Upcoming Events

  • Making Publics
    Friday, 24 October 2014 at 09:00 AM

    How are texts, images, and messages transmitted to their audiences? How does the material form of a message influence and control its reception? How have online and digital publishers used data to respond to and shape their audiences and consumers? “Making Publics: The Past, Present & Future of Publication” will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars for a one-day conference to explore the materiality and meanings of texts, and how they have been, are, and will be published. The conference will be aimed at developing a longue durée narrative of the relationship between media and audiences in a global context.

  • Crisis in the Middle East
    Wednesday, 29 October 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Open only to Stanford affiliates. Abbasi Program affiliates Alexander Key (Department of Comparative Literature), Fırat Bozçalı (Department of Anthropology), and Ayça Alemdaroğlu (Stanford Introductory Studies) will discuss the current crisis in the Middle East. The session will be moderated by the Abbasi Program Director Robert Crews (Department of History).

  • Sherine Hamdy: All Eyes on Egypt
    Thursday, 30 October 2014 at 12:15 PM

    This talk takes the phenomenon of mass eye trauma and cornea donation in Egypt in order to interrogate how and when “religion” as an analytical category helps explain political and social events. I ask: when do we recognize religion as a social force in people’s lives? Injuries to the eye became a regular feature of Egypt's popular uprisings that began in 2011. In response to the riot police's violence against protesters, including the targeting of their eyes, a group of young doctors calling themselves ‘Atibaa `Uyun al-Thawra (“The Revolution’s Eye Doctors”) began a well-received cornea donation campaign on social media. Within hours, hundreds of people signed up to donate their body parts after their death. Why was the argument about giving up body parts in death for the sake of the living compelling now in Egypt, when it had not been in the past?  Was it that the revolutionaries’ “secular” movement inspired new attitudes toward the significance of the human body and death? I use this incidence to work against a dominant “secular vs. religious” narrative that, I argue, mischaracterizes both Egyptian popular politics and the way in which medical and health issues are experienced and lived.

  • Christoph K. Neumann: The Mevlevi Dervishes and the Ottomans
    Monday, 03 November 2014 at 04:15 PM

    The Mevleviye, a Sufi order with a tradition going back to the thirteenth-century mystic Jalal al-Din Rumi, was an intellectual and spiritual centre of attraction to (mostly, male) members of the Muslim Ottoman elite; even some Ottoman rulers were affiliated with it. Moreover, the field of activity the Mevleviye covered was more or less congruent with the Ottoman Empire; while it was well represented in all big and quite a number of smaller urban centres of the Ottoman realm it did not reach out to Central Asia or the Indo-Iranian world. Thus, the Mevlevis constituted a network of actors that was ingrained in the structure of the Ottoman polity.  

  • Denise Spellberg: Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an
    Thursday, 06 November 2014 at 06:30 PM

    Denise Spellberg will explore how America’s founding fathers drew upon Enlightenment ideas about the toleration of Muslims in conceptualizing a system of governance that would provide full citizenship and equality for all religious groups at the time of the founding of the United States. Copies of her book, Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders (Knopf, 2013), will be available for purchase at the venue.

  • Azfar Moin: Comparisons & Connections between Islam and Hinduism
    Friday, 14 November 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Open only to Stanford Affiliates. The decline of the caliphate in thirteenth-century Iran and Central Asia led to a new form of sovereignty in which Muslim kings ritually derived their sovereign status not from the caliph, but from the enshrined saint. However, this also led to increasing attacks on saint shrines. The goal of such attacks was not to stop the practice of saint veneration but to destroy rival icons of sovereignty. A focus on this ritual violence reveals how the protocols of domination and accommodation that governed these Muslim milieus became analogous to those enacted by Indic kings who also sacked temples of rival sovereigns in times of war. It also gives us a comparative framework to study developments in the practice of sovereignty in Islam in the eastern Islamic world.

  • Mona Hassan: Longing for the Lost Caliphate
    Thursday, 20 November 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Mona Hassan is Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and History, and her research explores the intersections of religion, culture, politics, and gender. She investigates the shifting socio-political and cultural contexts in which Muslim female scholarship has been formed and articulated. Some of her recent articles in this vein reinterpret how the history of Turkish secularism continues to affect the spatial mapping and contestation of gendered religious domains in the modern Republic of Turkey. Her first book, Longing for the Lost Caliphate: Religious Imaginaries of State and Community among Premodern and Modern Muslims, examines Muslim engagement and entanglement with the notion of an Islamic caliphate following two poignant moments of symbolic loss, the Mongol destruction of the Abbasid caliphate in 1258 and the Turkish nationalist abolition of the Ottoman caliphate in 1924. It examines what Muslims across Afro-Eurasia imagined to be lost with the disappearance of the Abbasid and Ottoman caliphates and how they attempted to recapture that perceived loss, and in doing so redefined the caliphate for their times, under shifting circumstances. Vivid collective memories of the caliphate created a shared sense of community among disparate peoples at the same time as they gave rise to differing and competing visions of the community’s past, present, and future.

  • Islamic Studies Social
    Thursday, 04 December 2014 at 03:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)

    Please join us for our Islamic Studies social open to students, faculty, and community members. Come meet the program staff,  get to know other interested members of the Islamic Studies community, and enter the raffle to win a book raffle from Stanford University Press.