Kameliya N. Atanasova Assistant Professor of Religion
On sabbatical 2020-2021
Prof. Atanasova researches the important roles Sufism and Sufis played in the intellectual and social history of the Ottoman Empire between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. Her current project examines how Sufi (auto)biographical writing can provide scholars of religious history with glimpses into the institutional life of Sufi orders, helping to correct long-standing views that artificially separate the political from the “mystical.” She also explores how Sufi masters modeled their relationship to the Ottoman state, especially its military, using advice literature addressed to high-ranking officials—works which remain largely untranslated into any modern European languages.
Prof. Atanasova received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. She was previously Visiting Assistant Professor at Haverford College, where she taught courses on Sufism, gender and sexuality in Islam, and animals in religion. Her upcoming courses at W&L include History of Islamic Civilization, Sufism: Islamic Mysticism, and Islamic law.