Professor Kristen Stilt Named Guggenheim Fellow

April 15, 2013

Northwestern University Law School faculty member Kristen Stilt was named a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for her work on the role of Islamic law in modern constitutions.

This year’s Fellowships were awarded to a diverse group of 175 scholars and artists from a pool of almost 3,000 applicants from the United States and Canada.

“Kristen is an exceptional scholar and colleague,” said Dean Dan Rodriguez. “Her work on Constitutional Islam is innovative and timely, with a number of countries around the world in the process of revising and rewriting their constitutions to incorporate Islam and Islamic Law. The research this Fellowship supports will illuminate how these constitutional choices are made.”

Stilt, who is also an affiliated faculty member in the history department in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, studies the historical development and contemporary practices of Islamic law. Using historical and comparative approaches, her Guggenheim project seeks to understand the growing phenomenon of enshrining references to Islam and Islamic law in national constitutions. A social history of constitution-making, the project will span a wide range of countries in the Muslim world. She is the author of Islamic Law in Action: Authority, Discretion, and Everyday Experiences in Mamluk Egypt (Oxford University Press, 2011) and coeditor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law.

Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.

“Since 1925, the Guggenheim Foundation has always bet everything on the individual, and we’re thrilled to continue the tradition with this wonderfully talented and diverse group,” said Edward Hirsh, president of the Guggenheim Foundation. “It’s an honor to be able to support these individuals to do the work they were meant to do.”