Staff Research Interests
Our staff have a wide range of research interests across politics, international relations, philosophy and religion.
I received my PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Manchester, Department of Middle Eastern Studies. My research covers two key strands: the classical and pre-modern intellectual and textual traditions, particularly Qur’an hermeneutics and ritual law; and Muslim responses to modernity, with a focus on how twentieth century and contemporary Muslim women scholars read the tradition to intellectually and socially develop their religious authority as knowers of the tradition. I have written on ritual purity, metaphor in post-classical Qur’an interpretation and Arabic rhetoric, feminist hermeneutics of the Qur’an, and contemporary female exegetes and jurists in Islam. In recent years, I have developed an interest in Islam in Britain, co-authoring a study of change in conceptions of God in modern Britain and leading a research project entitled Muslim Women Reading Religious Texts in Britain and Egypt (2010-2011). The project investigated how core Islamic texts are read by ‘ordinary’ Muslim women in light of their contexts. I have also been involved in supporting Islamic studies in the UK through my work with HEFCE's Islamic Studies Network until 2012, and currently through my capacity as interim Co-chair of the British Association of Islamic Studies (BRAIS).
My research interests fall in the intersection of contemporary Chinese politics and international relations, broadly conceived, and critical theories of global politics. I am particularly interested in the contemporary deployment of concepts drawn from Chinese history, such as harmony (hexie), civilisation (wenming), hegemony (baquan), or All-under-heaven (Tianxia), and their relation to contemporary continental philosophy, particularly the thought of Jean Baudrillard and Jacques Derrida.
Within this scope I have written on alternative conceptions of time, space and world order; the politics of mega events (particularly Expo 2010 Shanghai China); Chinese censorship and resistance throughout history; Chinese discourses of online resistance and wordplay (egao); the 'Chinese school' of IR; the policy concepts of 'harmonious world' (hexie shijie) and 'harmonious society' (hexie shehui); soft power; East Asian regionalism and regionalisation; and spatial and temporal aspects of difference in the work of Derrida and Baudrillard.