Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Fall 2015

Fall 2015 Lectures


Oct. 1, 1:30pm, Research Hall Room 163

Hisham Aidi (Columbia University) - "Rebel Music: Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture"

This fascinating, timely, and important book on the connection between music and political activism among Muslim youth around the world looks at how hip-hop, jazz, and reggae, along with Andalusian and Gnawa music, have become a means of building community and expressing protest in the face of the West’s policies in the War on Terror. Hisham Aidi interviews musicians and activists, and reports from music festivals and concerts in the United States, Europe, North Africa, and South America, to give us an up-close sense of the identities and art forms of urban Muslim youth. Read more

Chris TaylorOct. 7, 12:00pm, Johnson Center Room C

Chris Taylor (George Mason University) - "'Morally Invested: The Moral Returns of Charity Among India's Muslims"

New Islamic charities are re-inventing Islamic almsgiving (zakat) in north India as moral and social “investment” in both Muslim communities and in India’s economy. Almsgivers interpret returns on this investment in both macroeconomic and spiritual terms. In the process, Muslim reformers are re-imagining zakat as a “principle of economics” and an economic “system” viewed as distinct from – yet parallel to and articulated with – local capitalisms. This talk invites us to reconsider views on Islam’s “moral economy.” Conclusions discuss work in economic sociology on “embedded” economies and how presumably rational actors are ethically entangled.

Christopher B. Taylor is a post-doctoral fellow at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies and instructor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at George Mason University. Dr. Taylor received his Ph.D. from Boston University in May 2015 and was a graduate research fellow of the National Science Foundation.

egriNov. 18, 12:00pm, Commerce Building Room 3006

Taha Eğri (Istanbul University) - "Political Economy of the Arab Uprisings: The Case of Egypt"

Many discussions have been underway in academia since 2010 on the causes and results of the process referred to in the literature as the “Arab Spring”, the “Arab Awakening” or the “Arab Revolution”, with a number of published articles on its social, political and economic causes as well as its outcomes. Egri's dissertation research aims to study the economic reasons underlying the upheaval that shook the Arab world in the context of political economy. Given its big economy, its historical influence in the region, and its political structure, Egypt will be examined as a case study.

Taha Eğri is a Ph.D. candidate and Research Assistant at İstanbul University Department of Economics and is currently a Dissertation Fellow at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies.

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