Events

Upcoming Events:

Mediated Muslim Identities in a Changing World

The Muslim world witnessed many parallel tides of change on the political, social, cultural and communication landscapes simultaneously in recent years. The new developments which have been sweeping many parts of the Muslim world in the socio-political domain, such as the quest for democratization and the calls for reform in some Muslim countries, the growth of diasporic Muslim communities in many parts of the globe, the spread of Islamic resurgence movements, and the birth of new generations of young, educated and technologically savvy Muslims, have been accompanied by equally captivating developments in the media arena, with the introduction of new communication technologies, such as the internet, satellite television channels, and cell phones. The workshop “Mediated Muslim Identities in a Changing World” attempts to capture the complexities, intricacies and intersectionalities of these parallel forces of change and their dynamics, as they both shape and reflect the way Muslims use the media today, in an effort to forecast the future implications of this cyclical and interconnected process on new generations of Muslims, whether politically, socially, or culturally.

Friday, May 9, 2014
9 am - 5 pm
Swift Hall Common Room

Reception to follow

 

Schedule TBA

 

Workshop Participants:

Mohamed El- Nawawy
Queens University of Charlotte

Hamid Naficy
Northwestern University

Iza Hussin
The University of Chicago

Thomas E.R. Maguire
The University of Chicago

Suad Abdul Khabeer
Purdue University

Past Events:

ISLAMIC DISCOURSES IN CYBERSPACE: OPPORTUNITIES, CHALLENGES AND FUTURE PROSPECTS

How is the Internet contributing to shaping and redefining the notion of the "Virtual Umma?" How is it giving birth to new forms of "Online Fatwa?" How is it contributing to the creation of new "Islamic Public Spheres?" In this Mellon Public Lecture, Visiting Mellon Professor Sahar Khamis discusses the introduction of the Internet in the Muslim world which imposed new realities and dynamics, whether in the political, social, cultural or communication landscapes. Her lecture seeks to tackle the complexities and implications of this new digital age, with all its multi-faceted dimensions as well as discuss some of the most important debates, controversies, and deliberations being shared and exchanged between different groups of Muslims. 

Sahar Khamis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is an expert on Arab and Middle Eastern media. She is the former Head of the Mass Communication and Information Science Department in Qatar University. Dr. Khamis holds a Ph.D. in Mass Media and Cultural Studies from the University of Manchester in England. She is the co-author of the books: “Islam Dot Com: Contemporary Islamic Discourses in Cyberspace” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and “Egyptian Revolution 2.0: Political Blogging, Civic Engagement and Citizen Journalism” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). Dr. Khamis has been appointed as a commissioner in the Human Rights Commission of Montgomery County, Maryland.    

Friday, April 18
4:30 pm
Swift Hall Common Room
Reception to follow

 

Secularism and the Citizen in the Middle East and South Asia

Scholarship on secularism in the Middle East and South Asia has been radically transformed in the last decade, and continues to be one of the most innovative and creative, as well as challenging, areas of inquiry. It has become apparent that we are talking about multiple ways of constituting and imagining secularism, and that recognition of historical context and diversity is essential. We no longer use Western Europe as a yardstick, or even speak of secularism as a uniform phenomenon, instead we have moved to exploring the diversity of secularisms in a wide variety of social, cultural and historical contexts. Scholarship increasingly probes ways in which secularisms are constructed in interaction with new understandings of religion and expressions of religiosity, the redefinition of ‘public’ and ‘private,’ ideas of citizenship, and individual subjectivities.

The aim of this conference is twofold. First, to bring together some of the formative theorists of secularism from a variety of disciplines (political science, religious studies, anthropology, sociology, history) to enable dialogue with them about their existing scholarship; and secondly, to hear from these scholars about where their research is headed.

This conference is organized in tandem with Professor Monica Ringer’s course at the University of Chicago in the winter quarter of 2014, where students will read works by the speakers and prepare a paper that engages their scholarship.

Friday, February 28, 2014
9 am - 5 pm
Swift Hall Common Room

Reception to follow

 

Schedule:

9 am - Welcome, Monica M. Ringer

9:30 am- First Session

Metin Heper, "Some Notes on Secularism in Turkey"

10:30 am - coffee

11:00 am - Second Session

Berna Turam, "The City after De-privatization: Spatializing Religion and Secularism"

12:00 pm - break for lunch

1:30 pm - Third Session

Peter van der Veer, "Keeping the Muslims Out: Concepts of Civilization, Civility, and Civil Society in India, China, and Western Europe"

2:30 pm - Fourth Session

Tomoko Masuzawa, "Trifurcating Abraham: the Rise of Philology and the Disaggregation of Jewish, Islamic, and Biblical Studies"

3:30 pm - coffee

4:00 pm - Closing Discussion

5:00 pm - Reception

Workshop Participants:

Monica Ringer
Amherst College
Visiting Professor, University of Chicago
Tomoko Masuzawa
University of Michigan
Peter van der Veer
Max Planck Institute, Germany
Metin Heper
Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey
Berna Turam
Northeastern University
 

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

With Professor Monica M. Ringer, Visiting Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago and Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History at Amherst College

French religious studies scholar Ernest Renan's famous lecture given at the Sorbonne in 1883, "Islam and Science," caused enormous consternation in Muslim intellectual circles, and launched a series of refutations. In many ways, the debates surrounding Renan's argument prefigured the "Clash of Civilizations" debate engendered by Samuel Huntington's infamous article published in 1993. In this talk, Professor Ringer examines one of the least well-known of the refutations, written by the Imam of the St. Petersburg mosque, Ataollah Bayezidof. Despite many shared premises, the two scholars' central disagreement surrounds the nature of Islamic exceptionalism.

