Assistant Professor
Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations


Brief Biography

Ahmad Khan is a historian of the Islamic world. His research focuses on four related fields of historical inquiry: heresy and orthodoxy in medieval Islam (eighth to eleventh centuries); the early Islamic empire at work (eighth to tenth centuries); medieval religious and intellectual history; and the history of printing and publishing houses in the Islamic world (Middle East and Indian subcontinent, nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries). 

Khan joined the American University in Cairo as Assistant Professor in 2018. Prior to coming to AUC, Khan was a postdoctoral research fellow at Universität Hamburg as part of the ERC project 'The Early Islamic Empire at Work.' In 2014-15, he was a lecturer in Islamic Studies and History at the University of Oxford, where he taught history, religion, culture, and Arabic to undergraduate and graduate students. Khan earned his DPhil in Oriental Studies (Islamic World) from the University of Oxford, Faculty of Oriental Studies. He gained an MPhil in Islamic Studies and History (awarded 'Distinction') from the University of Oxford, too. Additionally, he was awarded a Masters in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Edinburgh and read History at University College London (UCL). During his doctoral studies, Khan was awarded a three-year DPhil scholarship by the University of Oxford, as well as fellowships at Princeton University, the British Institute for Persian Studies (BIPS), and the British Institute in Amman. 

Khan's DPhil thesis, 'Heresy and the Formation of Medieval Sunni Orthodoxy, is currently under review for publication with a university press. He is currently writing his second monograph, which is a thematic history of the early Islamic empire. Khan has also published on the history of publishing houses, printing presses, and editors in the modern Islamic world.

Khan has been involved in organizing academic conferences and workshops. In September 2013, he was a co-convenor of the Pembroke College (University of Oxford) Islamic Studies Colloquium. In 2014, he co-organized the seminar series, 'Introducing the World of Islamic Manuscripts', at the Faculty of Oriental Studies and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. He has co-organized two international conferences at Universität Hamburg. He currently serves on the editorial board at Gorgias Press for its new book series on Islamic History and Thought.

Khan's research languages are Arabic, Persian, Urdu, German, and French. 

Research Interest

Medieval Islamic social and religious history

Orthodoxy, heresy, and rebellion

Early Islamic empire, eighth to tenth centuries

Islamic law and legal history

Hadith learning in Khurasan and Transoxiana

Printing and publishing houses in the Islamic world, 19th-21st centuries