2023-24 Catalog

Global Islamic Studies, Center for

Program Director:  Robert Rozehnal, PhD (Duke)

Email: ror2@lehigh.edu    |   Phone: 610-758-4280


Supported by the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, 610-758-4280
Maginnes Hall, Suite 490, 9 West Packer Avenue

Steering Committee

Taïeb Berrada, PhD (Department of Modern Languages and Literatures); Nandini Deo, PhD (Department of Political Science); Khurram Hussain, PhD (Department of Religion Studies); Allison Mickel, PhD (Department of Sociology and Anthropology);  Ugur Pece, PhD (Department of History); Michael Raposa, PhD (Department of Religion Studies); Robert Rozehnal, PhD (Department of Religion Studies); and Bruce Whitehouse, PhD (Department of Sociology and Anthropology)  

The Center for Global Islamic Studies (CGIS) is an intellectual community committed to the interdisciplinary study of Islamic civilization. The Center was established at Lehigh in 2009 with the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Cutting across numerous academic disciplines and departments, CGIS supports the academic exploration of the diverse cultures and rich historical legacy of the Muslim world—from its roots in Abrahamic prophecy and Greek philosophy, to its long interaction with the West and profound impact on global culture, trade, art and architecture, literature, politics, philosophy, science and religious life, from Morocco to Malaysia to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

CGIS promotes teaching and research designed to take Islamic Studies into and beyond the classroom by offering students, faculty and the broader community a variety of forums for dialogue, debate and experiential learning. The Center's intellectual core is distinguished by three distinct signatures:

  • an integrated undergraduate academic program that provides Lehigh students with multiple outlets to encounter the diversity and dynamism of global Islam
  • a comparative, interdisciplinary approach to Islamic studies that goes beyond narrow geographic areas and political issues to explore the broader landscape of Islamic civilization, both past and present
  • the translation of theory into practice, linking rigorous scholarship on the Muslim world to direct, practical, hands-on learning beyond the boundaries of the Lehigh campus

Research Activities

CGIS promotes faculty and student research projects in interdisciplinary, comparative Islamic Studies. The Center sponsors an annual lecture series and an array of campus events (musical performances, workshops, and conferences).  A 2016 international conference on Islam in Southeast Asia hosted by CGIS led to the publication of an edited volume: Piety, Politics and Everyday Ethics in Southeast Asian Islam: Beautiful Behavior (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019).  A recent interdisciplinary conference, “Cyber Muslims: Mapping Islamic Networks in the Digital Age,” took place on the Lehigh campus April 13-15, 2022, with an edited volume of the same name forthcoming from Bloomsbury in May 2022.

Educational Opportunities

The launch of the Center for Global Islamic Studies is a pivotal component in the continued expansion of the undergraduate educational experience at Lehigh University. Drawing on the university's experience in building interdisciplinary programs, its institutional commitment to international education, and its substantive relationships with numerous Muslim partners both in the Lehigh Valley and internationally, the Center for Global Islamic Studies plays a central role in the university's mission to provide Lehigh's students with transformative learning experiences that cross academic disciplines and broaden horizons on today's globalized world.


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