Athina Pfeiffer

Position
3rd-year Ph.D. student
Office
Jones Hall
Bio/Description

Athina Pfeiffer is a PhD student in Near Eastern Studies who works on Islamic Law and Justice in the premodern period from a social historical viewpoint. She is broadly interested in religious minorities and Shīʿī studies. Her research focuses on Ismāʿīlī Law and the Fatimid justice system (tenth to twelfth century) in North Africa. Overall, her work delves into the dynamics between the formation of Ismāʿīlī Law, other legal schools, various networks of authority -- such as the institutions of justice, the jurists, and the state – as well as the local populations and normative practices emphasizing contact between peoples, ideas, and conducts. While at Princeton, Athina undertakes to study documents in addition to both published and unpublished long-form texts. In this way, she intends to scrutinize law and justice from bottom up in Fatimid times.

She works in Arabic, English, French, German, modern Greek, and soon, Persian and Urdu.

Athina holds a BA in History and a MA in Islamic studies from Sorbonne University, Paris, where she wrote about al-Qāḍī l-Nuʿmān and the Fatimid judiciary in Ifrīqiya. This work is forthcoming in Arabica. She also received a BA in Law from Panthéon-Assas University, Paris. Before joining the department, Athina successfully passed the agrégation d’histoire (highest national education exam in the French Public system) and taught History and Geography in French high schools for two years.