Sarah Bowen Savant


Telephone: 020 7380 3859



PhD Harvard University (June 2006)
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

MA The University of Chicago (June 1998)
The Divinity School
History of Religions.

BSFS Georgetown University (May 1993)
School of Foreign Service.

Current areas of teaching

Professor Savant has taught the following courses:
An Introduction to Muslim History and Tradition
The Sira in Classical and Contemporary Muslim Scholarship
The History of the Qur'an in Classical and Contemporary Scholarship
The Formation of Muslim Thought
Historiography of the Nation
Dr Savant is a Research Fellow at SOAS

Research interests

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


Professor Sarah Bowen Savant, is a cultural historian specialising in the Middle East and Iran ca. 600-1100. 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. She is the author of The New Muslims of Post-Conquest Iran: Tradition, Memory, and Conversion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), which won the Saidi-Sirjani Book Award, given by the International Society for Iranian Studies on behalf of the Persian Heritage Foundation. Her other publications include The Excellence of the Arabs: A Translation of Ibn Qutaybah’s Faḍl al-ʿArab wa l-tanbīh ʿalā ʿulūmihā (with Peter Webb; The Library of Arabic Literature; Abu Dhabi: New York University Press, 2016), as well as articles and edited volumes dealing with ethnic identity, cultural memory, genealogy, and history writing. Her current book project focuses on the history of books in the Middle East. With a team, she is developing digital methods to study the origins and development of the Arabic and Persian textual traditions. Please see
Professor Savant is component coordinator for the Muslim Heritages sequence of the MA in Muslim Cultures. She is also the Principle Investigator for the Arabic Digital Humanities Project, “Knowledge, Information Technology, and the Arabic Book (KITAB)” and runs “Arabic Pasts: Histories and Historiography,” an annual workshop hosted by the AKU and SOAS, the University of London. Professor Savant is a Research Fellow at SOAS and is co-Principle Investigator of the Islamicate Texts Initiative.

Created on:04/26/2016 Last modified:08/21/2020