Dr. Zayn Kassam, the John Knox McLean Professor of Religious Studies at Pomona College, has been presented among the highest honours of the National Honor Society for Religious Studies and Theology in the United States of America (Theta Alpha Kappa). The Kathleen Connolly-Weinert Leader-of-the-Year Award is given annually to member of Theta Alpha Kappa in recognition of outstanding service to the society. Zayn was presented the award at the TAK annual meeting, held November 22nd in Atlanda, Georgia.
Professor Kassam’s CV is extensive. She has lectured across north America and the United Kingdom, has been recognized repeatedly by Pomona for her teaching, and has previously received the American Academy of Religion Excellence in Teaching Award. Professor Kassam is a prolific researcher and has penned notable works in her area of engagement, including the Introduction to the World’s Major Religions: Islam (2006). She was editor of Women and Islam(2010) and is editing a book on gender activism in Asian religions, while also preparing a book on gender and Islam.
Her career at Pomona has been exemplary. Professor Kassam has chaired the department of Religious Studies, coordinated the programs in Gender and Women’s Studies, and Asian Studies, and currently coordinates the college’s Mellon-funded initiative on raising the profile on the arts, musical traditions, and cultures of Africa on campus. In 2012 she delivered Pomona’s convocation keynote address to all graduates, a video of which you can view here.
Professor Kassam serves on several national editorial boards, including the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, has co-chaired the Study of Islam Section at the American Academy of Religion, served on the Racial and Ethnic Minorities committee at the AAR, and is currently a steering committee member for the Religion and Migration Group as well as the Women, Gender, and Islam Consultation.
Among many of her works that relate to Islam and Ismailism, was an article on legendary Henry Corbin’s understanding of our faith, originally published in 1991 in Hikmat.