Nebraska Consortium on Global Islamic Studies
Currently, the following faculty members from UNK, UNL, and UNO participate in the consortium.
Michelle Black, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Michelle Black is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science for the University of Nebraska Omaha, the Director of Workforce Development and Education and an Executive Team member and Lead Researcher for the National Counterterrorism Innovation, Technology and Education (NCITE) which is a Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, a Research Fellow for the National Strategic Research Institute (NSRI) at the University of Nebraska, and Editor for the Space and Defense Journal. In addition to her academic career, Dr. Black has over seventeen years of professional experience with the Department of Defense. Prior to joining UNO, Dr. Black was a government civilian for the Department of Defense from 2009-2016. She specialized in Deterrence Analysis and Adversary Decision-making for United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) Plans and Policy Directorate at Offutt Air Force Base. During her time at USSTRATCOM, she provided analysis and recommendations to senior leaders on decision-making strategy, deterring state and non-state actors, and Middle East regional expertise. Dr. Black earned her Ph.D. in Political Science (Middle East and Security Studies concentrations) from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in 2016. She also earned an M.S. in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University (2009), a Graduate Certificate in Intelligence Studies from Mercyhurst College (2007), an M.S. in International Relations from Troy University (2005), and B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Iowa (2001).
James Clark, University of Nebraska at Omaha
James Clark is a visiting assistant professor of History at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is historian and scholar of the Middle East and Central Asia. His primary focus for research is modern Iran. He has published Provincial Concerns: A History of the Iranian province of Azerbaijan, 1848-1906. He has also published the annotated translations of The Travel Diary of Ebrahim Beg by Zayn ol-Abedin Maraghe’i, an important work of social criticism from the late 19th century, and The Rapture, a fictional critique of the Iranian government until 1895. His published articles have covered a variety of subjects and eras and include “Constitutionalists and Cossacks” (originally published in the journal Iranian Studies and reprinted in Iranian-Russian Encounters edited by Stephanie Cronin of Oxford University), “Abdullah Mustowfi in Russia, 1904-1909” (in Society and Culture in Qajar Iran: Studies in Honor of Hafez Farmayan), “A Work of Synthesis” and “Continuity and Change” (Iranica Antiqua), “Frequent Incompatibilities” (Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East), and “The Conflicts of Identity” (Central and Eastern European Review). He has published reviews of Abbas Amanat’s Pivot of the Universe and John Perry’s translation of Sadriddin Aini’s Sands of the Oxus. Dr. Clark has been the Overseas Director for The American Institute of Iranian Studies since 2000.
Abla Hasan, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Abla Hasan is an Associate Professor of Practice of Arabic Language and Culture at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She received her Ph.D. in Philosophy of Language from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2013. She has an MA in Philosophy as a Fulbright grantee from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2009. Dr. Hasan obtained her BA in Philosophy from Damascus University/Syria in 2000, followed by a Diploma of High Studies from Damascus University in 2001. She is a native speaker of Arabic. She teaches the Arabic language and culture at UNL, and she is the program's coordinator. Her teaching and research focus on Qur'anic Studies, Qur'anic Hermeneutics, Islamic feminism, and Arabic studies. She has published with Analize, Ar-Raniry, JIL, Disputatio, Al-Manarah, E-logos, and other peer-reviewed international journals. She is the author of Decoding the Egalitarianism of the Qur'an: Retrieving Lost Voices on Gender (Lexington: 2019).
Curtis Hutt, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Curtis Hutt is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at UNO. He is also the Executive Director of the Goldstein Center for Human Rights and Director of Programming for the Schwalb Center for Israel and Jewish Studies. Curtis as M.A. degrees in History and Philosophy. His Ph.D. is in Religion and Critical Thought from Brown University. He has published three books and fifteen articles, mostly related to his interested in religion and the representation of the past – particularly, the investigation of historical subaltern traditions. Curtis’ main area focus is the religions of the Middle East, specifically related to Jerusalem and the countries in the immediate vicinity. He has written on Islamic Jerusalem, Islamic pilgrimage over the last one hundred years, as well as animal sacrifice in Islamic traditions. Curtis' research takes him to Jerusalem regularly. Presently, he is organizing a UNO sponsored conference in Jerusalem focused on religious renewal movements amongst Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Ramazan Kılınç, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Dr. Ramazan Kılınç is a professor of Political Science and Director of Islamic Studies Program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He earned his Bachelors (1999) and Masters (2001) in International Relations at Bilkent University in Turkey and his Ph.D. (2008) in Political Science at the Arizona State University. Before joining the faculty in 2011, he taught in James Madison College at Michigan State University. He is the recipient of 2021 University of Nebraska system-wide Outstanding Teaching and Instructional Creativity Award, 2020 UNO Excellence in Teaching Award and 2018 UNO Alumni Outstanding Teacher Award. His research focuses on religion and politics with a focus on the Middle East. He is the author of Alien Citizens: State and Religious Minorities in Turkey and France (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and a co-author of Generating Generosity in Catholicism and Islam: Beliefs, Institutions and Public Goods Provision (Cambridge University Press, 2018). His most recent articles appeared in Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Politics and Religion, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Turkish Studies, and Religion, State & Society. He received the 2021 College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Award.
Charles Rowling, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Charles Rowling is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He received his MA (2007) and Ph.D. (2012) in Political Science from the University of Washington. Prior to that, Dr. Rowling obtained a BA (2003) in Political Science and History at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. His research primarily explores the relationship between officials, the press and the public in the context of US foreign policy, focusing on the role of national identity in shaping these interactions. He has published studies on US democracy promotion, US counterterrorism policy and the broader dynamics surrounding the idea of American exceptionalism. His work has appeared in such journals as Political Communication, Foreign Policy Analysis, Presidential Studies Quarterly, International Journal of Press/Politics, Journal of Communication, and Media, War and Conflict, among others. He is the author of Exceptional Me: How Donald Trump Exploited the Discourse of American Exceptionalism (I.B. Taurus/Bloomsbury: 2021).
Paul Williams, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Paul A. Williams is an Associate Professor and Chair (2011-present) of the department of Religious Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO). He received his Ph.D. in History of Religions at the University of Chicago in 2000. He also holds an AM degree in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago (1981), an MAR in Christian Studies from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the South-West (1979), and a BA with High Honors in Anthropology and a concentration in South Asian Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (1978). He did post-doctoral training at the University of Chicago (2002), as part of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute on “Societal Transformation and the Legitimation of Power in Early Islamic States” (2002). A faculty member of UNO since August 2001, he teaches courses in African Religions, Christian Studies, Islamic Studies, and Sociology of Religion and conducts research primarily on socio-cultural dimensions of inter-religious encounters (African Traditional Religions, Christianity, and Islam) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as religious minorities in Israel, Morocco, South Korea, and Turkey. Currently, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tri-Faith Initiative (Omaha, NE) and serves on the International Scientific Committee of the International Conference on Mosque Architecture.
Simon Wood, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Simon Wood is an associate professor of Classics and Religious Studies at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has a BA in History and Religious Studies from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a PhD in Religion from Temple University. His research and teaching focuses on modern Islam and the comparative study of world religions. His books include Christian Criticisms, Islamic Proofs: Rashid Rida’s Modernist Defence of Islam (Oxford: Oneworld, 2008) and an edited volume, Fundamentalism: Perspectives on a Contested History (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2014). His current courses include RELG 108 World Religions; RELG 208 Introduction to Islam; RELG 318 Islam in the Modern World; RELG 342 The Qur’an; and RELG 418 Fundamentalism, Religion, and Politics.