Phillip I. Ackerman-Lieberman is Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Law, and Affiliated Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and History at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. His research focuses on economic life and its role in establishing communal boundaries within the Jewish community of the medieval Islamic world. His work engages the Judeo-Arabic documents of the Cairo Geniza, particularly the legal documents of the Geniza, for the insights they provide into the social and economic organization of daily life. A student of Jewish and Islamic Law, he will spend summer 2010 as a Fulbright Scholar at al-Azhar University in Cairo, working with a number of early manuscripts of Hanafi commercial law. Phil was both a major contributor and section editor for the modern Arabic-speaking world for the Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (Leiden: Brill, 2010). Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, he taught at New York University both in the Department of Jewish Studies and the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. He earned his PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 2007.
Marta Dominguez Diaz is an anthropologist of religion who specializes in the study of Islam and in Islam and Judaism in a comparative perspective. Her research interests include Islamic rituals, Muslim and Jewish death rituals, transnational Sufi Orders, North-African Sufism and European Islam. After finishing her undergraduate in History at the University of Barcelona, she moved to London, where she undertook a MA Islamic Societies and Cultures and a PhD Study of Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Her PhD explored female religious identities in the transnational Order Qādiriyya by looking at the ways in which religious discourses are corporeally endorsed by female devotees of this Order. The study proposed a comparative perspective between diverse of its Moroccan and Western European enclaves. She is working on turning the thesis into a monograph and has published a number of articles on the topic.
Marta pursued a postdoctoral research at the Centre for the Study of Muslim-Jewish Relations-Woolf Institute in Cambridge, comparing religious variations in attitudes towards death, dying and grief and the ways in which individuals and communities respond to death in Muslim and Jewish communities in Britain.
She is currently an Assistant Professor in Islamic Studies at the University of St Gallen (Switzerland) and continues her work on ritual studies and transnational Sufi Orders.