Ali Riaz

Ali Riaz

Illinois State University’s Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz has been awarded the inaugural Thomas E. Eimermann Professorship for the years 2018-2020.

The professorship will support Riaz’s research on Islamic seminaries, namely madrassashs, in Bangladesh. “The project will examine Bangladeshi madrassahs, which have been a part of socio-cultural-educational milieu of the society for more than a century,” said Riaz, who noted they have increasingly become important in social and political domains in recent decades.

“Dr. Riaz’s work will make important contributions to the growing body of knowledge on Islamic education and society,” said Department of Politics and Government Chair T.Y Wang.

Riaz joined Illinois State University in 2002 and was promoted to full professor in 2008. He held the University Professor designation between 2012 and 2017. He is currently a Distinguished Professor in Political Science. Riaz served as the chair of the Department of Politics and Government from 2007 to 2017.

His studies have contributed to more than a decade of scholarly works. His forthcoming book is a co-edited volume titled Political Violence in South Asia (2018). He served as a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Scholars while writing Bangladesh: A Political History Since Independence (2016). His book Lived Islam and Islamism in Bangladesh was released in December 2017. His other notable works include God Willing: The Politics of Islamism in Bangladesh (2004), Faithful Education: Madrassahs in South Asia (2008), Islamist Militancy in Bangladesh: A Complex Web (2008), and Islam and Identity Politics Among British-Bangladeshis: A Leap of Faith (2013).

The Thomas E. Eimermann Professorship was established by Illinois State alumnus David Crumbaugh in honor of Eimermann, who taught law-related courses for 38 years at Illinois State, served as ISU’s first pre-law advisor, founded and directed the mock trial program, and was chair of the Political Science Department from 1992 to 1998.

The purpose of the professorship is to support the academic work, including professional development and research, of faculty in the Department of Politics and Government. The Thomas E. Eimermann Professorship is the first named professorship in College of Arts and Sciences.