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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.

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.