in the Department of American Culture, and a fellow of the U-M Center for World Performance Studies, for her research on Urdu Indo-Caribbean qasida devotional songs. Her interviews on Caribbean religions, Islam, Muslim literature, and her research can be heard at Strictly Facts: A Guide to Caribbean History & Culture Podcast, the Polis Project, the New Books Network, and Chicago’s Radio Islam. Dr. Khan is excited to bring to the Global Islamic Studies Center an extensive background in administrative and advisory work in multiple units at the University of Michigan, as well as her research and intellectual expertise on Islam and Muslim cultures in the hemispheric Americas.