Friday, January 17, 2014
Swift Hall Common Room
4:30 pm 

Reception to follow


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

Join Gamal Al Ghitany and participants for discussions on the reception, transformation, and reiteration of classical Arabic biographical and autobiographical literature in modern Arabic fiction, as well as the process of translation and its relationship with the original text.

Gamal al-Ghitany is the fall quarter 2013 Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative visitor.  He has been appointed visiting professor of practice.  Practice professorships are reserved for those who have achieved distinction in the creative arts, such as musicians, choreographers, poets, or fiction writers.  Al-Ghitany has published more than forty novels, collections of short stories, and works of literary criticism; and was the founder and, until recently, director of the Egyptian literary periodical Akhbar al-Adab, widely viewed as the most influential literary periodical in the Arab world.  
 
Three of his works were translated by the late Farouk Mustafa Abdel Wahhab, the University of Chicago’s award-winner translator of modern Egyptian fiction: Zayni Barakat (1988); The Zaafarani Files (2009); and The Book of Epiphanies (2012).

Friday, November 22
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Swift Hall Common Room
Reception to follow

Schedule:

9:30 am - Introduction of Workshop

10:00 am - 11:15 am
Kay Heikkinen will lead a panel devoted to readings from Gamal al-Ghitany's works in the English translations by Farouk Mustafa, followed by readings by al-Ghitany from the original and comments by al-Ghitany on the narrative form and linguistic register of each work.

11:30 am -12:30 pm
Cameron Cross on Translating a Work of Yusuf Idris, followed by Michael Sells on Authorial Personas of Ibn al-`Arabi

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Gamal al-Ghitany on the Autobiography of Ibn Sina, followed by a discussion of the text.

3:15 am - 4:30 pm
Plenary Address by Gamal al-Ghitany:
Tarajim as a Source of Literature

Workshop Participants:

Gamal Al Ghitany
Visiting Professor, University of Chicago
Michael Sells
University of Chicago
Kay Heikkinen
University of Chicago
Noha Foster
University of Chicago
Mohamed Wajdi Ben Hammed
University of Notre Dame
Nathaniel Miller
University of Chicago
Cameron Cross
University of Chicago
Nora Jacobsen Ben Hammed
University of Chicago

To Download Texts:

Ibn Sina's Autobiography (Arabic):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B--lFuJ2it9BMDdtaW00V2ZYNHc/edit?usp=sh...


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

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.

Translation by Mohamed Wajdi Ben Hammed, PhD student of Literature at the University of Notre Dame

Friday, November 1
Swift Hall Common Room
4:30 pm
Reception to follow


Workshop: LEO STRAUSS, ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY, AND THE END OF PRE-MODERNITY

This workshop aims to focus on Strauss’ concern with Islamic political philosophy. With a few important exceptions, the long history of criticism applied to Strauss’ thought has neglected the pedagogical weight of that itinerary, an itinerary intended to mark a disruptive way – to quote Strauss himself – to begin the study of medieval philosophy. Our workshop is intended as an occasion to verify to what extent the Straussian inquiry devoted to the Islamic sources of a historical “Western” tension can serve as a resource for thinking about the history of modernity, as well as about the history of medieval Islamic philosophy.

Friday, May 24
Swift Hall Common Room
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Reception to follow

Schedule:

9:00 am - Introduction: David Nirenberg (University of Chicago), Leonardo Capezzone (Sapienza-Università di Roma)

9:30 am - Steven Harvey (Bar-Ilan University)  
Leo Strauss’ Reading of the Falâsifa and Its Reverberations in the Study of Medieval Islamic (and Jewish) Philosophy
Chair: James Robinson

10:30 am - Joshua Parens (University of Dallas)
From Strauss’s Spinoza to ‘Scholasticism’ and back again to Alfarabi
Chair: David Nirenberg

11:30 am - Coffee break

11:45 am - Miriam Galston (George Washington University)
Introductory Thoughts about the Differences Between Alfarabi’s Political Regime and Virtuous City
Chair: Ralph Lerner

12:45 pm - Lunch

2:00 pm - Charles E. Butterworth (University of Maryland)
Alfarabi on Politics and Legislators as opposed to Lawgivers
Chair: Nathan Tarcov

3:00 pm - Oliver Leaman (University of Kentucky)
Leo Strauss and the role of the attentive reader in Islamic philosophy
Chair: Josef Stern

