Hello! I'm Will Sherman, and I work as an Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. My primary work has focused on the religious cultures of early modern Afghanistan and South Asia. Now I am lucky to teach and write on a wide and eclectic range of subjects (and I even manage to throw my beloved Denver Nuggets into some of my teaching).
WHAT I RESEARCH
My research examines conceptions of Islam, language, and time that move away from a "classical" period centered in the Arabic-speaking Middle East. I am interested in how Muslims around the globe conceptualize their relationship to the past and localize that sense of time and belonging. This has led me to explore the connections between vernacular language, revelation, and local history in Afghanistan, Iran, Ireland, and the United States among other places. The links below have more details on all these projects.
WHAT I TEACH
I've had the good fortune to teach a wide range of courses: introductory freshmen lectures to graduate seminars. I most consistently teach courses on the historical experience of Muslims in the United States and on approaches to Islamic literatures. Aside from that, I've led a study-abroad program on religious diversity in London, taught seminars on Theory/Method in Religious Studies, and comparative courses on religion & literature, accounts of mystical experience, and the apocalypse.
Click on the images below and you'll find a sampling of my teaching and research endeavors with links to publications and syllabi. For works in progress, feel free to reach out and I'll try to send you what I currently have. A more extended list of my work is available on my CV. All image credits can be found by clicking on the images.
The Lost Tribes of the Afghans: Religious Mobility and Entanglement in Narratives of Afghan Origins
Romance on the Afghan Frontier: Desire in the Literature of the Church Missionary Society in Peshawar
In the Garden of Language: Religion, Vernacularization, and the Pashto Poetry of Arzānī in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
(Page coming soon!) Muslims in the Americas Religious Experience Religion and Literature The Qur'an Theory & Method