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Faculty of Law

Visiting Professors Spring Semester 2017

Prof. Dr. Ziba Mir-Hosseini

Mir-Hosseini Ziba

Prof. Dr. Ziba Mir-Hosseini ( is a legal anthropologist, specializing in Islamic law, gender and development. Currently a Professorial Research Associate at the Centre for Islamic and Middle Eastern Law, University of London, she has held numerous research fellowships and visiting professorships, including Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2004-5), Hauser Global Law Visiting Professor at New York University (2002-8, 2017-), and the Salzburg Global Seminar. She is a founding member of the Musawah Global Movement for Equality and Justice in the Muslim Family ( She has published books on Islamic family law in Iran and Morocco, Iranian clerical discourses on gender, Islamic reformist thinkers, and feminist voices and scholarship in Islam. Among her books are Marriage on Trial: A Study of Islamic Family Law in Iran and Morocco (I. B. Tauris, 1993, 2002), Islam and Gender: The Religious Debate in Contemporary Iran (Princeton University Press, 1999), Islam and Democracy in Iran: Eshkevari and the Quest for Reform (with Richard Tapper; I. B. Tauris, 2006), Control and Sexuality: the Revival of Zina Laws in Muslim Contexts (with Vanja Hamzic; Women Living Under Muslim Laws, 2010); Gender and Equality in Muslim Family Law: Justice and Ethics in the Islamic Legal Tradition, edited with Lena Larsen, Christian Moe and Kari Vogt (I. B. Tauris, 2013); and Men in Charge? Rethinking Authority in Muslim Legal Tradition, edited with Mulki Al-Sharmani and Jana Rumminger (Oneworld, 2015). She has also directed (with Kim Longinotto) two award-winning feature-length documentary films on contemporary issues in Iran: Divorce Iranian Style (1998) and Runaway (2001). In 2015 she received the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion.

Prof. Dr. Walter Scheidel

Scheidel Walter

Professor Dr Walter Scheidel teaches Roman History at Stanford University in California, where he chaired the Department of Classics for six years.

His research covers ancient economic and social history, premodern historical demography, and the development of state and fiscal structures. He is the author of four monographs, most recently (Dec. 2016) of The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century, the first attempt to reconstruct and analyze the evolution of income and wealth inequality in the very long run and on a global scale. This work has already attracted plenty of media attention and is currently being translated into several other languages.

Scheidel has edited or co-edited thirteen academic volumes of essays. Regarding his course, Fiscal Regimes and the Political Economy of Premodern States (edited with Andrew Monson, Cambridge University Press, 2015) and The Oxford Handbook of the State in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean (with Peter Bang, Oxford University Press, 2013) are of particular interest. Scheidel has played a pioneering role in the comparative study of ancient Rome and early China and was in charge of developing “Orbis: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World”, which simulates transport and travel costs in the ancient world.

Scheidel was Finley Fellow at Darwin College in Cambridge and held several visiting professorships, at Columbia University in New York, New York University in Abu Dhabi, the University of Chicago, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, and the Universität Innsbruck, and has delivered lectures in two countries. He is one of the editors of the ancient history journal Historia and of the series “Oxford Studies in Early Empires” of Oxford University Press. He is a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.