Upcoming Events

  • Aaron Hughes: Muslim and Jew
    Wednesday, 01 October 2014 at 06:00 PM in Bldg. 360 conference room

    Open only Stanford affiliates. “Judaism and Islam” comprises a basic narrative in our collective imagination, a narrative that is simultaneously scholarly, political, and romantic: “back then,” so it goes, relations were better and that the solution to today’s problems between Muslim and Jew, Arab and Israeli, can be solved or at least better understood when set against the longue durée of their perceived historical cooperation. The narratives that we choose to describe the interaction between these two religions, including the descriptors we invoke to delineate it, are based less on the past than they are on the messy present. This paper/presentation seeks to interrogate some of the traditional paradigms used to contextualize Jewish-Muslim relations, especially in the premodern period.

  • Welcome Reception
    Thursday, 09 October 2014 at 03:30 PM

    Join us in celebrating the beginning of the 2014-15 Academic Year with Stanford affiliates who are interested in the study of Islam and Muslim societies. All Stanford affiliates are welcome. Refreshments will be served. For questions, please contact abbasiprogram@stanford.edu

  • Political Change and Women in Bosnia and Turkey
    Tuesday, 14 October 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Yeşim Arat (2014-15 FSI-SHC International Visiting Scholar) and Zilka Spahić-Šiljak (CREEES Visiting Scholar) will discuss political change and women in the context of contemporary Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey.

  • Kabir Tambar: Unruly Acts of Address
    Thursday, 16 October 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Kabir Tambar is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University. As a sociocultural anthropologist, he is interested in the intersections of political anthropology and the anthropology of religion with a focus on politics of history, the affective forms of public criticism, and varieties of Islamic practice in Turkey. Among his publications are The Reckoning of Pluralism: Political Belonging and the Demands of History in Turkey (Stanford University Press, 2014), "Historical Critique and Political Voice after the Ottoman Empire" (History of the Present: A Journal of Critical History 3 (2): 119-139, 2013), "Islamic Reflexivity and the Uncritical Subject" ( Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18 (3): 652-672, 2012). His current research project examines the instabilities of mass politics in Turkey before and after the 1980 coup d’état, and specifically explores the difficulties state authorities encountered in the late 20th century in distinguishing between domestic and foreign threats, inter-state and civil war, and more generally between citizens and subversives. 

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


  • 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.

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

    Denise Spellberg will discuss her groundbreaking book, Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders (Knopf, 2013), which explores how a handful of the Founders, Thomas Jefferson foremost among them, drew upon Enlightenment ideas about the toleration of Muslims (then deemed the ultimate outsiders in Western society) to fashion out of what had been a purely speculative debate a practical foundation for governance in America. In this way, Muslims, who were not even known to exist in the colonies, became the imaginary outer limit for an unprecedented, uniquely American religious pluralism that would also encompass the actual despised minorities of Jews and Catholics. The rancorous public dispute concerning the inclusion of Muslims, for which principle Jefferson’s political foes would vilify him to the end of his life, thus became decisive in the Founders’ ultimate judgment not to establish a Protestant nation, as they might well have done.

  • 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.