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Dr. Souad T. Ali, Founding Chair

An internationally acclaimed Scholar, Professor Souad T. Ali is head of Classics and Middle Eastern studies, founding chair of the ASU Council for Arabic and Islamic Studies; coordinator of Arabic Studies; and associate professor of Arabic literature and Middle Eastern/Islamic studies in the School of International Letters and Cultures (SILC). She is simultaneously an affiliate graduate faculty member in English, women and gender studies, religious studies, and justice and social inquiry; as well as an affiliate faculty member in the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, African and African-American studies, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, Institute for Humanities Research, and Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. A scholar with international recognition, Professor Ali is a recipient of several awards including, the ASU Faculty Women’s Association Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award (2017); the ASU Outstanding Advisor of the Year (2019), among others.

Fulbright Scholar, Professor Ali is the author of A Religion, Not A State: Ali ‘Abd al-Raziq’s Islamic Justification of Political Secularism (University of Utah Press 2009), The Road to Two Sudans, an edited volume of which she is the lead editor, has been published internationally by Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2014). Ali’s third book is Perspectives of Five Kuwaiti Women in Leadership Roles: Feminism, Islam and Politics (CSP, April, 2019). Her other books in progress include, "Subjugated Voices"(with Dr. Emily Silverman); as well as a major Translation of Ali 'Abd al-Raziq that received an invitation by Oxford University Press to submit when completed. Professor Ali published more than 25 scholarly articles (several of which have been translated into different languages); and contributed more than 100 scholarly conference presentations.

Professor Ali is the elected president of the Sudan(s) Studies Association of North America (SSA) (2017-2019); Board Member and Arizona/Nevada Representative, as well as the past president of the American Academy of Religion/Western Region (AAR/WR).  She is a member of the Governing Board of the Center for Arabic Studies Abroad (CASA) in the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard, and as Executive Committee member of the International Association of Intercultural Studies (IAIS), Cairo, Egypt and Bremen Germany.

Professor Ali has taught at the American University of Kuwait, the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, and Hiram College (Ohio).

Professor Ali received a bachelor's with distinction from the University of Khartoum and the Polytechnic of North London, a master's with distinction from Brigham Young University, and a doctorate with honors from the University of Utah (2004), where she studied under Professor Bernard G. Weiss


  • Ph.D. Middle Eastern Studies (Arabic Literature/Islamic Studies) Summa cum Laude (with honors), Department of Languages and Literatures, The Middle East Studies Center, University of Utah 2004
  • Master's degree. English (American and African American Literature) with distinction, Brigham Young University 1994
  • B.A. English (British and African Literature) with distinction, University of Khartoum, Sudan and the Polytechnic of North London, England 1991

Learn more about Dr. Souad Ali 

Affiliate faculty

Administrative support

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of International Letters and Cultures (SILC) provide administrative support to the Council. CAIS is a council of The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. SILC is a school of The College.

Administration, The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Administration and Faculty Heads, ASU School of International Letters and Cultures