Sophia Rose Arjana - Scholar in Theology

Scholar of Islam

Dr. Arjana is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. Her primary areas of research are monstrous Western representations of Muslim men, liberation theology, post-colonial discourse, portrayals of Muslim women in popular print media (comics and graphic novels), Shi’a and Sufi pilgrimage, and the holy sites associated with these traditions.

Arjana has published work on several subjects in the study of Islam, including pilgrimage, Islamophobia, and Orientalism. Two of these contributions include an article in Shi’a Studies, a journal published by the Centre for Islamic Shi’a Studies in London, and an article in ARTS: The Journal of the Society of Arts in Religion and Theological Studies. She has also published a book chapter on the trope of “Turning Turk” in Orientalist discourse, in Orientalism: A Eurocentric Vision of the ‘Other.’ which looks at the role of race in Western constructions of Muslim men. In addition, she has three encyclopaedia articles in print on Islamic subjects and two more that are forthcoming on subjects ranging from fana/baqa to medieval Islamophobia. In 2015, Dr. Arjana will see the publication of four major pieces of scholarship, the first of these being her first monograph, Muslims in the Western Imagination (Oxford University Press). In 2015, Arjana is also publishing book chapters on Jewish and Islamic liberation theology, Islamic post-colonial liturgy in North America, and a critique of Islamism and post-Islamism in relation to the theology of Ali Shari’ati, the ‘ideologue of the Iranian Revolution’.

Dr. Arjana’s current project examines female Muslim super-heroines in comics, cartoons, and graphic novels. Her next major research project focuses on the ritual use of items obtained during pilgrimage that form a relationship between pilgrims and sacred sites.

BASED IN: Denver, Colorado, USA