Dr. Shehnaz Haqqani
Assistant Professor of Religion
- B.A., Middle Eastern and South Asian Studies, Emory University, 2011
- M.A., Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, University of Texas at Austin, 2013
- Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, Islamic Studies, 2018
My specialty is religion and gender, with a strong focus on Islam. Prior to joining the Mercer faculty, I was a Dissertation Diversity Fellow in Women’s and Gender Studies at Ithaca College in upstate New York.
Teaching at Ithaca College solidified my interest in teaching. I have many passions, and teaching surpasses them all. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to make a career out of a passion.
I’m deeply invested in justice — of all kinds, for all people. I write and speak frequently about gendered and sexual injustices, and my students tease me that they can see a sparkle in my eyes when the word “colonialism” comes up. As a brown, immigrant, Muslim woman born and raised in Pakistan and as a feminist in a male-dominated world where gendered oppressions are not taken seriously because “we have bigger fish to fry,” I know what marginalization looks like.
My academic interests include religious authority, religion and feminism, and change and religion. My dissertation, titled “Islamic Tradition, Change, and Feminism: The Gendered Non-Negotiable,” explored these themes by investigating how change occurs within religion, focusing on Muslims in America and their attitudes toward gender and social change.
Past courses I have taught include Women and Islam, Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East, and Islam and Feminism. I look forward to sharing with the Mercer community my love for the study of religion and gender, and the ways in which religion remains important in our lives and our world.
I’m a huge proponent of self-care and spend much of my free time relaxing and taking care of myself. This often means reading fiction, watching TV shows that require shutting my brain off, and FaceTiming with my nephews and nieces, who are the center of my world. My work for social justice is especially important to me because it means working towards a better world where younger generations do not have to struggle as much as the generations before them did.