“Battle of Karbala” (‘Abbas al-Musavi); Oil on canvas, Qajar period (late 19th-early 20th century) at the Brooklyn Museum

Professional website and academic blog of Christopher Anzalone, Ph.D.

I am a postdoctoral research fellow with the International Security Program at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. My research interests include political Islam, political violence and terrorism, Shi’i Islam, and Islamic visual cultures and narratives of martyrdom and self-sacrifice. I earned a Ph.D. in Islamic, Middle Eastern, and African studies at McGill University, M.A. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from Indiana University, Bloomington, and B.A. in history and religious studies from George Mason University.

My first book project, Islamizing Rebel Governance: Jihadi Insurgencies and Symbolic Power, examines the symbolic, framing, and narrative dimensions of territorial proto-state governing projects of Islamist rebel groups including Al-Shabab in Somalia, Islamic State and its branches, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and the Afghan Taliban. This interdisciplinary project examines the strategies and experiences of Islamist insurgent organizations that have actively attempted to set up civil governing systems through which to interact with local civilian populations. It situates the study of Islamist insurgent groups with governance ambitions within the growing literature on rebel governance.

On this site I will post about my research on Islamic social movements and organizations, Shi’i Islam, political Islam, jihadism/militant Islamism, and Islamic visual cultures.

Disclaimer: This should be clear but needs to be explicitly said: This is an academic website and blog for analysis and scholarly discussion. I do not endorse or in any way support violence or terrorism. In order to understand political violence and its use by a variety of states and non-state organizations, academics, government and other professional career practitioners, and the public must be able to analyze and publicly discuss it and related topics and issues.