Sufia Uddin's research interest has focused on constructions of the Bengali-Muslim religious community from the colonial to the contemporary period. Her work examines the many Bengali expressions of Islam. Her research also covers shared sacred space and religious elements common to both Bengali Hindus and Muslims.
The topic of her latest work is marginalized communities of Muslims and Hindus who share recognition and veneration of Bonbibi (The Lady of the Forest) in the Sundarbans. Professor Uddin has translated the epic poem that conveys the story of how Bonbibi became a source of protection in this forest to honey collectors and fisherfolk. Through this research, Professor Uddin gained an appreciation for the labors of these people and their struggles to live sustainably in the mangrove forest which has led her to more serious investigation of the similarities between indigenous communities and these venerators. Her visits to the Sundarbans and study of religious life of Bonbibi venerators has become increasingly focused on the environment.
Uddin's book, "Constructing Bangladesh: Religion, Ethnicity, and Language in an Islamic Nation," was published by UNC Press in 2006.
Some of her other publications include:
- "Mystical Journey or Misogynist Assault?: Al-Qushayri's Interpretation of Zulaikha's Attempted Seduction of Yusuf" in the Journal of Islamic Studies
- "In the Company of Pirs: Making Vows, Seeking Favors at Bangladeshi Sufi Shrines" in Dealing with Deities: The Ritual Vow in South Asia, edited by William Harman and Selwa Raj
- "Beyond National Borders and Religious Boundaries" forthcoming in Engaging South Asian Religions: Boundaries, Appropriations, and Resistances, edited by Peter Gottschalk and Matthew Schmalz
Uddin has been a recipient of numerous teaching and research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Council of American Overseas Research Centres, American Institute of Bangladesh Studies, American Institute of Indian Studies, and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion.
She also serves on the editorial board of Culture and Religion published by Routledge Press.
In 2005-2006, Professor Uddin was a Fulbright Scholar conducting research in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. Her current research project takes her frequently to the remote mangrove forests of Bangladesh and West Bengal, India known as the Sundarbans, where she studies Muslim and Hindu veneration of Bonbibi.
Before coming to Connecticut College, Professor Uddin was an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Vermont.
Professor Uddin teaches Rel 207: Islamic Traditions, Rel 304: Fundamentalisms, Rel 230: Islam and the U.S., Rel 198: Competing for Natural Resources, and other courses that intersect with her interests in the politics of religion.
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