We the People: Islam & U.S. Politics

Posted on December 7th, 2011 in Events, Program Highlights

Over the course of the 2011-12 academic year, the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies will be sponsoring an event series titled “We the People: Islam and U.S. Politics.” This series will focus on the ever-changing place of Islam and Muslims in contemporary American political discourse and its potential role for the future of American democracy, society and culture. Bringing together academics, artists and public intellectuals, the series will provide a forum for deep, critical conversations about America as much as about Muslims and Islam in America. Participants will reflect on various aspects of American political life, such as the news media, Hollywood, visual arts, and democratic theory & practice.

The second event is a discussion session on January 26, 2012 with artist Sandow Birk about his American Quran Exhibition. The exhibition aims to hand-transcribe the entire Qur’an according to historic Islamic traditions and to illuminate the text with relevant scenes from contemporary American life. Five years in the making, the project has been inspired by a decade of extended travel in Islamic regions of the world and undertaken after extensive research. Featuring an audiovisual demonstration of his artwork, the session that will focus on how Mr. Birk has chosen to work on this topic, what kind of challenges and support  he has encountered, and how the project is received by different audiences in and outside the United States.  The event is free and open to the public, and it is co-sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center and the Cantor Arts Center.

The first event in the series, “News Media and Hollywood,” was held on Thursday, November 3, 2011 with the participation of  Camille Alick (Muslims on Screen and Television), Joel Brinkley (Department of Communication, Stanford University) and Michael Wolfe (Unity Productions Foundation), The speakers focused on representations of Islam and Muslims in the virtual and print media, video games and Hollywood. The session was moderated by the Abbasi Program’s interim director Prof. Vincent Barletta (Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures, Stanford University) and was co-sponsored by the American Studies Program.

For further inquiries, please contact abbasiprogram@stanford.edu or (650) 736 8169.

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