Valerie Hoffman, Director

Valerie Hoffman

Valerie Hoffman, Director of CSAMES, is a Professor in the Department of Religion and specializes in Islamic thought and practice. She received her Ph.D. in Arabic and Islamic studies from the University of Chicago. She has been on the faculty of the University of Illinois since 1983, and teaches courses on all aspects of Islam. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Middle East Studies and the Journal of the American Academy of Religion. She is the author of Sufism, Mystics and Saints in Modern Egypt (University of South Carolina Press, 1995) and The Essentials of Ibadi Islam (Syracuse University Press, 2012), as well as numerous articles on Sufism, Islamic gender ideology, the Ibadi sect of Islam, and contemporary Islamic movements. In 1996 she was named a University Scholar, and during the 2009-2010 academic year she was a Carnegie scholar. She is currently working on a book entitled Islamic Sectarianism Reconsidered: Ibadi Islam in the Modern Age.


Angela Williams, Associate Director

Angela Williams began working at CSAMES as the Outreach Coordinator in 2008. She completed her MA and BA in Linguistics from the University of Illinois, and has studied Arabic at the Arabic Language Institute at the American University in Cairo. Her research has focused on hip hop music and culture in the Arab world, specifically in Egypt. She has taught Arabic at Parkland College in Champaign. Angela is currently working toward a doctorate in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership, in the Division of Global Studies in Education, focusing on the intersections of popular culture, education policy, gender, race and global studies. Her dissertation will explore the lived experiences of Arab female rap artists and their implications on education policy.


Linda Bauer, Office Support Associate

Linda Bauer

Linda Bauer completed her MA and BA in English from the University of Northern Colorado. She has experience in teaching, public relations, technology, and project management.