Dr. Sophia Pandya is a professor and chair of the Department of Religious Studies at California State University, Long Beach. Winner of CSULB’s 2016 Advancement of Women Award from the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, she received her BA from UC Berkeley in Near Eastern Studies/Arabic, and her MA and PhD from UC Santa Barbara in Religious Studies. A Fulbright Scholar, she specializes in women and Islam, and more broadly in contemporary movements within Islam.
Dr. Pandya has authored a book, Muslim Women and Islamic Resurgence: Religion, Education, and Identity Politics in Bahrain (2012), on Bahraini women and the ways in which globalization and modern education impacted their religious activities. Having carried out research in Turkey on several occasions, she is also the co-editor of a second published volume (2012), The Gülen Hizmet Movement and its Transnational Activities: Case Studies on Charitable Activism. She is currently working on a book on the stories of Turkish refugees, and the meanings they find or construct from their ordeal.