Ali A. Olomi, Ph.D

Ali Olomi
Assistant Professor, History
Middle East, Islamic, and Global South History
Office Phone
Office Location
Sutherland, 404

Educational Background

Ph.D (2019) History, University of California Irvine

M.A. (2014) History, University of California Irvine

B.A. (2011) History, University of California Los Angeles

Research and Teaching Interests

Early Islamic History

Modern Middle East History

Global and World History

History of Religions

History of Gender and Sexuality

I am a historian of the Middle East and Islam researching, writing, and publishing on Muslim communal identity in the post-caliphal context. I study how Muslims from the early to the modern period deployed the concept of the ummah and homeland to fashion collective identity and imagine a global Muslim world. My research examines the deep roots of religious nationalism, Islamism, and the tension between imagined global religious community with local identity. I additionally have research and teaching interests in world history, gender, and sexuality, critical theory, historiography, folklore, and Islamic esotericism including monsters and djinn.

In my teaching, I combine research-based critical pedagogy with digital technologies.

Courses Taught

History 10- World History to 1500: Empires of Faith

History 181- Intro to the Middle East: From Muhammad to Now

History 102- Ancient Israel and Canaan: 3 Religions, 1 Jerusalem

History 475- Contemporary Middle East: Religion and Politics

Selected Publications

“Women, Education, and Islam.” Women in World Religions: Faith and Culture Across History, Edited by Susan De Gaia. Santa Barbara: ABC Clio, 2018.

“The Roots of Homophobia and Anti-Gay Sentiment in the Muslim World.” Duke University’s IslamiCommentary, 2016

“Ibn Abd al-Wahhab and Beginnings of Salafism.” Great Events in Religion, Edited by Florin Curta & Andrew Holt. Santa Barbara: ABC CLIO, 2016.