A colloquium exploring the complex evolution and multifaceted nature of Islam will be held at Sarah Lawrence College on April 8. The colloquium brings together speakers whose work addresses the multiplicity of lived human experiences and practices of Muslims, past and present. The all-day event on the College’s campus in southern Westchester is free and open to the public. Registration is required.
Inspired by, and in homage to, the late Shahab Ahmed (1966-2015), the colloquium seeks to take up his charge to explore “the historical and human phenomenon that is Islam in its plentitude and complexity of meaning.” Presentations will engage with art and architecture, poetry, and law as well as socio-cultural practices across time and space.
The keynote address will be given by Michael Cook, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Other speakers include: Ahmet Karamustafa, Professor of History, University of Maryland; Sarah Eltantawi, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Evergreen State College; Jerrilynn Dodds, Professor of Art History, Sarah Lawrence College; Denis McAuley, Independent Scholar; Engseng Ho, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, History and Islamic Studies Center, Duke University; Nahid Siamdoust, Research Scholar, Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York University; Moustafa Bayoumi, Professor of English, Brooklyn College of CUNY; and Sohail Daulatzai, Associate Professor, Departments of Film and Media Studies and African American Studies, University of California, Irvine.
“Despite, or particularly because of, all the media attention in recent years, Islam remains profoundly misunderstood in American society and discourse. We are delighted to be hosting this colloquium in honor of Shahab Ahmed, whose work sounds a clarion call for all of us to consider Islam in all its historical diversity and complexity,” says Matthew Ellis, Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Chair in Middle Eastern Studies and International Affairs.
The colloquium has been organized by Sarah Lawrence faculty members Shahnaz Rouse (sociology), Kristin Sands (religion), Matthew Ellis (history), Bella Brodzki (literature), Luisa Heredia (public policy), and Jerrilynn Dodds (art history).
The colloquium is sponsored by the Helen Merrell Lynd Colloquium Fund, the Donald C. Samuel Fund for Economics and Politics, the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation Chair in Middle Eastern Studies and International Affairs, and by a grant for International Campus Initiatives from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Other funding is provided by the Harlequin Adair Dammann Chair in Islamic Studies.