Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Adviser
PhD, Columbia University, Middle Eastern History
MA, Columbia University, Middle Eastern History
BA, Williams College, Religion and History
Areas of expertise/Research interests
- Islamic Studies
- Middle Eastern History
- Media and Politics
- Nationalism and Sovereignty
Current research and projects
Dr. Stanton is Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, focusing on twentieth and twenty-first century Islam in the Middle East and around the world. Her research focuses on media and religious identity, and investigates the sometimes conflictual, sometimes cooperative relationships between new technologies and claims to religious authority. Her most recent historical work examines government management of religious broadcasts in Palestine in the 1930s and 1940s, connecting this to a broader trend of Middle Eastern states controlling religious communities' access to radio and television. Her most recent contemporary work includes an examination of "Islamic emoticons," which appear in online Islamic chat forums and websites and are hotly debated by community members, and a survey of where in the Middle East Muhammad's birthday (the mawlid al-nabi), a sometimes contentious holiday, is celebrated.
Stanton's work on the Middle East includes an examination of the role of the Olympic Games in fostering national and regional identities in Lebanon and Syria, and an analysis of themes found in US-based Syrian aid appeals and in Syrian political cartoons. Her most recent work involves advocating for the incorporation of sound into histories and other analyses of the Middle East, through a roundtable organized with Carole Woodall (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs), and published in the International Journal of Middle East Studies.
Her teaching interests include Qur'anic studies, contemporary fundamentalisms, globalization and its impact on religious identity and practice, gender and Muslim practice, and embodied practice and notions of piety, as well as the Internet and social media's evolving impact in these areas. Interested in Islamic studies? Check out the University of Denver's "Islamic Studies" library research guide.
In October 2012, Professor Stanton received a Regional Development Grant from the American Academy of Religion. The grant underwrote a one-day conference, held at the University of Denver in June 2013, on "Religion in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains."
Stanton has also received two United States Institute of Peace Public Education for Peacebuilding grants, focusing on religion and peacebuilding, and in Summer 2013 was awarded an Interfaith Course Development Grant from the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College.
In 2015, Stanton served as co-PI on a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, directing a NEH Summer Institute for Teachers, "Teaching Connected Histories of the Mediterranean", in July 2015 with Susan Douglass (Georgetown University).
Starting in February 2016, Stanton is serving as co-investigator on an international research team for a three-year project titled "Connecting the Wireless World: Writing Global Radio History", funded by the Leverhulme Trust and directed by Dr. Simon Potter (Bristol University, UK). DU will host the team's June 2018 research workshop.
In August 2016, Stanton was awarded another Regional Development Grant from the American Academy of Religion. This grant will support a conference on Islamic studies scholarship and pedagogy in the Rocky Mountains-Great Plains region, to be held at DU in June 2017.
Professor Stanton is a proud mother of twins, loves biking around Denver and hiking in the mountains, and can often be found attending DU talks and other events - especially the Steel Drums Ensemble concerts. She generally keeps a browser page opened to Al Jazeera's live stream, and she is always happy to have students stop by.
Professor Stanton graduated magna cum laude from Williams College with a double major in Religion and History. She obtained her MA and PhD from Columbia University, with a focus on Middle Eastern history.
At DU, Professor Stanton serves as the Religious Studies Department's Undergraduate Adviser and as liaison for its Theta Alpha Kappa chapter. She serves on the AHSS Elected Faculty Committee and as its liaison to the AHSS Advisory Board, on the University's Graduate Council, on the Advisory Committee for the Intercultural Global Studies Minor, and on the University's Academic Integrity Board. She serves on the Board of the Syrian Studies Association, for which she edits its bi-annual Bulletin , and served as Editor of H-Levant, a scholarly list server with over 1,200 members, for five years. She also serves as a manuscript reviewer for Comparative Studies in Society and History, the Journal of Middle East Women's Studies, and International Studies Perspectives, among other journals.
In the news
Religious Studies faculty members are often contacted by journalists to provide expert commentary on contemporary issues and news events. Professor Stanton's most recent television interviews are with CNN and Rudaw English, as well as a November 2015 story by CCTV America on the rise of Islamophobia in the United States in the wake of the ISIS attacks in Paris.
Professor Stanton provided analysis and background information for the Des Moines Register in a September 2012 story about the 2012 Presidential election. She also provided background information about the emergence of Shii houses of worship in the US for an October 2012 story about Shii Muslims in the United States, which was published in the Washington Post and in syndication. After the March 2013 papal conclave, she provided historical context for the relationship between St Francis of Assisi and the Ayyubid sultan.
As one of the few US scholars to have spent considerable time living in Syria, Stanton has also provided commentary on the current Syria crisis. Earlier examples include an article by Canadian journalist William Marsden on the "Pandora's box" of potential US airstrikes on Syria and an Associated Press story by New York Times writer Ben Hubbard that looked at the video game "Endgame: Syria".
Professor Stanton has published articles in various scholarly journals and chapters in several book collections. Her most recent chapters include a survey of mawlid celebrations around the contemporary Middle East, (in Identity Discourses and Communities in International Events, Festivals, and Spectacles , Palgrave 2015), a study of Moustapha Akkad's seminal film The Message and its impact on American Muslims (in Muslims in American Popular Culture , Praeger 2013), and an assessment on Islamic emoticons and their role in fostering a pious sociability among members of online Muslim communities ( Internet and Emotions , Routledge 2013).
Her first book, This is Jerusalem Calling: State Radio in Mandate Palestine , was published by the University of Texas Press in September 2013. It was reviewed in the International Journal of Middle East Studies in August 2014.
Stanton has also been involved since 2014 with efforts to assist displaced and refugee Syrian students in higher education. Her latest work on this critical issue can be found in the Institute of International Education's August 2016 report, Supporting Displaced and Refugee Students in Higher Education .