Dr. Semiha Topal

Director, Nonresident Research Fellow
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Dr. Semiha Topal is currently a visiting assistant professor of Religious Studies at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Dr. Topal’s research focuses on the question of subjectivity, self-construction, and women’s agency in contemporary Muslim societies, particularly Turkey and the Middle East.

She earned her Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Arizona State University in 2012, with her dissertation on “Building a Pious Self in Secular Settings: Muslim Women in Modern Turkey.” She holds an M.A. in Gender Studies and Religion from SOAS-University of London, UK, and a B.A. in English Language and Literature from Fatih University, Turkey. She has taught courses on religion, gender, and secularism at universities in Turkey and the United States.