Author Spotlight

12 July, 2022

O’Dell, Ph.D., Emily J.

Dr. Emily Jane O’Dell is the author of The Gift of Rumi (St. Martins, July, 2022) and a renowned expert on Sufism and Islamic law.  She has spent over two decades visiting Sufi masters from Indonesia to Mali, studied Sufi whirling in Cairo and Istanbul, and preserved historic Sufi shrines on the Silk Road.  For her expertise in Islamic law, she has been a Research Scholar in Law and Islamic Law and Civilization Research Fellow at Yale Law School, and an editor for Harvard Law School’s SHARIASource.

Stateside she has taught at Columbia, Brown, and Harvard, where she received an award for teaching excellence, and she has also taught abroad as the Whittlesey Chair of History and Archaeology at the American University of Beirut, an Associate Professor at Sichuan University–Pittsburgh Institute in China, and an Assistant Professor at Sultan Qaboos University in the Sultanate of Oman.  She has taught Sufi whirling in Istanbul, Beirut, and New York.

For her in-country field research on Sufism, she has received many prestigious fellowships and been an Edward A. Hewett Policy Fellow
(Tajikistan & Afghanistan), a Fulbright Fellow (Indonesia), a Harvard Traveling Fellow (Iran), a Columbia University Pepsico Fellow
(Uzbekistan/Karakalpakstan), an IREX Fellow (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic & Hungary), an American Center for Mongolian Studies Fellow (Mongolia), an American Councils Fellow (Turkmenistan), and a State Department Critical Language Fellow
(Tajikistan).

Her research on Sufism and Islamic history can be found in the International Journal of Persian Literature, Iranian Studies,
Journal of Global Slavery, Journal of Africana Religions, Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora, Journal of Literary and
Cultural Disability Studies, Disability & Society, and Harvard Law School’s SHARIASource.  Her writing has appeared in The New York
Times, The Louisville Review, Al Jazeera, NPR, CounterPunch, Salon, TRT World, The Christian Science Monitor, and Huffington Post.

Currently a professor at Parami University in Myanmar and a fellow at the American Institute for Indonesian Studies in Java, she is
presently writing a memoir about her adventures in China and Tibet.


13 March, 2012

Freeman

Classicist, historian and novelist Philip Freeman brings a remarkable gift as a storyteller and an ability to make the ancient world contemporary through his interpretation and translation of events and great works. Currently the Fletcher Jones Chair of Western Culture at Pepperdine University, Dr. Freeman earned a joint Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1994 in classics and Celtic studies.  He has taught at Boston University, Washington University in St. Louis, and was the Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College in Iowa. He has been a visiting fellow at the American Academy in Rome, the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington D.C., and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and has been awarded fellowships by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Loeb Classical Library Foundation, and the Lilly Foundation.

Philip Freeman is the author of a number of books on ancient and medieval studies, including biographies of St. Patrick, Julius Caesar, and Sappho, as well as translations of the works of Cicero.  Praising his biography of Alexander the Great  (Simon & Schuster 2010), Wall Street Journal declared: “Mr. Freeman’s ambition, he tells us in his introduction, was ‘to write a biography of Alexander that is first and foremost a story.’ It is one he splendidly fulfills.” His most recent biography, Hannibal: Rome’s Greatest Enemy was published in February 2022 (Pegasus). A long-time contributor to Princeton University Press’ “Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times” series, Freeman’s latest title is How to Tell a Story (May 2022), which distills Aristotle’s Poetics.

Freeman has been interviewed on All Things Considered, MSNBC, as well as many local NPR shows.  His books have been reviewed in the Wall St. Journal, Slate, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Times, among others.  More recently, Dr. Freeman has proven a natural as a historical novelist. St. Brigid’s Bones, Sacrifice and The Gospel of Mary are Celtic mysteries (Pegasus), set in the early days of Christianity in Ireland, and feature a young nun, Sister Deirdre, who proves to be a charming detective.

You can also follow Philip on Twitter or check him out on Facebook (philipfreemanwriter).  Also check out www.philipfreemanbooks.com