Alexa Herlands is a second year Masters of Theological Studies candidate at Harvard Divinity School, with a concentration in Islamic Studies. She is from Long Island, NY, and intends to maintain her accent throughout her entire academic career.
Alexa focuses on questions of theology, especially as it relates to bodies and gender, through the framework of the Quran and its interpretation. She has conducted independent research on the imamate in Shia hadith and the significance of oath-taking in the early Meccan suras. She is currently conducting research for the textbook From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans with Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and has been tasked with editing the chapters on Islamic West Africa and Black Muslim presence in the United States. Alexa’s drive to understand and critique power (especially when it’s legitimized by religion) is the link between these apparently disparate research interests.
Prior to pursuing an MTS degree, Alexa received her B.A. in History and Middle Eastern Studies from Haverford College, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. In her spare time, she gives tours at the Peabody museum, pets the dogs of Cambridge, and works with the Boston elderly LGBT community.