Heba Arafa Abdelfattah

Postdoctoral Associate
115 Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06520-8206
Heba Arafa Abdelfattah is a post-doctoral associate at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Yale University, New Haven, CT. She received her Ph.D. (2017) in Arabic and Islamic studies from Georgetown University, Washington, DC. She served as a visiting assistant professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, and a research fellow at the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations, London, UK. Her research interests fall within the interdisciplinary area of the humanities with a special focus on Islam, modernity and popular culture. She works with literary texts, archival documents, films, and artistic production in 
order to understand the discourses of modernity. She is especially interested in issues of cultural production within the context of Islamic legal traditions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region within global flows. She has conducted archival research on the reception of film by the colonial state, the nationalist elite, and the Muslim clergy in twentieth-century Egypt. She 
has published articles in such peer-reviewed journals as Review of Middle East Studies, International Journal of Communication, and the Journal of Islamic and Muslim Studies (JIMS). She is currently completing a book manuscript on film, Islam, and modernity in colonial Egypt. At Yale, her project centers on the study of the Arabic genre of “Islamic Hymns” (ibtihalat) as an exemplar of a popular 
culture approach to study Islam as a lived experience based on the inclusion — not the elimination — of difference.