U of T Celebrates

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Amira Mittermaier

Amira Mittermaier awarded Guggenheim Fellowship

April 12, 2021

Amira Mittermaier, a professor in the departments for the study of religion and the department of anthropology in the Faculty of Arts & Science at the University of Toronto has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Mittermaier’s work weaves textual analysis with ethnographic fieldwork. Her research focuses on modern Islam in Egypt. 

“I’m thrilled and honored to have received a Guggenheim Fellowship,” Mittermaier said. “I look forward to getting started on my book about God and humans in Egypt today. My recent half-sabbatical was taken over by COVID-19 so I’m doubly grateful for this extra time coming my way.”

Mittermaier’s first book, Dreams that Matter: Egyptian Landscapes of the Imagination, explores Muslim practices of dream interpretation, as they are inflected by Islamic reformism, Western psychology and mass mediation. Her more recent work, Giving to God: Islamic Charity in Revolutionary Times, describes a religious ethics of giving in which believers engage with God by way of giving to the poor. 

“The question of how theologies shape lives has stayed with me throughout my career,” she says. “Working with Egyptian interlocutors with whom I have established long-term relationships, I study and write about Islam as it unfolds in the midst of their everyday lives.” 

Mittermaier describes her upcoming book as her most ambitious to date: an ethnographic study of God. In this work, she will apply her expertise in Islam and work with other scholars in the Abrahamic faiths.

Read the Faculty of Arts & Science story