This month, 30 educators from around the United States will convene at the University of Denver for an NEH Summer Institute on “Teaching Connected Histories of the Mediterranean”, co-directed by Professor Andrea Stanton of the University of Denver and Susan Douglass, a Ph.D. candidate at George Mason University and Senior Research Associate in Mason’s Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies.
The Ali Vural Ak Center hosted Daromir Rudnyckyj (University of Victoria) as part of the Spring 2015 Lecture Series for a lecture on the ethical debates surrounding Islamic banking in Malaysia, which in many ways parallel similar questions regarding the issue of halal food and the "Islamicity" of arguments in favor of either practice.
As part of the AVACGIS Spring 2015 Lecture Series, Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen (University of Copenhagen) presented a general overview of religious television programming in the Middle East, detailing the trends that have prevailed in drama serials and Islamic talk shows since the emergence of regional satellite channels in the 1990s.
Masters students in the Middle East and Islamic Studies program have organized the first club of its kind at Mason, the GMU Middle East Studies Students Association, and have now launched its website featuring the students' original articles and book reviews as well as faculty news and MESSA event announcements.
As part of the Muslim Student Alliance's annual Islam Awareness Week and the Ali Vural Ak Center's Spring 2015 Lecture Series, Jonathan Brown (Georgetown University) visited Mason for a presentation on "Sharia Law and the Modern World", providing an overview of key concepts and terminology while also addressing the issues with commonly cited studies that reflect Muslims' diverse opinions on Sharia.
Students will be able to register for next semester's classes starting Tuesday April 7. The list of courses in Islamic Studies offered in Fall 2015, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, is now available here.