Najam Haider is an assistant professor in the Department of Religion at both Columbia University and Barnard College, where he teaches courses on Islamic studies and history. His research interests include Islamic law, Shi’ism, and the impact of colonization on modern Islamic political and religious discourse. Prior to arriving at his current institutions, Haider taught at the college and universities of Franklin & Marshall, Georgetown, New York, and Princeton. Haider completed his PhD at Princeton University, M.Phil. at Oxford University, and BA at Dartmouth College, and has published articles focusing on Islamic historiography and the emergence of sectarian identity.
His book entitled, The Origins of the Shī‘a: Identity, Ritual, and Sacred Space in 8th century Kūfa, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2011 and focused on the role of ritual and sacred space in the formation of Shi’a identity today. His second book, Shi’a Islam (2014) offered a comprehensive overview of three branches of Shi’a Islam—Zaydi, Twelver, and Ismaili—through a framework of theology and memory. His current project focuses on the link between early Islamic historical writing and Late Antique and Classical Rhetoric.