Chair in Islamic Studies

Mojtaba Mahdavi is Professor of Political Science and the ECMC Chair in Islamic Studies at the University of Alberta. He is the author and editor of numerous works on post-Islamism, contemporary social movements and democratization in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), postrevolutionary Iran, and modern Islamic political thought. He is the editor of The Myth of Middle East Exceptionalism: Unfinished Social Movements (Syracuse University Press, 2023), the co-editor of Rethinking China, the Middle East and Asia in a "Multiplex World" (Brill 2022), the co-editor of Towards the Dignity of Difference: Neither ‘End of History’ nor ‘Clash of Civilizations’ (Routledge 2012), the guest editor of The Many Faces of Contemporary Post-Islamism in journal of Religions (2021), and the guest editor of Contemporary Social Movements in the Middle East and Beyond in journal of Sociology of Islam (2014). Dr. Mahdavi is currently working on the following book projects: Ali Shariati and BeyondImagining Ethical Democratic Socialism in Muslim Contexts; Towards a Progressive Post-Islamism: Neo-Shariati Discourse in Postrevolutionary Iran; and Iran: Is a post-Islamist Democracy Possible?

He is a recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Fulbright Canada Visiting Scholar Award at Princeton University, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Connection Grant, and the SSHRC Conference Fund, IDRC Canada Partnership Grant, Killam Research Operating Grant, Visiting Fellow Grant at the Liu Institute and Green College at the University of British Columbia, among others.

Dr. Mahdavi’s research lies at the intersection of critical Middle East Studies, Political Economy, Contemporary Islamic Studies, and Decolonial/Postcolonial Studies. It is primarily driven by his interest in socio-structural changes in the life of ordinary people and discursive/intellectual transformations in MENA/Muslim contexts. He is interested in supervising graduate students working on the critical study of social movements, state-society relations, religion & politics, and political economy of MENA; alternative modernities and democracies in Muslim majority contexts; critical post-colonial studies; and contemporary Islamic studies.

For more information, please visit Prof Mahdavi's personal webpage.

Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi‘ (1956-2011) was Professor and the first Edmonton Council of Muslim Communities (ECMC) Chair in Islamic Studies in the Department of Political Science, and Department of History & Classics at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. His primary areas of academic specialization were the Middle East and International Relations.

He received his bachelor of arts from Birzeit University on the West Bank, earned two master’s degrees in the United States — one in political science at the University of Cincinnati and another in religious studies at Temple University — and earned his PhD in Islamic Studies at Temple University in 1987.

Prof. Abu-Rabi‘ was a prolific author and editor of numerous scholarly books. Among them are: The Contemporary Arab Reader on Political Islam (Pluto/University of Alberta 2010); Theodicy and Social Justice in Modern Islamic Thought (Ashgate 2010); Spiritual Dimensions of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s Risale-i-Nur (SUNY 2008); Contemporary Islamic Conversations: M. Fethullah Gulen on Turkey, Islam, and the West (SUNY 2008); The Blackwell Companion to Contemporary Islamic Thought (2006); Contemporary Arab Thought: Studies in Post-1967 Arab Intellectual History (Pluto 2005); Islam at the Crossroads: On the Life and Thought of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (SUNY 2004); Modernlik ve Cagdash Islam Dushuncesi (Yonelish 2003); Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence in the Modern Arab World (SUNY 1996); and The Pearls of Wisdom by the North African Mystic Ibn al-Sabbagh (SUNY 1996). He also translated several books from English into Urdu, Turkish, Arabic, Bosnian, and German, and from Arabic into English.

For more information please visit:

Also visit: Remembering Ibrahim Abu-Rabi’