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Hengameh Ziai
SOAS, University of London
Assistant Professor
Henny Ziai is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in the History of Middle East and Africa at SOAS, University of London. Her research lies at the intersection of political theory, critical political economy, and Islamic studies, with a focus on formations of the colonial and the emergence of modern political subjectivity in Sudan during the long nineteenth century. She is currently converting her doctoral thesis, entitled “Ploughing for the Hereafter: Debt, Time, and Mahdist Resistance in Northern Sudan, 1821-1935,” into a book manuscript. Her thesis approaches the Mahdist insurgency (1881-1898) against Ottoman rule not as a political event but as an extraordinary conceptual repository, a starting point from which to rethink some of the key categories of political economy, including debt, property, and law. In doing so, it offers an account of the constitution of the distinct spheres of the ‘religious’ and the ‘economic,’ of ‘Islam’ and ‘political economy.’
Sub Areas
Political Economy
African Studies
19th-21st Centuries
Middle East/Near East Studies
Geographic Areas of Interest
Africa (Sub-Saharan)
All Middle East
Persian (fluent)
Arabic (advanced)
Swahili (intermediate)
French (advanced)
PhD | 2021 | Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies | Columbia University
MA | 2014 | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | SOAS
MA | 2012 | African Studies | Oxford University
BA | 2010 | Philosophy, Politics and Economics | Oxford University
The “indebted peasant”: human capital, development and neoliberalism in Sudan’s Gezira Scheme Debt as Colonialism?: Ottoman-Egypt, Sudan and the Mahdist Revolution From Mahdists to Peasants: the corporation and colonial power in the Gezira Scheme in Sudan When ‘Turks’ Became Infidels: Debt, Mahdism and the Refashioning of Ethical Subjects in Ottoman Sudan Imminent Critique: Mahdism, the End of Time, and Rethinking Political Economy in Ottoman Sudan, 1881-1925 Producing ‘Economy’ and ‘Religion’: A Genealogy of Political Economy in Ottoman Sudan