Dr Sarah Bowen Savant

Dr Sarah Bowen Savant

Dr Sarah Bowen Sa​vant, Associate Professor, is an historian of religion. She received her MA from the University of Chicago and her PhD from Harvard University. Prior to joining AKU-ISMC in 2007, she was a Sultan Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr Savant is a member of the Institute's Professional Programmes Unit Committee and Research Committee and Chair of the Research Ethics Committee. She is also a member of the AKU University Research Council. She is component coordinator for the Muslim Heritages sequence of the MA in Muslim Cultures.  

Dr Savant's academic interests include:

  • Early Islam
  • The Study of Religion
  • Historiography
  • Late Antique Iran and Iraq
  • Prophetic Biography

At AKU-ISMC, Dr Savant has taught the courses:

Contact Details
Email address: sarah.savant@aku.edu
Telephone: 020 7380 3859


  • Savant, Sarah (2013). The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran: Tradition, Memory, and Conversion. Studies in Islamic Civilisation​. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Savant, Sarah with Helena de Felipe (Eds.) (forthcoming, 2012). Genealogy and Knowledge in Muslim Socieites: Understanding the Past. Exploring Muslim Contexts Series. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Savant, Sarah with Peter Webb. Translation of Ibn Qutaybah’s Faḍl al-ʿArab wal-Tanbīh ʿalā ʿulūmihā.  In progress.
  • Savant, Sarah (forthcoming, 2012).  'Forgetting Iran’s Pre-Islamic Past, ca. 800-1100 CE.' In Philip Wood (Ed.)  History and Identity in the Late Antique Near East. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Savant, Sarah (forthcoming). 'Genealogy' and 'Shu‛ūbiyya.' In The Encyclopaedia of Islamic Political Thought. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Savant, Sarah (2008). 'Persians after the Arab Conquests.' Annales Islamologiques, vol. 42.
  • Savant, Sarah (2006). 'Isaac as the Persians' Ishmael: Pride and the Pre-Islamic Past in Medieval Islam.' Comparative Islamic Studies, vol. 2, no. 1.

Recent Paper Presentations

  • 'Forgetting Ctesiphon: Iran's Pre-Islamic Past, ca 800-1100 CE.' Paper presented at the Corpus Christi Classical Seminar: History and Identity in the Late Antique East. University of Oxford, February, 2010.
  • Rethinking Tradition in the Study of Early Islam.” The British Council, Damascus. April 2009.
  • Remembering Founding Moments: The Case of Early Islamic Persia.' The Mason Lecture. Georgetown University, April, 2009.
  • 'Rethinking Tradition in the Study of Early Islam.' The British Council. Damascus, April, 2009.
  • 'Remembering the Arab Conquest of Iran: Three Case Studies.' School of Oriental and African Studies seminar in the History of the Near and Middle East. SOAS, London, December, 2008.
  • 'Damning the Memory of Persia's Pre-Islamic Past, Fostering Loyalty to Islam: Genealogy and Tradition in Early Islamic Iran.' International Seminar on Rel​igious and Political Uses of Genealogies in Islamic Societies​. Universidad de Alcala, Spain, November, 2008.​