Research Fellowships​

Research Fellows play an important role in the intellectual life of the Institute through teaching, offering seminars, organising workshops and undertaking research.

​ ​​Current Research Fellows​​


Heba Arafa Abdelfatth: Heba received her Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic studies from Georgetown University in 2017. Before joining ISMC she served as a visiting assistant professor of Arabic in the School of Modern Languages at Georgia Institute of Technology where she taught courses on Arabic, Middle East cinema and social change as well as history of arts, sciences and technology in Islam. Her research interest falls in the interdisciplinary area of humanities with special focus on modernity, religion and popular culture. She works with literary texts, archival documents, films, and artistic production to understand discourses of modernity. She is especially interested in issues of cultural production in the context Islamic legal traditions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and global flows. She has conducted archival research on the reception of film by the colonial state, the nationalist elite and the Muslim clergy in twentieth century Egypt. Her publications include “Satire, and Nostalgia in a Time of Revolution – Bassem Youssef ’s Sendup on Egypt’s Golden Anthems,” Review of Middle East Studies (Cambridge Core Cambridge University Press, 2014) and “Mediating Discourse of Democratic Uprising in Egypt: Militarized Language and the ‘Battles’ of Abbasiyya and Maspero,” International Journal of Communication (USC Annenberg Press, 2014), "The Maṣlaḥa of Film Production in Pre-Revolutionary Egypt, 1896–1952: A Sanctioning Apparatus or Covert Censorship? (Indian University Press, 2017). She also serves as the film review editor for the Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (JIMS).​

Mohamad-Meqdad.jpgMohamad Meqdad: PhD student, jointly at the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) and Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communications (EUR-ESHCC) in the Netherlands. His main research interest is about Religious Heritage and War in the Middle East. Mr Meqdad joined AKU-ISMC as an Arabic Editor of the Muslim Civilisations Abstracts Project in 2010. He holds an MA in Muslim Cultures from AKU-ISMC and a BA in Archaeology and Museum Studies from the University of Aleppo, Syria. Prior to joining AKU-ISMC, Mr Meqdad participated in archaeological excavations, with national and international archaeological expeditions, for over four years exploring the hidden cultures and preserving archaeological sites and monuments in Syria.​​


Telephone: +44 (0)20 7380 3834​ 

2019 Research Fellows

Nancy Hawker.jpgNancy Hawker​: Nancy has a DPhil in Oriental Studies from University of Oxford and an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from SOAS. She is also a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Oxford University. She has previously worked at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat in London. Nancy joined​​ AKU-ISMC as a part-time Research Fellow for the Gover​nance Programme until December 2019.​​​​

For more information about Research Fellowships at the Institute or to register your interest, please email​