Professor Riaz Hassan

AbdouMaliq SimoneProfessor Riaz Hassan is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Flinders University and Visiting Research Professor at the Institute of South Asian Studies National University of Singapore. He has held academic appointments at the University of California Los Angeles and Yale University. In addition, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Ohio State University, from which he received his PhD in sociology. His recent publications include Inside Muslim Minds (Melbourne University Press), Islam and Society: Sociological Explorations (Melbourne University Press), Life as a Weapon: The Global Rise of Suicide Bombings (Routledge), and Faithlines: Muslim Conceptions of Islam and Society (Oxford University Press). Professor Hassan is also a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a Member of the Order of Australia.


Dr Nahid Afrose Kabir, Senior Research Fellow

Dr Nahid Afrose Kabir is a scholar on the subject of modern Muslim affairs; she is the author of Young American Muslims: dynamics of identity, Young British Muslims: identity, culture, politics and the media; and Muslims in Australia: immigration, race relations and cultural history. Nahid was awarded a PhD in history by the University of Queensland, Australia in 2003, and her thesis is titled The Muslims in Australia: an historical and sociological analysis, 1860–2002. Nahid was a visiting fellow (Aug 2009 – Jul 2011) in the Islam in the West program at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University, USA.

Nahid has conducted extensive research on Muslims in Australia, the UK and the USA. She observes that Muslim migration has taken place in these countries for several centuries but after the September 11 Twin Towers attacks Muslims have become viewed as 'the Other'. In her book Muslims in Australia, Nahid examined the historical basis of such a view. She discussed how the actions of militant Islamic groups have impacted upon Muslims in general in western society. In her second book, Young British Muslims, Nahid noted that in the aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings some young Muslims have been facing challenges in their everyday lives. She examined how these young Muslims define their identity and their sense of 'Britishness' in these circumstances. She emphasised the value of biculturalism, which she considers would help them integrate successfully into British society. In her third book, Young American Muslims, Nahid examined how young Muslim Americans are placed within 'their American dream'.

Nahid's current research project is titled 'Muslims in India: identity, youth, women and security'.

See our publications page for details of Nahid's books.
Also see Nahid Afrose Kabir, Anzac Day: lest we forget, MnM commentary no 27, and Nahid's other commentaries and frequent blog posts.

Dr Gilbert Caluya, South Australian Research Fellow 

Gilbert CaluyaThe guiding impetus behind my research is to trace how the legacies of colonialism continue to shape contemporary cultural formations in a globalised world. My research attempts to expose the ways race thinking is invested in our embodied subjectivities and the affective, semiotic and material environments in which we live. Simultaneously, my research is committed to exploring ways we might negotiate the cultural politics of colonialism by conceptualising and cultivating a postcolonial ethics. Theoretically, my work is influenced by postcolonialism and critical race theory, post-structuralism, queer theory, corporeal feminism and phenomenology (particularly Lingis and Levinas).

To date I have explored these questions in two main cultural sites: Asian diasporic intimacies and everyday cultures of security. The first body of research is based on autoethnographic, media and archival texts to explore the ways that orientalism impinges upon the formation of sexual subjectivities in the West. It takes seriously the question of what it means to ‘face racism’ in order to interrogate the affective and semiotic dynamics of anti-Asian racism in queer culture. The second thread of research continues from my PhD thesis Terror’s territories: race, politics and everyday space and traces the emergences of everyday security practices in the post–Cold War period as a genealogy of contemporary cultures of fear.

I obtained my PhD from the University of Sydney in 2009 in gender and cultural studies. I am a recipient of the University of Sydney Medal, the Australian Postgraduate Award, the Sydney University College of Humanities and Social Sciences Research Award and the Australian Gay and Lesbian Archives Thesis Prize.

See Gilbert Caluya, The veiled interests of multiculturalism, MnM commentary no 2.

Dr Chloe Patton, Postdoctoral Research Fellow 

Chloe PattonIn a broad sense, my work addresses the relationship between liberal national political ideologies and questions of identity and subjectivity that have arisen in a rapidly globalising world. As an ethnographer, I look to the politics of everyday social interaction in order to understand larger scale processes of social reproduction and change. Taking an intersubjective conception of self-identity as a starting point, this involves examining the way national imageries and governmental processes of recognition shape and become enmeshed within the way we come to think not just about the nation and our place in it, but about ourselves. In doing so I am interested in how colonial power structures are challenged and maintained, particularly in terms of the distribution of esteem within national social space.

