Almas Khan, Assistant Professor of Law, The University of Arkansas
As an intellectual historian holding a Ph.D. in English and a J.D., Almas Khan works at the intersection of law, literature, and citizenship studies. She researches how intellectual movements in law and letters have sparked the reimagination of U.S. citizenship since the Civil War, with a focus on African American, working-class, and women’s experiences. Dr. Khan’s teaching synergizes with her scholarship, applying insights from critical pedagogy and cultural legal studies to courses including U.S. constitutional law, judicial politics, and legal writing. Global disciplinary and geographic perspectives infuse Dr. Khan’s work, which draws on postcolonial theory and her experiences teaching international Master of Laws students.
Dr. Khan’s scholarship often centralizes figures whose identity or disciplinary hybridity has resulted in their marginalization from conventional accounts of U.S. legal history and jurisprudence. Her book-in-progress, An Intellectual Reconstruction: American Legal Realism, Literary Realism, and the Formation of Citizenship, analyzes how major post-Civil War movements in American law and letters participated in the process of equitist national rebuilding through the seemingly insular process of disciplinary reformation. Dr. Khan’s research has been published in several edited collections and in journals including the Chicago Journal of International Law, the Washburn Law Journal, and the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry. Her scholarship has been supported by organizations including the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Legal Writing Institute. She has also presented at conferences sponsored by the American Studies Association; the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities; and the African American Intellectual History Society.
Dr. Khan’s pedagogy aims to empower students as nascent scholars and lawyers, seeing the classroom as a space where, in Paolo Freire’s terms, a “teacher-student” interacts with “student-teachers” on a joint journey of discovery. Interdisciplinarity and intellectual risk-taking are hallmarks of Dr. Khan’s teaching, including in previous positions at Georgetown Law and the University of Miami School of Law. To instigate student learning, she uses cultural legal studies materials like films as well as realistic exercises that tap into her prior work in areas including civil rights law and environmental law. She has also advised students who have published articles on subjects spanning from queer rights to international economic law. Dr. Khan’s scholarship on legal pedagogy is informed by these experiences and has appeared in journals including The Law Teacher and Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research & Writing. Her recent pedagogical research dovetails with her book project in emphasizing equitable, asset-based approaches to teaching as academia and the legal profession continue to diversify.
When not immersed in law, literature, and history, Dr. Khan enjoys exploring alternative music, fashion, and interior design. Additionally, she is an avid runner and traveler, believing, with modernist poet T. S. Eliot, that “We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.”