Anna Bigelow is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at Stanford University. She received her MA from Columbia University and PhD in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara with a focus on South Asian Islam. Bigelow’s current book project is a comparative study of shared sacred sites in India and Turkey, exploring how everyday devotional life in shared spaces illuminates the shifting terrain of these ambivalently secular states. Another project traces the lives of devotional objects circulated by Muslims, Hindus, and others around a Sufi tomb shrine in India. She is editor and contributor to a volume on material objects in Islamic cultures, Islam through Objects (Bloomsbury, 2021). Bigelow’s earlier work Sharing the Sacred: Practicing Pluralism in Muslim North India (Oxford University Press, 2010) is a study of a Muslim majority community in Indian Punjab and the shared sacred and civic spaces in that community.
How can Islamic Studies help advance the study of religion and visual and material culture, asks Anna Bigelow in this response to our interview with Richard McGregor. One way is through "close attention to the subtleties" of context, method, and discipline that characterize work that intently follows the objects and their "multiple, shifting registers."