My doctoral research pursued these questions in relation to the way liberal multiculturalism shapes the lifeworlds of the members of a Muslim youth group in Melbourne, Australia. A related area of interest is republican secularism, particularly how recent (and not so recent) efforts to define the limits of republican tolerance have been played out on women’s bodies in France.

See Chloe Patton, Fearing the burqa, MnM commentary no 14, and Chloe's frequent blog posts.

Dr Amrita Malhi, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Amrita MalhiDr Amrita Malhi's overarching research interest is in the global and local processes of enclosure and circulation that influence the production of political spaces and subjectivities. Amrita's doctoral research focused on the production of 'Muslim' as a planetary subjectivity in colonial Malaya, and its interaction with other sources of identity, such as race, empire, geo-body and nation. Amrita was awarded the 2010 JG Crawford Prize for best PhD work in the humanities and social sciences at the Australian National University.

Amrita is also interested in the forest as a site marginal to the Malayan/Malaysian geo-body, and to urban and agrarian locations in which processes of colonial and national identity production have been concentrated. Amrita has a further interest in contemporary Malaysian politics, on which she has regularly written for the national media, including The Australian, Inside Story and New Mandala. Amrita has also worked on consultancies and research projects with an industry interface, including for Rio Tinto and Newcrest Mining. Before joining UniSA, Amrita was the inaugural Minerals Council of Australia Fellow at the National Library of Australia.

Dr Chloe A Gill-Khan, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Chloe is working on a monograph based on her doctoral research, examining comparative British and French methods of colonial statecraft and their post-1960s models of integration. Combining philosophy, political science, sociological, cultural and postcolonial studies, the research questions the enduring impression that Britain and France are heirs to contrasting national political cultures. Specific areas of interest include the era of European decolonisation, British colonial statecraft in India and French colonialism in Algeria, comparative British and French histories of colonial immigration and the politics, cultural expressions and evolution of the two nations’ ex-colonial diasporic communities, in particular British Asians and Franco-Maghrebians.

Chloe also has strong research interests on Pakistan, with particular focus on the colonial histories of the nation’s provinces and post-independence provincial and ethnic politics, legacies of neo-colonialism, international ‘great games’ in the region, class structures, the media industries and cultural expressions (urban music, television dramas, cinema). 

Dr Yassir Morsi, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Yassir MorsiYassir did his PhD at the University of Melbourne in political science and Islamic studies. He looked at contemporary liberal thought and its dealings with/production of the ‘Muslim question’. His research engaged with a broad range of critical theorists to question whether liberalism’s ‘ontological’ assumptions of a neutral space create the ‘ontic’ Muslim Other. Using Nietzsche’s Birth of tragedy, Yassir’s thesis examined the culturally formed discursive of the ‘war on terror’, and its narrating of September 11. He describes September 11 as a Dionysian event. Its terror was an excess of globalisation’s violence and the global market’s unarticulated drunkenness. However, western mainstream media, in film and documentaries, commonly represses the Dionysian qualities of September 11. Instead, they often see September 11 as an Apollonian event where terrorism becomes an articulation of clean binaries, and the rationalisation of a clash between caricatures: the liberal self against the religious other.

Yassir is currently working on defining Islamophobia by looking at the political problem Muslims pose as ambivalent citizens of a liberal state, due to Islam’s ontological potential to create new political actors. Yassir’s academic influences come from critical theories – with a stress on psychoanalysis and postcolonial theory – and orthodox Islamic thought. He deals mostly with Muslim minority struggles within liberal majorities. He looks at how traditional Muslim articulations, imaginations, or representations of Islam struggle against democratic and progressive narratives.

See Yassir's recent blog posts.

Dr Suzanne Naafs, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Suzanne Naafs

Suzanne Naafs is a cultural anthropologist with a geographical focus on Indonesia. Her research interests are in the fields of urban anthropology, youth studies and development studies.

