I am Ilyse R. Morgenstein Fuerst and, yes, that whole bit after the R. is my surname. I’m an assistant professor of religion and the current director of Middle East studies at the University of Vermont. I’m also the co-chair of the Study of Islam Unit at the American Academy of Religion, the editor of the Islam section for Religion Compass, and on various editorial and advisory boards for Islamic studies journals and projects. Generally speaking, my published work addresses South Asian Islam, theories and history of religion, and the racialization of Islam. My first book, Indian Muslim Minorities and the 1857 Rebellion, was published by I.B. Tauris in 2017. I’m working on other projects, mostly around boundaries of the study of Islam, memorialization of Islamic history in South Asia, and histories of Islamophobia and the racialization of Muslims.


Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012

M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 2007

B.A., Colgate University, with honors, 2005



Indian Muslim Minorities and the 1857 Rebellion: Religion, Rebels and Jihad (London and New York: I. B.

Tauris, 2017)

Reviewed: Reading Religion (2018, S. Griswold); The Maydan (2018, A. Amstutz); American

Journal of Islamic Social Sciences (2018; M. Ali)


Co-Edited Refereed Journal Volume

Shifting Boundaries: The Study of Islam in the Humanities, special edition of Muslim World, Volume

106, Number 4 (October 2016). Co-edited with Zahra M. S. Ayubi.


Refereed Journal Articles

“Locating Religion in South Asia: Islamicate Definitions and Categories,” Comparative Islamic Studies,

Volume 10, no. 2 (2017): 217-241.

“Shifting Boundaries: the Study of Islam in the Humanities,” Muslim World, Volume 106,

Number 4 (October 2016): 643-654. Co-authored with Zahra M. S. Ayubi.

“A Muslim Bhagavadgita: ‘Abd al-Rahman’s Interpretive Translation and its Implications.” Journal of South Asian Religious History. Vol 1 (2015): 1-29.

“Space, Power, And Stories: Hagiography, Nationalist Discourse, and the Construction of Sacred Space at the Khwaja Sahib in Ajmer, India,” Symposia: The Graduate Student Journal of the Centre for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. Volume 3, 1 (2011): 55-69. Available online: http://symposia.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/symposia/article/view/14384.

Digital Scholarship

Podcast interview, New Books Network, with SherAli Tareen. April 17, 2018.


“Looking for Religion in South Asian Islamicate Sources,” Maydan, an online publication of

Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University. December 18, 2017.  https://www.themaydan.com/2017/12/looking-religion-south-asian-islamicate-sources/

“Five Books I’m Recommending to All My Friends,” Political Theology Network, “Books We Love”

series. August 9, 2017. https://politicaltheology.com/books-we-love-part-2-roberto-sirvent/

“Tracking Hate: Islam and Race after the Presidential Election,” Religion & Politics, a project of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. December 6, 2016. http://religionandpolitics.org/2016/12/06/tracking-hate-islam-and-race-after-the-presidential-election/

What Is Islam? Forum, Marginalia Review of Books, co-editor/co-author with Kristian Petersen. 6-part

review series with critical introduction by Petersen and myself on Shahab Ahmed’s What is Islam? The Case for Being Islamic (Princeton UP:  2015). Originally published August 19-26, 2016. Co-authored introduction here: http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/islam-forum-introduction/

“Spinning but not Religious: Inside the New Economy of Spiritual Fitness,” Religion Dispatches, June

14, 2016. http://religiondispatches.org/spinning-but-not-religious-inside-the-new-economy-of-spiritual-fitness/

Picked up and redistributed by AlterNet, June 18, 2016: http://www.alternet.org/inside-new-economy-spiritual-fitness

5-part series on “Indian Summers,” PBS Masterpiece Theater program (2015), in Sacred Matters:

Religious Currents in Culture. Series accessible here: https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/sacredmatters/tag/indian-summers/

Podcast interview, “New Directions in Religious Studies: Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst,” with Kristian

Petersen for Marginalia Review of Books.  March 17, 2015. http://marginalia.lareviewofbooks.org/directions-in-the-study-of-religion-ilyse-morgenstein-fuerst/

Editor and author, Religion@UVM Blog. Author page: http://blog.uvm.edu/religion/author/imorgens/

Blog Posts


    “Made by Committee: How Academic Job Ads Reify and Shape Islamic Studies,” forthcoming conference paper at AAR 2018, and article-in-process.

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