Matthew Pierce holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Boston University’s Division of Religious and Theological Studies. From 2003 to 2006, he participated in an inter-faith dialogue program while studying in Qom, Iran.Pierce specializes in pre-Modern Islamic history and thought. His current research focuses on medieval Arabic and Persian biographies, analyzing the production of cultural symbols related to gender, authority, and identity. He is a contributor to The Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought (2012) as well as an edited volume on Women, Leadership, and Mosques: Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority (Brill, 2012). His work has also appeared in the Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies.