Assistant Professor Contact Areas of Interest
Nada Moumtaz
Department for the Study of Religion
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 315
170 St. George St.
  • Anthropology of Islam
  • Islamic law
  • Anthropology of property
  • Economic anthropology
  • Urban theory
  • Ottoman 19th century
  • Contemporary Middle East, Levant, Lebanon


On research leave for academic year 2019-2020.

I received my Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. My research stands at the intersection of Islamic legal studies, the anthropology of Islam, and studies of capitalism, and spans the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries in the Levant. Throughout my work I address how, beginning in the nineteenth century, Islamic tradition has transformed while continuing to challenge and provide alternatives to dominant sensibilities, conceptions, and institutions of the modern world. I am currently finishing my book manuscript, tentatively entitled Reviving the Waqf: Property, Law, and Religion in Modern Beirut, where I examine the contemporary Islamic revival of a centuries-old charitable practice of pious endowment under global capitalism and a regime of modern nation-states. I argue that these attempts to rekindle the practice of waqf reorder key concepts in the Islamic tradition, namely public benefit, family, and intent.

Primary Teaching

Recent Undergraduate Courses

    • NMC 103 Islamic World (Fall)
    • NMC 241 Anthropology of the Middle East
    • RLG 352 Postcolonial Islam
    • RLG 353 Politics of Charity (Winter)
    • RLG 355 Living Islam/ Anthropology of Islam



Recent Graduate Courses

    • RLG 3527 Anthropology of Islam
    • RLG 3616 Islamic Law and Society
    • NMC 2081 Anthropology of the Middle East


“From Forgiveness to Foreclosure: Waqf, Debt, and the Remaking the Islamic Legal Subject in Late Ottoman Mount Lebanon.”The Muslim World108 (4): 593-612.
“Is the Family Waqf a Religious Institution?’ Charity, Economy, and Religion in French Mandate Lebanon.”Islamic Law and Society25 (1-2): 37-77.
Co-authored with Mona Fawaz.“Of Property and Planning: An Introduction.”Introduction to special section ofPlanning Theory and Practice18 (3): 345-350.
“Chapter 7: Refiguring Islam.”The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anthropology of the Middle EastEd. Soraya AltorkiWiley-Blackwell.125-50.

Accomplishments and Awards

Connaught New Researcher Award, University of Toronto
Postdoctoral Fellowship at the program “Europe in the Middle East – The Middle East in Europe” of the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin.
Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
National Science Foundation, Dissertation Improvement Grant
Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant