Kristen A. Stilt is a professor of law at Harvard Law School and an affiliated professor in the Department of History at Harvard University. She serves as faculty director of the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program and of the Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World. Her research focuses on animal law, Islamic law and society, and comparative constitutional law. A recent publication showing the intersection of these interests is “Constitutional Innovation and Animal Protection in Egypt” (Law & Social Inquiry, Fall 2018).
At Radcliffe, Stilt is completing a book project, “Halal Animals: Food, Faith, and the Future of Planetary Health.” Behind the label “halal” on animal products are contentious and widespread debates over what halal is and what it should be. These debates, and their outcomes, have profound significance for the physical and spiritual health of human consumers; for the welfare of animals who are raised, transported, slaughtered, and consumed; and for the health of the planet at a time when climate change poses an existential threat. The book explores these issues, using multidisciplinary research methods to take the reader to animal markets and slaughterhouses, transport ships, corporate boardrooms, supermarkets, and laboratories seeking to create halal “clean meat.”
Stilt was named a Carnegie Scholar for her work on constitutional Islam, and in 2013, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. She holds a JD from the University of Texas School of Law and a PhD in history and Middle Eastern studies from Harvard University.