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Duke Hosts Middle East and Islam Summer Institute

Twenty-three educators from around the country convene on campus to develop 6-12 grade curricula.

From June 25-29, 2017 Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center led “The Middle East and Islam: New perspectives of Islamic History from the 16th century to the present” a summer institute for middle and high school educators from around the country. Over the course of the program, the educators attended lectures by Duke University, North Carolina State University, and University of North Carolina professors, and received specialized resources from the Duke Libraries.

 

 

Throughout the week, programming focused on different themes including the Ottoman and Safavid Empires of Turkey and Iran, and Islam in America. The educators were assigned readings from several books before arriving on campus and came prepared with questions. Participants engaged in daily curriculum session and discussions with university experts in K-12 education and Middle East Studies.

 

Along with their studies, the educators also partook in several experiential learning activities: film screenings, visiting a local mosque, and eating a variety of traditional Middle Eastern cuisines. “Our hope for the summer institute is to introduce teachers to new, engaging content and resources, and provide a space for participants to form networks with like-minded educators across the country,” said Emma Harver, a partner on the program from the Duke-UNC Consortium for Middle East Studies.

Students in library training

Emma Harver watches librarian Mohamed Hamed deliver a library resource training session at the Edge.

 

Program participants were selected through a nation-wide search which received over 110 applications. A committee of teachers and Middle East specialists selected the program attendees which represent 14 states, teach a variety of disciplines, and work with both middle and high school students.

 

“I know for myself, I came in with a fairly solid understanding of Islam, but the institute was still able to tell me there was still a lot of things that I didn’t know and that I was open to learning about,” said Tara Rana, a Global History teacher from New York City, New York.

 

Learn more about the Duke Islamic Studies summer institute.

 

Group photo

Participants of the 2017 Middle East and Islam Summer Institute for Educators.

Islamic Mysticism – Fall 2017

Course numbers: AMES 373S, ETHICS 373S, ICS 380S, RELIGION 373S

Course attributions: CCI, EI, CZ

Course Description:

This course explores the mystical dimension of Islam, with a bold, poetic, and mystical emphasis on the legacy of human and Divine love.   No background is needed.

Themes explored in this class include the tradition of love poetry of Rumi and Hafez, the various meditative techniques, Sufi poetry and music. We will also explore the controversies surrounding Sufism in the contemporary scene ranging from attacks on Sufism from Muslim fundamentalists to the destruction of Sufi shrines by ISIS and Wahhabis.

Professor biography:

Professor Omid Safi is an award-winning professor in the department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center.

 

 

 

Rumi

s17_ames321
Course numbers: AMES 321, RELIGION 321

 

Course codes: CCI, R, ALP, CZ

 

Course Description:

Rumi is the iconic love poet of Islam, and one of the great mystical visionaries in history. This course explores Rumi’s traditional erotic love poetry, where human and Divine love mingle. All reads are in English. Open to all. No previous coursework required.

Instructor: Dr. Omid Safi

Dr. Safi is Director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center. He is the past Chair for the Study of Islam, and the current Chair for Islamic Mysticism Group at the American Academy of Religion. In 2009, he was recognized by the University of North Carolina for mentoring minority students in 2009, and won the Sitterson Teaching Award for Professor of the Year in April of 2010.

Omid is the editor of the volume Progressive Muslims: On Justice, Gender, and Pluralism, which offered an understanding of Islam rooted in social justice, gender equality, and religious and ethnic pluralism. His works Politics of Knowledge in Premodern Islam, dealing with medieval Islamic history and politics, and Voices of Islam: Voices of Change were published 2006. His last book, Memories of Muhammad, deals with the biography and legacy of the Prophet Muhammad. He has forthcoming volumes on the famed mystic Rumi, contemporary Islamic debates in Iran, and American Islam.

 

 

Fall 2016 Featured Courses, part 2

Interethnic Intimacies: Production and Consumption

with Professor Nayoung Aimee Kwon

AMES 415S, LIT 415S, CULANTH 415S, AMI 415S, VMS 415S, ICS 415S

(CCI, EI, ALP, CZ) Gateway course for the Undergraduate East Asian Studies Certificate

This course is a critical examination of cultural dynamics, political economies, and ethical implications of interethnic intimacies or “intercourse” as represented from and about Asia. The class examines shifts within and beyond “Asia,” asking why cultural representations matter in ways societies construct, produce, and consume objects of desire and repulsion. Texts from literature and visual culture read along with theories of critical race studies, gender and sexuality, post-colonialism, globalization, visual culture, and other representative technologies of the Self/Other. Not open to students who have taken the freshman seminar version of this course.

