Wednesday, December 2, 2020 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Zoom Virtual Event
U.S. Imams come from a variety of educational backgrounds, serve in a breadth of capacities, and are employed by a wide range of institutions, if not working as independent contractors, or not employed at all. How does such an amorphous profession navigate bureaucracy during a global pandemic? In this talk, Nancy Khalil will briefly discuss the nebulous occupation of imams in the United States and the various bureaucratic pathways encountered in the professionalization of U.S. imams. She will then share some preliminary data surrounding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on imams in the U.S. to discuss the strengths and vulnerabilities of their profession in general and extreme contexts as some of those encountered in 2020.
Nancy A. Khalil is an Assistant Professor in the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. She completed her Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University, followed by postdoctoral fellowships at the Center on Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration, Yale University, New Haven, CT and the Department of American Culture and National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on the politics of the idea of an American Islam and her forthcoming manuscript is on the profession of U.S. Imams. Her work has been supported by several institutions and foundations including the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, Bucerius Zeit-Stiftung, the Islamic Scholarship Fund, and Harvard's Loeb Initiative on Religious Freedom. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked as Muslim Chaplain at Wellesley College and advisor to their Multi-faith Living and Learning Community. She is co-founder and former board member of the Muslim Justice League, currently a board member of Islamic Relief USA.