Lecturer, Program in African Studies

Hamza M. Zafer is an Associate Professor of Arabian and African Languages at the University of Washington. He specializes in the languages and literatures of the Red Sea world from the 6th to the 16th century. His research explores pre-modern networks of knowledge in Ethiopic, Arabic, Coptic, Sabaic, and Syriac spanning Horn of African and Western Arabian societies. His book Ecumenical Community (Brill, 2020) situates the emergence of Early Muslim communitarianism in the wake of the Red Sea wars. He is currently working on two book-length projects: The Comrades of the Ship is a comprehensive study of Early Muslim historiographical accounts about Africa and Africans in the context of the Quran. The Ethiopic Quran is an annotated translation and critical commentary on the 16th century Ge'ez polemical treatise by the ecclesiastical leader Enbaqom. Prof. Zafer received his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 2014. He served as a Mellon-Sawyer Fellow at the University of Notre Dame and a Katz Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania.