University of Washington
Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization
220 Denny Hall, Box 353120, Seattle, WA 98195
206.685.5084 | hmzafer@uw.edu | www.hamzazafer.com



2013-Present   Assistant Professor of Classical Arabic and Early Islam
                        Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilization, University of Washington.
                        Adjunct Appointments: Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies
                                                              Stroum Center for Jewish Studies



Ph.D                Cornell University, 2014
                        Department of Near Eastern Studies
                        Thesis: Quranic Communalism in Scripture and in Early Historiography

M.A.                Cornell University, 2011
B.A.                 Binghamton University SUNY, 2008



2018                Quranic Politics: A Pre-History of the Islamic Empire
                        (Manuscript to be submitted for review in March 2017 to University of Pennsylvania Press’ Divinations Series in Late Ancient Religion)

2022                Matriarchs of the Allegiants: Muhammad’s Mothers, Wives and Daughters and the Formation of early Muslim Politics (In Progress)



2017                 Translating Arabic into Hebrew in 12th century Toledo: Studies in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Leiden: Brill. Co-edited with Sarah J. Pearce                              (NYU).

2016                The Quran Seminar: A Collaborative Study of 50 Select Passages. Berlin: De Gruyter. Co-edited with Gabriel Reynolds (Notre Dame) and Mehdi                                   Azaiez (Leuven).



2017                “For Every People, a Prophet: Qur’ānic Historicism and its Early Muslim Transformations.” Journal of Quranic Studies 20, no. 1.

                        “Early Muslim Communalism in the Ummah Pericope in Q2.” Journal of the International Quranic Studies Association 2, no. 2

2018                “Safiyya and Rayhāna: Muhammad’s Jewish Wives in the Early Tradition” Preparing for submission to the Journal of the American Oriental Society.



2016                Translation from Urdu of Amin Ahsan Islahi, “Introduction to Surat al-Kahf and Surat Maryam.” Teaching the Qur’an: A Resource. Atlanta: Lockwood                          Press.

                        Entries on Abraham, Hagar and Ummah in The Routledge Encyclopedia of Ancient Mediterranean Religion. London: Routledge.

                        Review of A. J. Droge, The Qur’an: An Annotated Translation for the Journal of the American Oriental Society.

                        Review of Stephen Shoemaker, Death of a Prophet: The End of Muhammad’s Life and the Beginning of Islam for International Journal of Middle East                             Studies.

                        Review of Aziz Al-Azmeh, The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity: Allah and His People, Cambridge, 2014 for the Journal of Islamic Studies.

                        Review of Shady H. Nasser, The Transmission of the Variant Readings of the Qur’ān for the Review of Qur’ānic Studies.



2012-2013       The Mellon-Sawyer Quran Seminar Doctoral Fellow, The University of Notre Dame

2011-2012       The Buttrick-Crippin Fellow at the Knight Institute for Writing, Cornell University

2009-2012       Sage Doctoral Fellow, Cornell University



Advanced Classical      Arabic; Aramaic and Syriac; Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew; Ethiopic (Ge′ez);
                                    Persian; Koine Greek, Judeo-Arabic and Judeo-Persian
Advanced Modern       French, Persian, Urdu-Hindi and Punjabi
Reading Knowledge     Sanskrit, German, Coptic and Sindhi



Lectures           The Quran and its Interpreters

                        Introduction to Islamic Civilization

                        Modern Muslim Beliefs and Practices

Seminars          Early Muslim Scripture, Historiography and Exegesis

                        Prophecy in Judaism, Christianity and Islam

                        Satan and Evil in Late Antiquity and Early Islam

                         Jews in Muslim Contexts, Muslims in Jewish Contexts

Workshops       Introduction to Classical Ethiopic (Gecez)

                        Advanced Readings in Classical Arabic



2014                “Gender in Quranic Narrative and Law” at the International Quranic Studies Association, San Antonio, TX



2016                “Patrilineal Rupture in Quranic Prophetology.” 9th Bienniel SOAS Conference on the Quran, London, UK

                        “Matriarchs and the Matriline in the Quran.” International Quranic Studies Association, San Antonio, TX

2015                “The Qur’ānic Jonah and the doctrine of Infallibility.” International Qur’anic Studies Association Conference, San Diego, CA

2014                “Jewishness as a Model of Kinship in Early Islam.” American Jewish Studies Conference, Baltimore, MD

                        “The Death of Israel-Jacob: A Qur’ānic Retelling of Genesis.”Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, Washington, DC

                        "Safiyya bt. Huyayy: Muhammad's Jewish Wife from the Aaronid Line of Nadir." American Oriental Society, 224th Meeting, Phoenix, AZ

2013                “Gender and Genealogy in the Qur’an.” International Qur’anic Studies Association Inaugural Conference, Baltimore, MD

                        “O Children of Israel! A Case Study in Qur’ānic Polemics.” Near Eastern Studies Colloquium, Cornell University, NY

2012                "The Dye of God: Circumcision and Baptism Metaphors in Q2:138.” American Oriental Society, 222nd Meeting in Boston, MA

                        “Muhammad and the Ninevite: Infallibility in Early Islamic Prophetology.” 27th Annual Middle East History and Theory Conference, University of                         Chicago, IL

2011                “Rabbinic Soteriological Claims in Surat al-Baqarah." 8th Annual Graduate Islamic Studies Conference, UNC Chapel Hill, NC



2016                “On the Origins of Caliphates." The Rainier Club, Seattle, WA.

2015                “Choosing Our Ancestors.” The Stroum Center Talks, Seattle, WA



2014-2017       Secretary, The International Qur’anic Studies Association. The Luce Center, Atlanta, GA.

2015                Lecturer, Community Learning Fellowship. The Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, WA.