 

Surviving Globalization: The Global South and the Development Imagination

with Professor Michaeline Crichlow

LATAMER 409, AAAS 409, SOCIOL 409, ICS 409, CULANTH 409

(CCI, EI, SS)

Global Change entails a multiplicity of environmental, social, economic, political, and cultural factors that create challenges for development. The Global South, a vital area of the world, has been entangled in this vortex of global change as both catalyst and conductor of an emergent globalizing modernity. The progress of globalization seems beset by multiple stressors, ranging from financial crises and global recession, to climate change, state and non-state conflicts, free ranging terrorist aggression, and global health scares. What are the odds then of surviving globalization? What role do our imaginations of development play in either creating crises or effectively responding to them?

 

Islam in the Americas

with Professor Mona Hassan

RELIGION 384S, HISTORY 351S, AAAS 274S, AMES 230S

(CCI, W, CZ, SS)

Explores how Muslim communities live and practice Islam in the American context. Examines diverse Muslim communities emerging from transatlantic exploration, trade in slaves, and migration as well as indigenous conversion. Discussion of religious and cultural identities of American Muslim peoples and consideration of questions of communal organization, religious authority, gender dynamics, youth culture, political and civic engagement, as well as American Muslim comedy and entertainment. This course examines the impact of 9/11 upon American Muslims, their responses to the tragedy, and Americans’ shifting perceptions of Islam and Muslims.

 

Events

Cyber Sufism: Lessons from the Landscape of American Digital Islam

Speaker: Robert Rozehnal, Ph.D.

Within the hybrid, multicultural landscape of American religious life, Cyberspace offers tech-savvy Muslims an alternative platform for narratives and networking, piety and performance. Since the adoption of the printing press, Sufis have demonstrated a remarkable ability to adopt and adapt to emerging media technologies. Even so, the expanding use of the Internet by global Sufi communities remains largely unexplored by academic scholarship. What is ‘new’ about new media, and what is the future of digital religion? Drawing on new research, this talk spotlights key patterns, tropes and trajectories in Cyber Sufism by exploring how several contemporary American Sufi orders employ the Internet as a mediascape for the refashioning of authority, identity and ritual practice.

 

Robert Rozehnal is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion Studies and the founding director of the Center for Global Islamic Studies at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA). He holds a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Duke University, and an M.A. in South Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has traveled widely in the Muslim world, with extended periods of study and fieldwork research in Pakistan, India, Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Malaysia. In addition to the history and practice of Sufism in South Asia, his research interests include ritual studies, postcolonial theory, religious nationalism, cyberspace religion, and globalization. He is the author of numerous articles and a monograph, Islamic Sufism Unbound: Politics and Piety in Twenty-First Century Pakistan (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007/2009). His current research project focuses on Internet Islam, with a forthcoming book entitled, Cyber Sufis: Virtual Expressions of the American Muslim Experience (Oneworld Publications). He is also the editor of a forthcoming volume, Piety, Politics and Ethics in Southeast Asian Islam: Beautiful Behavior (Bloomsbury).

 

This event is presented by the John Hope Franklin Center, and the Duke Islamic Studies Center. A light lunch will be served. Parking is available in nearby Trent Rd. and Erwin Rd. parking decks. The series provides 1 hour parking vouchers to guests.

Law, Dynasty, and Islam in Arab Monarchies, 1860s-1930s

Speaker: Adam Mestyan, Ph.D.

This talk focuses on the legal codification of dynasties in Arab monarchies between the 1860s and 1930s. In a sweeping survey, it compares how the succession order and the members of the ruling family were defined in laws, decrees, and constitutions in the new national kingdoms of Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia with comparisons to older monarchies, equally impacted by European imperialism, such as Morocco and Oman. The argument I would advance is that constitutionalism prompted dynastic codification which rulers hastened to achieve before and within the writing of basic laws. This feature also meant that certain re-invented Islamic principles of power, such as the preference for male and sane Muslim rulers, were also codified. Thus the new and old dynasties themselves embodied a fictional core of Muslim constitutionalism in the early twentieth century.

Adam Mestyan is a historian of the Middle East. He is a graduate of CEU and ELTE, Budapest. His first monograph, Arab Patriotism – The Ideology and Culture of Power in Late Ottoman Egypt, was published by Princeton University Press in 2017. Mestyan has initiated Project Jara’id – A Chronology of Nineteenth-Century Periodicals in Arabic, an online bibliography. In addition to his academic interests, he was the bass-guitarist of the legendary underground band the Galloping Coroners between 1996-2014 (VHK, Vágtázó Halottkémek) and established a number of other Hungarian bands (including Yava Folcore Punk Brigade and Dereng). Adam Mestyan also published two award-winning books of poems in Hungarian and continues to write poetry. He runs a marathon every year.

This event is presented by the John Hope Franklin Center and Duke University’s Center for International and Global Studies. A light lunch will be served. Parking is available in nearby Trent Rd. and Erwin Rd. parking decks. The series provides 1 hour parking vouchers to guests.