Order of Multitudes

Travis Zadeh

Travis Zadeh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Yale University. His areas of interest include frontiers and early conversion, Qur’anic studies, colonialism, Islamic reform, and language politics. His first book, Mapping Frontiers Across Medieval Islam: Geography, Translation and the ‘Abbasid Empire (I.B. Tauris, 2011), explores the diverse uses of translation, scriptural exegesis, and administrative geography in the projection of imperial power. His second book, The Vernacular Qur’an: Translation and the Rise of Persian Exegesis (Oxford University Press, 2012), explores early juridical and theological debates on the translatability of the Qur’an, the rise of vernacular cultures, the development of Persian exegetical literature, and translations of the Qur’an. Zadeh is currently researching several topics, including astonishment and wonder before and after the age of reform, material and visual cultures in Islamic studies, knowledge networks spanning frontiers across Central and South Asia, and the intersections between sacred geography, history, and scripture. His current book project, Marvelous Geographies: Religion and Science in Islamic Thought (under contract with Harvard University Press), explores the problem of the marvelous, broadly construed, over the course of Islamic history. He is also undertaking a book project on the early history, formation, and memory of Mecca, with specific attention to the repeated destruction of the sanctuary complex at the end of the seventh century.