Aziza Shanazarova

Aziza Shanazarova is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, where she specializes on the religious history of Islamic Central Asia and the broader Persianate world with an emphasis on the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. She holds a dual PhD in Religious Studies and Central Eurasian Studies completed at Indiana University-Bloomington in 2019. Before joining the Department of Religion, Aziza was a UCIS/REEES Postdoctoral Associate in the Humanities at the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently working on a book project entitled Female Religiosity and Gender History in Early Modern Central Asia: The Great Lady and Her Legacy, which is a study of female religious authority, spirituality and gender history based on the case of the 16th-century female Sufi master known as Aghā-yi Buzurg (The Great Lady).


Manifestations of a Sufi Woman in Central Asia: A Critical Edition of Ḥāfiẓ-i Baṣīr’s Maẓhar al-ʻajā’ib, Leiden: Brill, 2020. Link:

“The Book of Women’s Rituals: The Central Asian Adaptation of the ʿAqāʾid al-Nisāʾ,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society; forthcoming.  

Tadhkira‑yi Ṭāhir Īshān: A Neglected Source on the History of the Naqshbandī Tradition in Central Asia,” Journal of Sufi Studies; forthcoming.

“The Making of Qīz Bībī in Central Asia’s Oral Shrine Traditions: From the Great Lady to a Fourteen-Year-Old Virgin,” Routledge Handbook of Islam in Asia; forthcoming. 

“Locating the Non-Aḥrārī Silsila of the Naqshbandiyya in Central Asia: A Historical Contextualization of Ḥāfiẓ Baṣīr within the Central Asian Sufi Tradition,” International Journal of Islam in Asia 1 (2021): 1-51. Link:

“Exemplarity and the Transformative Power of Belief in a Comparative Study of Teresa of Avila and Aghā-yi Buzurg,” Vestnik Prikamskogo Sotsial’nogo Instituta 2/77 (Russia, Perm: 2017): 134-149. Link: