Assistant Professor
Asian Languages and Civilizations


Ph.D., M.A., B.A., University of Chicago

Research Interests

Pre-modern Arabic literature and culture, particularly from North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula; questions pertaining to authorship, textuality, and originality, as well as epigraphy, paleography, and manuscript studies; literary and cultural connections that link Arabic-speaking societies with other linguistic communities

Regional and Thematic Interests

West Asia/Middle East
Literature and the Arts; Language


Sabahat Adil received a B.A. with honors in Anthropology and South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the same institution. Before joining the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations at CU Boulder, she was a visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa and the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University. Her doctoral dissertation, Memorializing al-Maqqarī: The Life, Work, and Worlds of a Muslim Scholar, traces the footsteps of the dynamic scholar al-Maqqarī (d. 1632) who lived in Morocco, traveled throughout the Arabic-speaking Mediterranean, and composed an array of texts, which scholars and the public throughout the world rely on to this day. His literary corpus offers not only a means through which to study the past, but it is also a valuable avenue through which to interrogate the themes of memory, nostalgia, and authorship in light of the early modern Islamic contexts in which the texts were produced. Besides revising the dissertation for publication, she is currently working on a project that explores the appropriation of medieval Islamic literary texts in early twentieth century nation-state projects.

Selected Publications

2014. “Writing the Maghrib: Mobility, Patronage, and Scholarship in Seventeenth-Century Damascus.” Syrian Studies Association Bulletin, v. 19, no. 1, pp. 5–7.

2013. Co-authored with Jocelyn (Josie) Hendrickson. “A Guide to Arabic Manuscript Libraries in Morocco: Further Developments.” MELA Notes: Journal of Middle Eastern Librarianship.