In 2017, Dr. Ahmad Dallal published a primer on ISIS, entitled The Political Theology of ISIS: Prophets, Messiahs, and the "Extinction of the Grayzone." In August 2018, Tadween Publishing's managing editor, Kylie Broderick, spoke to him about the ongoing significance of the book, the study of ISIS and its animating principles, whether such studies remain relevant given ISIS' loss of territoriality, what interested Dr. Dallal in pursuing an understanding of this group, and more.
This interview is part of the "Tadween Talks" series, which explores the books published by Tadween, catches them up to the present, connects them to ongoing challenges in the region, and asks the authors to opine directly on the meaning of their books.This interview is part of the "Tadween Talks" series, which explores the books published by Tadween, catches them up to the present, connects them to ongoing challenges in the region, and asks the authors to opine directly on the meaning of their books.
Ahmad Dallal was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1957. He obtained his Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon in 1980. Between 1980 and 1984, he worked as a Development Engineer at Middle East Airlines, Lebanon. In Fall 1984 he continued his studies at Columbia University, USA where he received his MA and PhD in Islamic Studies in 1986 and 1990 respectively.
Dallal occupied several positions throughout his academic career. His first appointment was at Smith College, USA, first as a Luce Visiting Scholar (1990-1991), and then as a Five-College Assistant Professor of Arabic Language and Culture (1991-1994). Between 1994 and 2000, he was an Assistant Professor (1994-1997) and Associate Professor (1997-2000) of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Yale University, USA. Between 2000 and 2003, he was an Associate Professor at the Department of History at Stanford University, USA. And from 2003 to 2009 he served as the Chair of the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University. Between 2009 and 2015 he served as the Provost of the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He is currently Professor of History at the American University of Beirut. Throughout his career, he served on the advisory and editorial boards of several professional organizations and journals, and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America.
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