The Department of Sociology

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Bilici, Mucahit

Assistant Professor



Personal Website

2008 PhD    Sociology, University of Michigan

I am a cultural sociologist focusing primarily on Islam and social theory. I work in three main registers: American Islam, social theory, and Muslim intellectual traditions. My first book, Finding Mecca in America: How Islam Is Becoming an American Religion (University of Chicago Press, 2012) is at once a book about the formation of a distinctly American Islam and a study in social theory. In this book, I show how Muslim strangers become familiar Americans. Finding Mecca is an ethnographic study that draws theoretically on Simmel, Heidegger and Bourdieu. Tracing the ways Islam pours itself into American forms, Finding Mecca explores the concept of inhabitation, ultimately providing a theory of what it means to feel at home. I am currently at work on a second book, Frontiers of American Islam.

My work in social theory is driven by a sense that contemporary sociology is lacking a degree of self-awareness and can be revitalized by reconnecting it with its philosophical presuppositions. Towards this end, I read widely in both sociology and philosophy. I also see great value in exploring the intersections and resonances of Western and Islamic philosophy and social thought. Within the Muslim intellectual tradition, I am interested particularly in the works of Bediuzzaman Said Nursi (1876-1960), and more generally in questions of Islamic theology and present-day Muslim thought.

I teach courses on social theory and seminars on a variety of topics. I have designed and taught graduate- and undergraduate-level courses on Islamophobia, “Rethinking Violence,” and “Social Theory and Islam,” among others.



  Curriculum Vitae

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