Matriculated September 2004
Mentor Mustafa’s research is focused on the Bektashi Order of Dervishes, a Sufi order of ancient lineage. They were the most important Sufi group during the Ottoman period, and had a special relationship to the military (Janissaries), but since then have suffered many shifts in fortune. Most recently, they were almost eliminated during Albania’s Communist regime, but have experienced a remarkable resurgence in the last decade. The Bektashi have a centralized system based on a hierarchical structuring of spiritual knowledge. The central figure, the Dede, is at the heart of this system, but spiritual authorities have considerable autonomy over local affairs and their disciples. The relatively loose structure is coupled with a high degree of syncretism and religious tolerance. Mentor has developed extremely good connections with the order, staying in their lodges, including the central lodge where the Dede resides and partaking in the Bektashi ritual cycle. Mentor’s research looks to fill a gap in our knowledge of this esoteric Sufi group, but it will also help to understand cultural survival under extremely adverse conditions, and the manner in which religious revivalism is taking place in a post-communist setting. The Bektashi offer a contemporary example of a tolerant Islam, a far outcry from monolithic perspectives on Islam and Muslim communities.
Mentor holds a Bachelor of Arts in Archaeological Sciences from Boston University, a Master of Education from Salem State University, and Master of Arts in Anthropology from University of Arizona.
- Islam and the Muslim World (Amherst College)
- The Mystical Tradition of Islam (Amherst College)
- Anthropology of Muslim Cultures and Politics (Boston University)
- Anthropology of Religion (Boston University)
- Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (Curry College, Boston University)
- Cora du Bois Fellowship, Harvard University.
- Muslim Studies Fellowship, Boston University
- American Council of Learned Societies
- Earhart Research Fellowship
- IREX Individual Advanced Research Opportunities Fellowship
Mustafa, M., A. Young, M. Galaty, and W. Lee. Spatial and Temporal Patterns in Kinship Relations: Marriage, Descent and Feud. In: Light and Shadow: Isolation and Interaction in the Shala Valley of Northern Albania, pages 85-106. Edited by M. Galaty et al. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press at UCLA.
Lee, W. E., M. Lubin, E. Ndreca with Contributions by M.L. Galaty, Mentor Mustafa, and R. Schon 2013 Archival Historical Research. In: Light and Shadow: Isolation and Interaction in the Shala Valley of Northern Albania, pages 45-84. Edited by M. Galaty et al. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press at UCLA.
“What Remained of Religion in an ‘Atheist’ State and the Return of Religion in Post-Communist Albania.” MESS and RAMSES II, Mediterranean Ethnological Summer School, vol. 7: 51-76. Eds. Jaka Repič, Alenka Bartulović and Katarina Sajovec Altshul. Zupanic’s Collection nr. 28. Ljubljana: University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts.
“Giving Ottoman Otherness a Local Flavour: The Bektashi Order of Dervishes in Contemporary Albania.” Austrian Academy of Sciences Working Papers in Social Anthropology, Volume 3: 1-29. Eds. Andre Gingrich and Helmut Lukas. Online publication: http://hw.oeaw.ac.at/?arp=0x001c98f7.
Mustafa, M. and A. Young. “Feud Narratives: Contemporary Deployments of Kanun in Shala Valley, Northern Albania.” Anthropological Notebooks XIV(2: Contributions to Albanian Studies): 87-107. (Online link: www.drustvo-antropologov.si/pregled_letnikov_eng.html)
“The Bektashi Ecumenical Experience: Heterodox Islam, National Identity, and Modernity in Post-Communist Albania.” Online publication: http://www.irex.org/programs/iaro/research/06-07/Mentor.pdf.
Mustafa, M., and G. Clark. “Quantifying Technological Continuity: ‘Ain Difla Rockshelter (Jordan) and the Evolution of Levantine Mousterian Technology.” Journal of Eurasian Prehistory, 5(1): 47-83.
Galaty, M., O. Lafe, Z. Tafilica, W. Lee, M. Mustafa, C. Watkinson, A. Young. “Projekti i Luginës së Shalës: Fushata 2005.” Shkodra në Shekuj 1: 232-238.