Kristen A. Stilt

Stilt, Kristen A.

Harry R. Horrow Professor in International Law
Professor of History, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (Affiliated Faculty)

Phone: (312) 503-1486

SSRN Author Page | Curriculum Vitae (pdf) | Commentary on Modern Egypt (pdf)

Kristen Stilt is a Professor of Law at Northwestern University School of Law and an affiliated faculty member in the History Department. She received her law degree from The University of Texas School of Law, where she was an associate editor of the Texas Law Review and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Texas Journal of Women and the Law. Her Ph.D. (2004) in History and Middle Eastern Studies is from Harvard University. After law school, she worked for three years as an associate at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in the Washington D.C. and Moscow, Russia offices, and also worked at the UNHCR in Moscow. Her research interests are the historical development and practice of Islamic law as well as contemporary manifestations and applications of law that is presented as Islamic. One of her current projects, for which she was named a Carnegie Scholar, studies the constitutional establishment of Islam as the state religion in Morocco, Egypt, and Malaysia. She is the author of Islamic Law in Action: Authority, Discretion, and Everyday Experiences in Mamluk Egypt (Oxford University Press, 2011) and the co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Islamic Law. Prior to joining Northwestern University in 2007, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, in the Law School and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

Areas of Expertise

  • Law in the Modern Middle East
  • Islamic Law
  • Property Law
  • Family Law
  • Constitutional Law

Selected Publications

  • Islamic Law in Action: Authority, Discretion, and Everyday Experiences in Mamluk Egypt (Oxford University Press, 2011).
  • How is Islam the Solution?: Constitutional Visions of Contemporary Islamists.
  • Constitutional Authority and Subversion: Egypt’s New Presidential Election System in 16 indiana international and comparative law review 335-373 (2006).
  • Islamic Law and the Making and Remaking of the Iraqi Legal System in 36 george washington international law review 695-756 (2004).
  • Public and Private as Viewed through the Work of the Muhtasib in 70 social research 63-84 (fall 2003). (with Roy P. Mottahedeh)


  • BA, University of Texas at Austin
  • JD, University of Texas at Austin
  • PhD, Harvard University

Prior Appointments

  • Professor of Law, Northwestern School of Law
  • Visiting Associate Professor, 2011-2012, Harvard Law School
  • Associate Professor of Law, 2007-2012, Northwestern School of Law
  • Professor of History, 2007-2012, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (Affiliated Faculty)
  • Assistant Professor, 2004-2007, The University of Washington School of Law
  • Visiting Researcher, 2003-2004, Harvard Law School, Islamic Legal Studies Program
  • Adjunct Professor, Spring 2004, Boston University School of Law (Introduction to Islamic Legal Systems)
  • Teaching Fellow, 2003, Harvard College (History of the Modern Middle East)
  • Attorney, June-August 1997, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Moscow, Russia
  • Attorney, 1993-1996, Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton