Dr. Szanto teaches Middle Eastern History, Western Civilization, Comparative World Religions, and Islam. Her research focuses on Islam in the modern Middle East. She has published in the Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and the International Journal for Middle Eastern Studies. To date, her work has mainly centered on Twelver Shi'i practices in Syria, where she spent three years as a Fulbright scholar researching popular Islamic practices and working for the UN. Currently, she works on gender and Sufism in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Dr. Szanto is also one of the top scholars world-wide on academia.edu, her profile is in the top 0.1%.
2013 “Contesting Fragile Saintly Traditions: Miraculous Healing among Twelver Shi‘is in Contemporary Syria,” in Politics of Worship in the Contemporary Middle East: Sainthood in Fragile States, edited by Andreas Bandak and Mikkel Bille (Leiden: Brill), 33-52.
2013 “Beyond the Karbala Paradigm: Rethinking Revolution and Redemption in Twelver Shi‘a Mourning Rituals,” Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies 6 (1): 75-91.
2012 “Illustrating an Islamic Childhood in Syria: Pious Subjects and Religious Authority in Twelver Shi‘i Children’s Books,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East32 (2): 361-373.
2012 “Sayyida Zaynab in the State of Exception: Shi‘i Sainthood as ‘Qualified Life’ in Contemporary Syria,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 44 (2): 285-299.
2009 “Pedagogies of Piety: Shi‘i Children’s Books, Ethics and the Emergence of the Pious Subject,” Symposia: The Graduate Student Journal of the Centre for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto 1 (1): 62-78.
2008 “Inter-Religious Dialogue in Syria: Politics, Ethics and Miscommunication,” Political Theology 9 (1): 93-113.