Rahman, Smita A., Ph.D.
108C Asbury Hall
Johnson Family University Professor of Political Science
Professor Rahman received her Ph.D. in Political Science in 2007 from Johns Hopkins University. She works at the intersection of contemporary and comparative political theory. In particular, she is interested in exploring how foundational concepts in political theory rupture and become contested in a globalized world of difference. Professor Rahman also conducts research in the area of Islamic Political Thought, focusing on the debates around secularism and modernity in Political Islam. Her articles and reviews have appeared in the top journals in her field, including Contemporary Political Theory, Theory and Event, Perspectives in Politics, and more.
Professor Rahman is also the author of several books. Her first book, "Time, Memory, and the Politics of Contingency", was published by Routledge in July 2014. It is featured in the series "Innovations in Political Theory" and examines the role of time and memory in our understanding of contemporary politics. She also recently co-edited the book "Globalizing Political Theory", which was published by Routledge in December 2022. Professor Rahman co-authored the introduction to the book and also contributed a single-authored book chapter entitled, "Sayyid Qutb and the Politics of Renewal" to the volume. Professor Rahman's latest book project is entitled "Honor and Political Imagination". It critically examines the enduring appeal of the concept of honor in contemporary political and cultural life and is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.
Professor Rahman teaches courses in modern, contemporary, and comparative political theory. She regularly teaches the introductory course in political theory and upper level courses on Muslim political thought, globalizing political theory, and the politics of memory. She also regularly offers new courses that combine her teaching and research interests, such as an upper level course on the politics of honor and a first year seminar on leaders, heroes, and superheroes.