Sahar Ishtiaque Ullah is a scholar, artist, and educator whose work bridges the gap between the crumbling ivory tower and community.
Dr. Ullah is currently an instructor in the English Department at Phillips Exeter Academy. She holds a Ph.D. in Arabic and Comparative Literature from Columbia University, where she was a post-doctoral lecturer in the Center for the Core Curriculum. Dr. Ullah has also taught at Rikers Island through the Rikers Education Program and through the Center for Justice in Education, a program that supports currently and formerly incarcerated students. She has been recognized for her commitment to excellence in teaching and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Core Preceptor Award for Teaching Excellence and the Presidential Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor at Columbia University. Her work has been published in various journals, including the Once and Future Classroom, Cambridge Journal of Post-Colonial Literary Inquiry, Journal of Arabic Literature, and the Asian Journal of African Studies.
Dr. Ullah is the creative director, playwright, and performer of the critically-acclaimed Hijabi Monologues—a play featuring the experiences of Muslim women who wear the headscarf—that toured for over a decade and has been staged across the United States and internationally including at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Peacock Theatre in Dublin, Theatre Zuidplein in Rotterdam, AtAmerica in Jakarta, and the Bush Theatre in London.
Dr. Ullah is also a script creator and dramaturg for the Neighborhood Theatre Project. In 2020, she received a theatre commission from the Park Avenue Armory to create Bury Me Home--her contribution to the 100 Years 100 Women Initiative. In 2021, through the support of the New York Foundation for the Arts' City Artist Corps grant, she offered developmental readings of her work Once Upon a Time across the city.
Ullah’s theater work has been reviewed by the BBC, The Stage, Exeunt Magazine, The Asian Writer, and British Council Voices.