Emily Jane O'Dell

Resident Fellow in Islamic Law at Yale Law School

Dr. Emily Jane O'Dell is Resident Fellow in Islamic Law in the Abdallah S. Kamel Center for the Study of Islamic Law and Civilization at Yale Law School and an editor of SHARIAsource at Harvard Law School, after having spent over half a decade teaching in the Middle East at the American University of Beirut as the Whittlesey Chair of History and Archaeology and at Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman. She is a global mentor for the Coalition for Women in Journalism, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Al Jazeera, NPR, International Herald Tribune, Salon, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, and Jadaliyya. Stateside she has taught at Columbia University, Brown University, and Harvard University -- where she received an award for excellence in teaching. She completed her Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard University under the direction of Professor Homi Bhabha, and received her PhD, MA, MFA, and MA from Brown University -- and an additional Masters in Central Asian Studies from Columbia University. She conducts research at the advanced level in 15 different languages. For her field-research on Islam and cultural heritage, Emily has been a Fulbright-Hays Scholar (Indonesia), a Harvard Traveling Fellow (Iran), an Edward A. Hewett Policy Fellow (Tajikistan & Afghanistan), a Columbia University Pepsico Fellow (Uzbekistan), an IREX Fellow (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, & Hungary), an American Center for Mongolian Studies Fellow (Mongolia), an American Council Fellow (Turkmenistan), and a State Department Fellow in Critical Languages (Persian & Tajiki) in Tajikistan. After serving for several seasons as the Chief Epigrapher of the Brown University-Cairo University Epigraphic Survey at the Great Pyramids of Giza, she is now conducting archaeological and anthropological research at Sufi shrines in Central Asia, Meroitic temples in Sudan, and sacred sites in Mongolia. Readings and productions of her plays have been produced at Lincoln Center, the Public Theatre, City Center, Trinity Repertory Company, Perishable Theatre, Brown University, and the New York Fringe Festival, and she has also worked in television and film. She regularly performs the Javanese gamelan in concert at Lincoln Center, Asia Society, and with the masters in Java. In addition to her scholarly and artistic endeavors, she also does advocacy work and creative projects in the Middle East with refugees, young people with mental illness, and people with disabilities.

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