Goethe, "Die Leiden des Jungen Werthers"

If you inquire what the people are like here, 
I must answer, "The same as everywhere!"


  Dr. Edith Szanto

 Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

​@ The University of Alabama  


Selected Works:

​"Claiming Agency in the Iraqi State of Exception," in States of Exception or Exceptional States: Law, Politics and Giorgio Agamben in the Middle East, edited by Simon Mabon, Sana Alsarghali, and Adel Ruished (London: Bloomsbury, 2022), 53-74.

"The ‘Alimahs of Sayyida Zaynab: Female Shi‘i Authority in a Syrian Sanctuary," in Female Religious Authority in Shi‘i Islam: A Comparative History, edited by Mirjam Künkler and Devin Steward (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2021), 307-322.

​"Battered Love in Contemporary Syria: Shi‘i Spiritual Healing with Abu Ahmad," in Islam, Migration, and Jinn: Spiritual Medicine in Muslim Health Management, edited by Annabell Böttcher and Birgit Krawietz (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2021), 77-97.

"Gender and the Karbala Paradigm: On Studying Contemporary Shi'i Women," in The Routledge Handbook of Islam and Gender, edited by Justine Howe (London: Routledge, 2020), 180-192.

"Islam in Kurdistan: Religious Communities and Their Practices in Contemporary Northern Iraq," in Handbook of Contemporary Islam and Muslim Lives, edited by Ronald Lukens-Bull and Mark Woodward (London: Springer, 2020): 1-16.

​"Economies of Piety at the Syrian Shrine of Sayyida Zaynab," in Muslim Pilgrimage in the Modern World, edited by Babak Rahimi and Peyman Eshaghi (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2019), 172-182.

"Shi‘a Islam in Practice," in Handbook of Contemporary Islam and Muslim Lives, edited by Mark Woodward and Ronald Lukens-Bull (London: Springer, 2018), 1-15.

"Mourning Halabja on Screen: Or Reading Kurdish Politics through Anfal Films,Review of Middle East Studies 52 no. 1 (April 2018): 135-146.


​" 'Zoroaster was a Kurd!': Neo-Zoroastrianism among the Iraqi Kurds," Iran and the Caucasus 22 no. 1 (2018): 96-110. 

"Challenging transnational Shiʿi authority in Baʿth Syria," British Journal of Middle East Studies 45 no. 1 (2018): 95-110.

"Depicting Victims, Pawns and Heroines in the Syrian Uprising," Journal of Middle East Women's Studies 12 no. 3 (2016): 306-322.

"Sex and the Cemetery: Iranian Pilgrims, Shrine Visitation, and Shi‘i Piety in Damascus," Syrian Studies Association Bulletin 19 no. 2 (2014): 1-5.

"Beyond the Karbala Paradigm: Rethinking Revolution and Redemption in Twelver Shi‘a Mourning Rituals," Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies 6 no 1 (2013): 75-91. 

"Contesting Fragile Saintly Traditions: Miraculous Healing among Twelver Shi‘is in Contemporary Syria,” in Politics of Worship in the Contemporary Middle East: Sainthood in Fragile States, edited by Andreas Bandak and Mikkel Bille (Leiden: Brill, 2013), 33-52.  

"Sayyida Zaynab in the State of Exception: Shiʿi Sainthood as “Qualified Life" in Contemporary Syria," International Journal of Middle East Studies 44 no. 2 (2012): 285-299.

"Illustrating an Islamic Childhood in Syria: Pious Subjects and Religious Authority in Twelver Shi'i Children’s Books," Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 32 no. 2 (2012): 361-373.

"Inter-Religious Dialogue in Syria: Politics, Ethics and Miscommunication," Political Theology 9 no. 1 (2008): 93-113.