The American Academy of Religion has named Shafique N. Virani as the 2014 recipient of its highest pedagogical honor, the AAR Excellence in Teaching Award. The AAR is the world\’s largest association of scholars in the field of Religious Studies and related topics, having some 10,000 members world-wide.
Virani is Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies and chair of the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto. He was previously on faculty at Harvard University (from where he also received his Ph.D.) and Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. He is the author of The Ismailis in the Middle Ages: A History of Survival, A Search for Salvation (Oxford University Press, 2007), along with numerous articles and translations and a co-written play in which he also performed. He has taught and volunteered in a variety of global contexts, from universities to impoverished areas in the developing world. His pedagogical innovations include the incorporation of multimedia in the classroom and being the first professor to use the i-Clicker response system to teach Religion. He has received several teaching awards and is known as a mentor who provides opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students to join him in cutting-edge research projects.
Virani will make remarks and engage questions and answers during the Special Topics Forum at this year\’s Annual Meeting in San Diego, California.