Anthropology Department
Arsalan Khan

Arsalan Khan

Job Title
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Lamont House 308
Department/Program: Anthropology, Asian Studies

Research interests

Professor Khan’s research focuses on ritual, gender and ethics, themes that he explores in the context of the Islamic revival in Pakistan. His dissertation ‘Islam, Ritual and the Ethical Life: Dawat in the Tablighi Jamaat in Pakistan’ examines the zealous commitment to a distinct form of face-to-face preaching (dawat) among Pakistani Tablighis, practitioners of the transnational Islamic piety movement, the Tablighi Jamaat. This research looks at howdawat, which involves arduous travel and great personal sacrifice, is understood by Tablighis to be a means for the cultivation of personal piety and interpersonal ethics. His research shows how this Tablighi understanding of dawat not only places them in opposition to Pakistani liberals but, crucially, also leads them to reject Islamist political activism and even the idea of an Islamic state. His research speaks to broader questions about the relationship between Islam, secularism and modernity.

Additional media

Academic credentials

B.A., Beloit College; M.A., University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Ph.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville