A workshop exploring the construction of secularisms through scholarship on religion and expressions of religiosity, the redefinition of ‘public’ and ‘private,’ ideas of citizenship, and individual subjectivities

Secularism and the Citizen in the Middle East and South Asia

A lecture examining Ataollah Bayezidof's refutation of Ernest Renan's "Islam and Science" with a focus on the central disagreement on the nature of Islamic exceptionalism

Defining Religion and Civilization in Imam Bayezidof's Refutation of Renan

A workshop focusing on the reception, transformation, and reiteration of classical Arabic biographical and autobiographical literature in modern Arabic fiction.

Angle of Vision: Then, Now, and the Arabic Novel

A lecture by Gamal al Ghitany, a renowned Egyptian author, whose short stories and novels have helped shape currents in Arabic fiction over the past four decades.

East West West East: the Literary Lives of an Egyptian Novelist

This workshop examined whether Shiʿism forms a distinct field of research and study, with its own methodological approaches.

Workshop: Studying Shīʿī Islam: Prospects and Challenges

The Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative is a three-year project, designed to support the expansion and enhancement of the study of Islam at the University of Chicago. Administered by the Divinity School, the initiative is a cross-divisional collaboration, intended to create a sustained campus conversation about the future of Islamic studies.

Funded by a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the initiative will bring to the University distinguished visiting scholars representing a wide range of topics in Islamic Studies. Each visitor will bring to the community a unique area of expertise, which they will share with the campus by giving a public lecture, teaching a class, and organizing a conference or symposium on their topic of study.

With one visitor per quarter over the next three years, the result will be a substantive, sustained discussion about both specific topics in Islamic studies and the wider field of study. Our campus-wide program of visitors is a bold attempt to create a more seamlessly interdivisional and interdisciplinary context for Islamic Studies at the University of Chicago and, in so doing, to establish a model for academia more broadly.