Ayesha S. Chaudhry

Associate Professor
PhD, New York University
Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies

Dr. Ayesha S. Chaudhry is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies and Gender Studies in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies and the Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice at UBC. Chaudhry earned her PhD in Middle East and Islamic studies from New York University and a collaborative MA in Near Eastern civilizations and women’s studies from the University of Toronto.

She is a contributor to the Globe and Mail and has consulted on high-level national and international cases concerning human rights and religious pluralism and freedom, as well as on divorce cases involving Muslim-majority countries. Chaudhry has been an Early Career Scholar at the Peter Wall Institute. 

Ayesha S. Chaudhry was the 2015-16 Rita E. Hauser fellow at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She is the author of Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition: Ethics, Law, and the Muslim Discourse on Gender (Oxford University Press, 2014).

Primary Recipient Awards

Wall Scholars, Ayesha S. Chaudhry, 2016

Ayesha S. Chaudhry
Wall Scholars

As a Wall Scholar, Dr. Chaudhry is working on a project that constructs a feminist Shari’a by re-imagining the narrative of ‘Ā’isha, Muḥammad’s youngest wife. Constructions of 'Ā'isha are central to justifying and supporting patriarchal Islamic laws, especially those regarding women’s political and religious leadership, women’s testimony, polygamy, child marriage and virginity testing, slander and corporal punishment for illicit sex, and domestic violence. Therefore, creating a feminist narrative of ‘Ā’isha is necessary for Islamic legal reform.

Chaudhry is examining premodern, patriarchal constructions of ‘Ā’isha, investigating modern Muslim debates around these laws, and proposing strategies for reimagining ‘Ā’isha to frame a narrative for a gender-equal Islamic law. Looking at major Muslim debates about gender through the lens of ‘Ā’isha will provide a counter-narrative to conceptions of a patriarchal Islam.

Early Career Scholars, Ayesha S. Chaudhry, 2013

Ayesha S. Chaudhry

Research Mentoring Program, Ayesha S. Chaudhry, 2013

Ayesha S. Chaudhry

Mentor: Dr.Edward Slingerland, Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts 
Living Islam Between Text and Practice: A Case Study of Domestic Violence

Early Career Scholar Start-Up Research Grant, Ayesha S. Chaudhry, 2012

Ayesha S. Chaudhry

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