Suzanne joined UniSA in September 2014 to work on a new research project in Jakarta, where she is a research associate with the Rujak Centre for Urban Studies. This research project, titled ‘Urbanising faith: ethnographies of high-rise living in Kalibata City’, focuses on middle class subjectivities, housing and urban politics in a heterogeneous and densely populated city district.

Before joining UniSA, Suzanne was a postdoctoral fellow with the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. She received her PhD in Development Studies in December 2012 at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University. Her doctoral research, based on 13 months of ethnographic research conducted in an industrial port city in Java,  analyses how lower middle class Muslim youth navigate the opportunities and constraints surrounding educated underemployment, labour market restructuring and proliferation of global youth lifestyles. She is currently working on a book on this topic.

Dr Raheel Dhattiwala, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Raheel Dhattiwala

Raheel is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Hawke Research Institute’s International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding. Her year-long project at MnM explores the interface between micro-spaces and interethnic relations in neighbourhoods with a long history of violent ethnic conflict. The work challenges the intuitive link between spatial proximity and optimal contact – purported to reduce prejudice and even violence.

Raheel read for the master’s degree in sociology at Oxford University in 2007-08 and was awarded a doctorate in sociology from Oxford (Nuffield College) in 2014 for her thesis titled ‘Hindu-Muslim Violence in Gujarat, 2002: Political Logic, Spatial Configuration, and Communal Cooperation’.  She has previously worked for six years as a journalist with The Times of India in Ahmedabad (India) and continues to engage with both academic and non-academic audiences, by way of editorial contributions in newspapers, such as The Hindu and Hindustan Times.

She has been interviewed by The Australian, Bergens Tidende, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Q Code among others. Her research has been published in international and Indian journals, such as Politics & Society; Economic and Political Weekly; and Qualitative Sociology (forthcoming).

Associates: PhD supervisors

The MnM Centre acknowledges the contribution of the following UniSA academics whose expertise guides the theses of its PhD candidates.

Prof Pal Ahluwalia

Dr Katrina Jaworski

Dr Shamsul Khan

Prof Alan Mayne

Prof Elisabeth Porter

Dr David Radford

Dr Julie Nichols


The International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding will consider proposals for visiting scholars from colleagues within the University of South Australia.

The International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding will also consider making contributions towards the travel costs of national and international visiting scholars.

Visiting scholars are expected to make a substantial impact to the Centre’s research interests through academic outputs and activities including seminars, lectures, working papers and / or reportable research outcomes.

Dr Noha Nasser

Noha NasserNoha joined the MnM Centre as a visiting scholar during November and December 2012. She teaches architecture and urban design at the University of Greenwich, London. Her research examines the cultural and political processes underpinning Islamicate urbanism as a historical phenomenon of city making associated with Muslim culture. She studies these processes within the context of Islam as a dominant socio-political system in Cairo and within the politicised cultural minority context of the European city. She is currently working on a book titled Cosmopolis: postcolonial spaces in the British city. During her time at MnM, Noha ran a symposium titled ‘ReOrienting Diverse Spaces: neighbourhood, identity and citizenship’ on 19 December 2012.

Dr Warren Chin

Warren ChinWarren joined the MnM Centre as a visiting scholar during July and August 2012. He teaches international politics, war, strategy, defence economics and military history in the Defence Studies Department of King’s College, London. His current research focuses on terrorism and counter-insurgency and he is writing a book on the UK’s strategy and operations in the war on terror. During his time at MnM he ran a workshop titled ‘Culture and conflict in the war on terror’, jointly sponsored by MnM and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.

Read Warren's profile.

Dr Brian Klug

Brian KlugDr Brian Klug joined the MnM Centre as a visiting scholar in August and September 2012. Brian is Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy at St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, a member of the philosophy faculty of the University of Oxford, Fellow of the College of Arts & Sciences at St Xavier University, Chicago, and Honorary Fellow of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton. While at MnM Brian taught a seminar on ‘Wittgenstein on culture and religion’. He also delivered a talk at the Beit Shalom Synagogue on 19 August 2012. His talk, ‘Living in the world: the chosen people and the pursuit of justice’ explored the idea that the Jewish people are ‘the people of God’. At the heart of this idea is the pursuit of justice.

