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 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, especially Egypt. She has taught Arabic at Parkland College in Champaign. She is currently working toward a doctorate in Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership, in the Division of Global Studies in Education.



Terri Gitler, Office Support Associate

            • Office: 221 ISB
            • Phone: 217. 244.7331  
            • Email:                            

Terri Gitler completed her MA and BA in English from the University of Illinois. She has extensive experience working as a proofreader and copyeditor.