Events

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

Islam in Global Perspectives

“Before the Naked Ape: al-Tawhidi (c. 900 CE) Performs the Animal Self in a Sphere of Political Participation,” a lecture by Dr. Samer Ali, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Michigan on Monday, February 8 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Fetzer Center, Putney Lecture Hall. 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. See flyer here.

Why would a medieval Islamic philosopher humanize animals and animalize humans? This talk will outline political implications of envisioning humans as hungry, hairy, toothy beings, who need, feed, and breed like any other animals. While Abu Hayyan al Tawhidi’s narratives appear to convey banal fables about the animal kingdom, a closer look reveals an equalizing inter-connectivity between animals and humans, and a subversive non-hierarchical theory of human nature.  Works like this demonstrate pre-modern precursors to democratic expectations and culture in the Middle East.

Samer Mahdy Ali is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan. He is author of Arabic Literary Salons in the Islamic Middle Ages (UNDP) and co-editor of The CALICO Journal: Special Issue on Hebrew and Arabic (2004). His publications have appeared in the Encyclopedia of Islam, The Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Al-Qantara, The Journal of Arabic Literature, and The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women. He has received seven awards from scholarly organizations for his research.

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 Language and Literature.

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.