Brian has published extensively on ‘race’ and ethnicity, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, Jewish identity and other subjects. His most recent books are Being Jewish and doing justice: bringing argument to life (2011) and Offence: the Jewish case (2009). He has lectured widely and taken part in several BBC (Religion and Ethics) programs. Brian has two degrees in philosophy from the University of London and a doctorate in social thought from the University of Chicago. He is Associate Editor of the journal Patterns of Prejudice and co-founder of the UK group Independent Jewish Voices. 

Read Brian's profile.

Postgraduate students

Kam Kaur, PhD student

Kam is an international PhD student at the MnM Centre and she also works as a research assistant for Dr Gilbert Caluya. Her honours degree was on African and Caribbean literature, focusing on literature of the colonised. In her dissertation she concentrated on Aboriginal poetry.

Kam's PhD thesis is focused on the representation of domestic violence of BrAsian women. She discusses how certain colonial tropes and narratives still shape and dominate the lives of ethnic minorities, to the point where victims of domestic violence or forced marriage are falling into the trap of racist rhetoric.

Alasdair Hynd, PhD student

Alasdair HyndAlasdair obtained his honours in International Relations from Flinders University in 2011. His thesis examined the influence of the Arab Spring on Palestinian politics in relation to Israel and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, as well as the UN statehood bid launched by the Palestinian Authority in September 2011. His present dissertation is on theories of democracy and rebellion and their understanding of, and application to, the Arab Spring.

Within the geographic context of the Middle East, Alasdair’s research interests include interstate relations, the Israel–Palestinian conflict, the status of ethnic and religious minorities within and across state borders, domestic governorship, oil politics, democracy promotion, and western imperialism and US foreign policy. He also maintains research interests outside the Middle East in the following fields: European Union integration; Scottish, Welsh, Irish/Northern Irish, Basque, Galician and Catalonian nationalism and independence movements; democratisation in the former Yugoslav and Soviet republics; nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear weapons–free zones; the philosophy of technology; anarchist and socialist movements in Europe and Latin America; anarchist and Marxist theory; structures of authoritarianism; and the historiography of the French, Mexican, Russian and Chinese revolutions.

See Alasdair Hynd, Egypt's democratic farce, MnM commentary no 19, and Alasdair's other commentaries and blog posts.

Muhammed Kotan, PhD student

Muhammed's honours and MA degrees were in sociology. In his thesis he concentrated on global NGOs and their effects on politics. His present thesis focuses on the Muslim Umma as an identity and the ways in which this identity was shaped by Muslims throughout history. His research interests include Muslim identity, culture and politics, historical narratives and the concept of Islamism.

Rupa Ghosh, PhD student

Rupa GhoshRupa Ghosh is a PhD student at the MnM Centre. She did her MA in political science at Lucknow University, India. Her dissertation was on the Gulf War of 1990. She did a PhD at Lucknow University, India, in political science and her topic was 'The UN and crisis management'. In her thesis she evaluated the relevance of the UN in the management of international disputes and conflicts during and after the Cold War. She taught political science at Santa Cruz College in Kochi, India for four years.

In her present PhD she is studying culture and its impact and use in national and international politics. She is focusing on the 'missing women' of Asia; female foeticide. Her research interests are identity and its construction, feminism, postcolonial theory and inter-state relations.

Abdul Wohab, PhD student

Abdul WohabWohab obtained his Honours in Sociology and Masters in Social Work and Social Policy from Flinders University, Adelaide. His honours thesis investigated the organisation and process of local-level politics in Bangladesh. He argued that party politics over time become paralysed due to the lack of a democratic polity in local-level politics.

For his PhD, Wohab is investigating Islamism and incorporating political Islam in democratic polities in Bangladesh, Turkey and Indonesia. His research interests include ethnic and religious identity, culture and security, Islamism, political Islam and democracy, and the influence of postcolonial theory and cross-culturalism. Wohab has taught sociology at BRAC University in Bangladesh.

Jeanne-Marie Viljoen, PhD student

Jeanne-Marie ViljoenJeanne-Marie’s undergraduate degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand and the University of South Africa were in philosophy and English studies. Her masters thesis (University of Pretoria), entitled Playing with the subject: writing in The Pillow Book and in In the Penal Colony, focused on writing and representation and speculated about the kind of subjectivities that this may embody. Jeanne-Marie has taught academic literacy and contemporary culture in South Africa and supervised honours and masters theses on such disparate topics as the poetry of the Palestinian poet Darwish and theories of aesthetics in comics studies.

