Alex Henley is Programme Leader for the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH). He directs the IIS’ flagship three-year scholarship programme, including a two-year MA delivered in partnership with SOAS.
An anthropological historian, Alex is interested in the politics of religion in the modern Middle East. His research has involved extensive fieldwork in Lebanon and Jordan, looking at processes of institutionalisation, religionisation and sectarianisation.
Alex is also an associate member of Oxford’s Faculty of Theology & Religion, where he had been a Lecturer for four years prior to joining the IIS in 2020. He spent the previous four years in the US, first as a doctoral fellow at Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies, then as the inaugural American Druze Foundation Fellow at Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. In addition to these institutions, Alex has taught at George Washington University, Qatar University and Middlebury College.
Alex gained his PhD in Arab World Studies from Manchester University; MA in Middle Eastern & Islamic Studies from Durham University; and BA in Theology & Religion also from Durham University. He studied Arabic at Edinburgh and Damascus Universities as part of a four-year graduate scholarship from the UK’s Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World.