The Department of Comparative Religion at Western Michigan University sponsors an Islam in Global Perspectives speaker series and other events.

Guest speakers


Islam in Global Perspectives

“Producing Modern Muslims: Everyday Ethics in Colonial India”, a lecture by Dr. Farina Mir, Associate Professor of History, University of Michigan. The talk will take place on Thursday, March 24, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Fetzer Center, Putney Lecture Hall. This event is free and open to the public. Complementary parking available in lot 72-F. For overflow, please use lot 61.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a range of Urdu texts were published under what we might call the sign of akhlaq (ethics). Some adhered closely to antecedents from a rather well defined tradition of Muslim ethics literature, with well-known figures and texts; others bear less obvious resemblance to that tradition. This talk examines popular Urdu akhlaq literature, with a focus on how this genre helps us elaborate a history of Muslim South Asia, and modern Islam more generally. While there is a robust body of work on Muslim history in South Asia, much of it has focused on elite figures, canonical texts, and the related issue of authority within the Muslim community—religious and political. Urdu akhlaq literature provides an opportunity to consider more popular forms of religious and social discourse and their impact on our understanding of the history of Islam. See attached flyer.

For more details, please contact:  Alisa Perkins or Nathan Tabor.

"Pious Practice and Secular Constraints: Islam, Gender, and Europe's Muslim Crisis," a lecture by Dr. Jeanette Jouili, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, University of Pittsburgh. Wednesday, April 13, 6-7:30 p.m.  Fetzer Center. This event is free and open to the public. Complementary parking for the event available in lot 72-F. For overflow, please use lot 61.

How do French and German Muslim women active in Islamic revival circles cultivate a pious lifestyle while struggling to counter negative representations of Muslims within an increasingly hostile mainstream? Based on her recently published book (Stanford University Press, 2015), Dr. Jouli’s talk addresses the ethical and political implications of the Islamic revival and how its gendered modes of non-secular civic virtue contribute to the shaping of a pluralist Europe.

Jeanette S. Jouili is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. She has held fellowships at Cornell’s Society for the Humanities, at Duke University, and at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research. Her research and teaching interests include Islam in Europe, secularism, pluralism, popular culture, moral and aesthetic practices, and gender.

This talk is sponsored by: The Department of Comparative Religion, Islam Global Forum, The Haenicke Institute for Global Education, The College of Arts and Sciences, The Office of the President, The Office of Academic Affairs, Lee Honors College, The Center for Study of Ethics in Society, The Center for the Humanities, The Timothy Light Center for Chinese Studies, The Center for African Development Policy Research, Departments of Anthropology, Gender and
Women's Studies, Global and International Studies, History, Political Science, Sociology, World Languages and Literatures.

For more details, please contact:  Alisa Perkins or Nathan Tabor.