Book Talk: A History of Islam in 21 Women with Professor Hossein Kamaly | Hartford Seminary

Book Talk: A History of Islam in 21 Women with Professor Hossein Kamaly

Hossein Kamaly, Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Holder of the Imam Ali Chair for Shi’i Studies and Dialogue among Islamic Legal Schools, will introduce us to his new book, A History of Islam in 21 Women.

One World, the publisher, describes the book this way:

“Beginning in seventh-century Mecca and Medina, A History of Islam in 21 Women takes us around the globe, through eleventh-century Yemen and Khorasan, and into sixteenth-century Spain, Istanbul and India. From there to nineteenth-century Persia and the African savannah, to twentieth-century Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq, before arriving in present-day Europe and America.

From the first believer, Khadija, and the other women who witnessed the formative years of Islam, to award-winning architect Zaha Hadid in the twenty-first century, Hossein Kamaly celebrates the lives and groundbreaking achievements of these extraordinary women in the history of Islam.”

Please join us!

Note: Hartford Seminary is committed to providing accessibility for all. Please contact Susan Schoenberger at or 860-509-9519 at least 3 days in advance if you have questions about our accessibility or need reasonable accommodations for this event.

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About the Speaker

Hossein Kamaly holds the Imam Ali Chair in Shia Studies and Dialogue Among Islamic Schools of Thought at the Hartford Seminary, as of 2019. Before obtaining his PhD (2004) and MA (2001), both in history from Columbia University, he had earned an MSc degree in Mathematics, Statistics, and Operations Research from New York University. His undergraduate degree was in Computer and Electrical Engineering from Shahid Beheshti University in Iran.

In Tehran, he pursued diverse disciplines of learning, actively participating in formal classes and informal circles on philosophy, epistemology, and traditional Islamic learning. His translation of Karl Popper’s Logic of Scientific Discovery, which first appeared in 1991 and has undergone six reprints ever since, along with articles published in Persian on logic and probability theory indicate his deep-rooted interests form his younger years.

Between 2000 and 2017, Kamaly taught in various capacities at the City University of New York, Columbia University, and Barnard College. He also worked as the Middle East, Islamic, and Jewish Studies Librarian at Columbia University, 2004-7. His first book in English, God & Man in Tehran: Contending Visions of the Divine from the Qajars to the Islamic Republic was published in 2018 by Columbia University Press.

He is currently working on several projects, including a monograph entitled Giving Voice to Scripture: Tafsīr in the Imāmī Shia Tradition. Kamaly describes himself as a lifelong student, and his pursuit of knowledge and wisdom continues.

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