Ehsan Sheikholharam

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Ehsan Sheikholharam

Area of Focus: Islamic Studies


M.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Religious Studies, 2019
M.A. University of Miami, Architectural History and Theory, 2014
B.S./M.Arch. IAUM, Department of Art and Architecture, 2006


  • History and Philosophy of Religion
  • Minority Identities
  • Cultural Representations


Building on my transdisciplinary background in architecture, religious studies, and political philosophy, my work straddles themes of cultural politics of global Islam, representation of ethnic minorities, and philosophy of pluralism.

My work on the Aga Khan Award for Architecture examines questions of recognition and identity-formation for the Ismaili global network beyond the nation-states’ model of citizenship.

My research has been published in peer-reviewed journals including the Journal of Religion and Iran Namaq. I currently serve as a Graduate Fellow at the Parr Center for Ethics at the Department of Philosophy at UNC. I also serve as the Coordinator of “Religion and Public Life” graduate working group at the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University.


“Borders within Borders: Superkilen as the Site of Assimilation.” International Journal of Religion, Dec. 2022 (Special Issue on Immigration).

“Between Tehran and Paris: Terre de mirages and Shayegan’s Exilic Ambivalence.” Iran Namag, Volume 6, Number 2, Summer 2021 (Special Issue on Literary Diaspora).

“Unknown Knowns of Architecture: Reconstitution of Vitality in Boston City Hall Plaza,” in Architectural Research Addressing Societal Challenges (Routledge-CRC Press, 2017).


  • Graduate Fellowship, “Religion, Peace and War,” Kenan Institute for Ethics, Duke University, 2022-2023
  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, The Graduate School, UNC, 2022-2023
  • Ferdowsi Tusi Prize for Best Graduate Paper in Persian Studies, UNC University Libraries, 2020 
  • William Peck Prize for Graduate Student Teaching Excellence, Religious Studies, UNC, 2020
  • Peer Recognition Teaching Award, Center for Faculty Excellence, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2018
  • Garden and Landscape Studies Travel Award, Dumbarton Oak, Trustees for Harvard University, 2016 


RELI/ASIA 180, “Introduction to Islamic Civilizations

RELI/PWAD 481, “Religion, Fundamentalism, and Nationalism” 

RELI530, “Genealogies of Religion” 

RELI235, “Space, Place, and Religion”