4:00 pm - Coffee break

4:15 pm - Closing discussion

5:00 pm - Reception


Notes for a History of Nostalgia in Classical
Arabic Culture

With Professor Leonardo Capezzone, Visiting Professor in Social Thought and Associate Professor of the History of the Arab-Islamic Mediterranean at the University of Rome

Friday, April 26
Swift Hall Common Room
4:30 pm
Reception to follow


Workshop: Studying Shīʿī Islam: Prospects and Challenges

What are the methodological issues facing Shīʿī studies?  Are these different from those posed to Islamic studies more generally?  This workshop will examine whether Shiʿism forms a distinct field of research and study, with its own methodological approaches. Through presentations of the latest research from both established and emerging experts in the field of Shīʿī Studies, the future direction of Shīʿī studies will be explored.

Friday March 8
Swift Hall, Common Room

Schedule of Panels:

9:00 am
Welcome remarks: Michael Sells and Robert Gleave

9:45 am
Chair: Paul Walker
Sean Anthony: "Hidden Redeemers, Sleeping Heroes, and Wandering Messiahs: Early Shi'ite Messianism in the Sectarian Milieu". 
Respondent: Edmund Hayes

10:30 am - Coffee Break

10:45 am
Chair: Tahera Qutbuddin
Najam Haider: “The Reconstruction of Local Ritual Practice in the 2nd/8th Century: Some Shi'i Considerations”. 
Respondent: Said Amir Arjomand

11:30 am
Robert Gleave: “Early Shi’i hermeneutics and the Kitab Sulaym b. Qays”. Respondent: Todd Lawson

12:15 pm - Lunch

1:15 pm
Chair: Franklin Lewis
Devin Stewart: “Preserving Family Tradition:  The Autobiography of ʿAlī al-ʿĀmilī (d. 1692).”
Respondent: Judith Pfeiffer

2:00 pm
Bella Tendler: "Concerning the Charge of Ibāḥat al-Nisāʾ: New Evidence from a Nineteenth Century Nusayri Text."
Respondent: Evrim Binbaş

2:45 pm - Coffee Break

3:00 pm
Chair: Alireza Doostdar
Orit Bashkin “Whose isolation? Antisectarian moments in Modern Iraq”.
Respondent: Fadi Bardawil

3:45 pm
Elvire Corboz: “Khomeini in Exile: Writing the Najaf History of Iran's Revolutionary Leader”.
Respondent: Said Amir Arjomand

4:30 pm
Closing remarks: Robert Gleave

5:00pm - Reception

Workshop Participants:

Sean Anthony
University of Oregon
Said Amir Arjoman
Stony Brook University
Fadi Bardawil
University of Chicago
Orit Bashkin
University of Chicago
Evrim Binbaş
University of London
Elvire Corboz
Princeton University
Alireza Doostdar
University of Chicago
Robert Gleave, Organizer
Visiting Professor, University of Chicago
University of Exeter
Najam Haider
Barnard College, Columbia University
Edmund Hayes
University of Chicago
Todd Lawson
University of Toronto
Franklin Lewis
University of Chicago
Judith Pfeiffer
University of Oxford
Tahera Qutbuddin
University of Chicago
Devin Stewart
Emory University
Bella Tendler
Yeshiva University
Paul Walker
University of Chicago
 

Islam, Violence & the Sacred: Insurgent Shi'ism in Muslim History

With Robert Gleave, Visiting Professor in the Department of History, and Professor of Arabic Studies at the University of Exeter.

Friday January 18
Swift Hall, Common Room
4:30 pm
Reception to follow


Qur'anic Studies Today: a workshop

Organized by Angelika Neuwirth, Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago, Professor Freie Universität Berlin, this workshop reviews the diverse methodologies currently applied in Qur’anic studies. It takes a fresh look at texts that incorporate traditional and modern, Arab and Muslim scholarship. Rather than searching for influences or deviations, the relationship between the various traditions will have to be considered as a conversation—a process of negotiating, and sometimes superseding, given versions.

Workshop Participants

Mehdi Azaiez
University of Notre Dame
Catherine Bronson
Beloit College
Emran El-Badawi
University of Houston
Fred Donner
University of Chicago
Sidney Griffith
The Catholic University of America
Marcin Grodzki
University of Warsaw
Daniel Madigan
Georgetown University
Lauren Osborne
University of Chicago
Tahera Qutbuddin
University of Chicago
Gabriel Said Reynolds
University of Notre Dame
Andrew Rippin
University of Victoria  
Behnam Sadeghi
Stanford University
Walid Saleh
University of Toronto
Nora Schmid
Freie Universität Berlin
Michael Sells
University of Chicago
Mun’im Sirry
University of Notre Dame
Devin Stewart
Emory University
 

The Qur'an and the discovery of writing: an epistemic turn in Late Antiquity

With Angelika Neuwirth, Visiting Professor in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and Professor of Arabic Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin

Friday, October 12
Swift Hall, Common Room
4:30 pm
Reception to follo