The Alwaleed Islamic Studies Program at Harvard University promotes the scholarly study of Islam and Muslim societies on an interdisciplinary, global basis. It was founded in 2006 with the support of a gift from Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud to Harvard University to promote the study of Islam and intercultural understanding. Prince Alwaleed’s gift also endowed four professorships in Islamic studies, which are held by David Roxburgh, Alwaleed Professor of Islamic Art History; Malika Zeghal, Alwaleed Professor in Contemporary Islamic Through and Life; Ousmane Kane, Alwaleed Professor in Contemporary Islamic Religion and Society; and Teren Sevea, Alwaleed Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies. The gift also supports stipends for graduate students in Islamic studies and the digitization of Islamic manuscripts through the Islamic Heritage Project.
While the study of islam has a long history at Harvard, as documented in our history timeline, and spans many departments and centers, the Alwaleed Program serves as a central institutional home promoting Islamic studies across the University. The Alwaleed Program’s initiatives include the Alwaleed bin Talal Seminar in Islamic Studies, a monthly seminar through which leading scholars present their new research in a range of disciplines and subjects; Research Methods in Islamic Studies Workshop, a bi-annual workshop that supports students and visiting fellows in navigating Harvard’s vast Islamic studies library resources and exploring methodological questions; Early-Career Faculty Grants, which support Islamic studies faculty in conducting cutting-edge research; and Alwaleed bin Talal Undergraduate Thesis and Ph.D. Dissertation Prizes, which recognize outstanding scholarship produced by Harvard undergraduate and Ph.D. students in Islamic studies. The Alwaleed Program also explores new developments in Islamic studies at and beyond Harvard and shares them with a public audience through the Harvard Islamica Podcast