Han Hsien Liew is an intellectual historian of the premodern Islamic world and is currently Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. His research interests include medieval Islamic political thought; premodern Islamic scholarly culture and transmission of knowledge; Qur’anic exegesis (tafsir); and Arabic-Islamic historical and biographical writings.
His current book project, Preaching Pious and Learned Rulership in Medieval Islam: Ibn al-Jawzi's Political Thought (under contract with Edinburgh University Press), examines the relationship between preaching and political thought in medieval Islam. It focuses on the political discourses of Ibn al-Jawzi, a twelfth-century Muslim religious scholar and preacher in late Abbasid Baghdad. Through an intertextual analysis of Ibn al-Jawzi’s political writings, preaching manuals, collections of sermons, and historical and biographical writings, this book sparks new approaches in the study of Islamic political thought and probes the interconnections between politics, rhetoric, and emotions.
Liew’s research articles have been published in Arabica, the Journal of the American Oriental Society, and New Trends in Qur’anic Studies: Text, Context and Interpretation (edited by Mun’im Sirry). He is also the recipient of the Middle East Studies Association Graduate Student Paper Prize (2017), the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) Junior Fellowship at Koç University (2016–2017), and the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Fellowship for Islamic Studies at Harvard University (2012–2013).
Before joining ASU, Liew was Assistant Professor of Arts and Humanities at the Minerva Schools at Keck Graduate Institute (2019–2020) and Postdoctoral Graduate Writing Fellow at Harvard University (2018–2019). He received his B.A. from Wesleyan University and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is originally from Penang, Malaysia.
Liew is interested in advising graduate research projects related to: premodern Islamic political thought, premodern Islamic traditions and intellectual developments, premodern Islamic scholarly culture, and Islam in premodern Southeast Asia.