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Valerie Hoffman

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Associate Professor, Religion

Valerie J. Hoffman is currently Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduates Studies in the Department of Religion at the University of Illinois. Dr. Hoffman teaches courses on all aspects of Islam, from the Qur'an to medieval theology and philosophy, Sufism, local expressions of Islam throughout the Muslim world, modern politics, and women in Muslim societies. Her areas of research specialization include Sufism in modern Egypt, Islamic gender ideology, Muslim women's religious lives, Islamic scholarship in 19th- and early 20th-century Oman, the Hadramawt and Zanzibar, and contemporary Islamic movements.

Areas of Expertise

Islamic Theology and Philosophy, Sufism, Women in Islam and in Muslim Societies, Ibadi Islam, Islam and Human Rights, Islam and Democracy, Modern Islamic Movements in the Arab World

Countries Covered

Egypt, Oman, Zanzibar (Tanzania), Hadhramaut region of Yemen (south), North Africa and Middle East in general

Potential Lecture Topics

  • "Muslim perspectives on Human Rights"
  • "Islam, Democracy, and Religious Pluralism: Some Contemporary Egyptian Perspectives"
  • "Islam and Muslim Scholars in Nineteenth-Century Zanzibar"
  • "Women in Islam, and the Potential for Reinterpretation"
  • Many possible lectures on Sufism in Modern Egypt