Her PhD thesis, in cultural studies, is currently entitled Towards an ethical representation of war and conflict: the importance of fragmented and inaccurate accounts. It focuses on the experiences and representations of horror in the specific case of the First Lebanese War in 1982 and the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps massacre, as represented in Folman’s recent graphic novel and film entitled Waltz with Bashir.

Andre Khoury-Correa, PhD student

Andre Khoury-CorreaAndre Khoury-Correa completed a Bachelor Degree in Architecture with Honors from the Lebanese American University. She received her Masters degree in Architecture from the University of Oklahoma with a thesis entitled : 'The Fourth-Dimension - in the Silent Light of Architecture.' It aimed at Exploring the Intangible Factor of Design in the Tangible Space...Seeking and Questioning a New Dimension in Architecture through the Theory of Light as a Creator of Space. During the Masters degree period Andre taught Design Studios for BACH-Architecture & was a Guest-Juror for undergraduates design projects and final year thesis students.

Andre practiced for a decade in the Professional Architectural Field. She worked with Arquitectonica - on National & International Projects - where she held an Associate Position. Andre's PhD thesis at the International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding will explore 'Ghosts - Alterity and Intertwined Identities in Beirut'...Vanished Cultural Icons in Beirut - How they are Re-membered and Reflected upon in Todays' Architecture & the City's Present Existence. The aim of the thesis is to capture the audience of multi-faith communities in the city, and architectural designers interested in Compelling Spatial Alterity & Ghostly Urban Platforms & Identities.

Paris Thanawathik, PhD student

Paris Thanawathik completed a Bachelor of International Studies (Hons) at Flinders University in 2011. Paris is researching an insurgency taking place in the southern border provinces (Yala, Narathiwat, Pattani and Songkhla) of Thailand. Her PhD dissertation focuses on forms of resistance (to the Thai State) in the Southern insurgency, with a specific focus on how everyday forms of resistance impact organised, direct forms of resistance in asymmetric conflict.

Paris has been a visiting research fellow at Thammasat University, Bangkok. In Thailand she undertook field-work for her PhD research and also did guest-lecturing in undergraduate International Relations courses on human rights and terrorism. Paris maintains other research interests in the following fields: social media and its use as a tool in protest; the construction and maintenance of power by states; ethnic minorities and construction of identity; symbolism during protest and sites of resistance; and representation of women in conflict.

Mohammed Sulaiman, PhD student

Mohammed SulaimanMohammed obtained a Bachelor’s degree with honours in English in his hometown of Gaza in 2011. He was immediately awarded a Chevening scholarship jointly funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he obtained a Master’s of Science in Human Rights at the Department of Sociology. His Master’s thesis (distinction) was entitled “Conceptualising Truth and Prerequisites for Reconciliation: Al Nakba and the Question of the Palestinian Refugees.”

Currently, Mohammed is based at the MnM Center pursuing a PhD degree in Sociology. His thesis is initially entitled “’The Muslims We Don’t Like’: Continued Coloniality and The Shifting Constructions of Islamism during the War on Terror and the Arab Spring.” In his research, Mohammed looks at how hegemonic globalising epistemologies/discourse construct Islamism as their definitive enemy and investigates the ways in which power intersects with violence in the construction of Islamism in order to legitimate, produce and build acceptance to continued colonial dominance by states spatially located in the so-called West. Hegemony, the interplay between violence and power, and coloniality will constitute the theoretical framework of Mohammed’s study. His research will have an empirical side to it, mainly represented in media and political discourse analysis.

Distinguished International Associate

Professor Scott Atran

Director of Research in Anthropology at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris
Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University, England
Presidential Scholar at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York

Mr Shahid Javed Burki

Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore and The Shahid Javed Burki Institute of Public Policy, Lahore, Pakistan.
Former Vice President of The World Bank, Finance Minister of Pakistan

Professor Prasenjit Duara

Raffles Professor of Humanities
Director, Asia Research Institute
National University of Singapore 

Dr Abusaleh Shariff

Executive Director and Chief Scholar
US-India Policy Institute
Washington D. C

Areas of study and research

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