• B.A., William Paterson University, 2000
  • M.A., University of Michigan, 2004
  • Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2010
Areas of Interest

Pre-Islamic Arabia and early Islam; manuscript studies; heritage conservation; media theory

Sarah Mirza is a historian of pre-Islamic Arabia and early Islam. She is interested in bringing non-Western and pre-modern epistemologies and material cultures to bear on the interests of media theory in nonhuman actors and archaeologies of knowledge. Current themes in research are: history of pre-wage labor and craftwork, pre-modern legal and communication infrastructures and technologies, colonialist epistemologies, everyday media and nonverbal literacies.

Courses Taught

Islamic Origins
Pop Culture in Medieval Islam
Ancient Arabian Religions
Materiality and the Spirit: paper, pigment, ritual
Decolonizing Fashion: personhood, sustainability, and racial capitalism
Technologies of the Self


Islamic origins, Arabian custom, and the documents of the Prophet, Gorgias Press, Islamic History and Thought Series (in press)

“Copies More Authentic than Originals: The Prophet’s Letters and Covenants as Heritage Objects,” In The Fake, the Replica, and the Copy (Islamic Manuscripts and Books Series). Anne Regourd, ed. Leiden: Brill (forthcoming)

“Dhimma Agreements and Sanctuary Systems at Islamic Origins,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 77/2 (April 2018): 99-117

“Shoes, Writing: Unspeaking Writing in the Material Culture of Pre-Islamic Arabia and early Islam,” West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture, 24/2 (Fall-Winter 2017): 159-76