Katharina Ivanyi named Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and History


katarina ivayniProfessor Katharina Ivanyi, with a bachelor's degree from Oxford University and a doctorate from Princeton University (2012), has been named Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and History. Her dissertation for her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies is titled "Virtue, Piety and the Law: A Study of Birgivi Mehmed Efendi’s al-Tariqa al-muhammadiyya."

Professor Ivanyi's focus is on Islamic studies - intellectual and cultural history. This semester she is teaching Introduction to Islam and Introduction to the Modern Middle East. Next semester it will be two sections of Modern Middle East and History of Islamic Ethics.

"I want to make questions that can seem very dry and irrelevant to our day and age relevant to the here and now," Professor Ivanyi said about teaching. "I was attracted to teaching at a small liberal arts college like Saint Michael's, and I'm very happy to be part of a closely knit, friendly community."


Professor Ivanyi earned her Princeton doctoral degree in Near Eastern Studies, with focus on Islamic thought and intellectual history. Her research interests include Ottoman Islam and Sufism, as well as developments in modern and contemporary religious thought.

She earned an M.Phil. with distinction from Oxford in 2005 in Modern Middle Eastern Studies, with a thesis titled "Continuity and Change in modern Qur'an commentary: The Case of Tafsir al-Manar." She earned her bachelor's degree from Oxford in 2003, in Oriental Studies (Arabic with Subsidiary Biblical Hebrew).

Publications & Presentations

Professor Ivanyi has published two articles in The Maghreb Review, and another in Journal of Islamic Studies. She has given papers at the Middle East Studies Association, most recently in December 2011, with a paper on “The Slippery Slope of Piety: A Case Study in Sixteenth Century Ottoman Reading Practices." She has also spoken to a meeting at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, the Oxford Center for Political Ideologies, and the Third Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Student Conference on Islamic Studies.

Professor Ivanyi received a number of Fellowships from Princeton and Oxford, and also a Fellowship in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. She speaks, reads and writes German, English French, Spanish, and Arabic, and reads Persian, Turkish, and Hebrew.

Ivanyi resides in Winooski.

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