Past Events


"Interpreting Islam in China"

Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab

Thursday, November 1, 2018 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Johnson Center, Room G

Dr. Kristian Petersen is Assistant Professor at Old Dominion University in the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies. He is the author of, "Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab", published by Oxford University Press, 2017. He is currently working on a monograph entitled, The Cinematic Lives of Muslims". He is host of the New Books in Religion and New Books in Islamic Studies podcasts.

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Fall for the Book Festival presents "Erasing Syria: The Home That Was Our Country" by author Alia Malek

A Memoir

Friday, October 12, 2018 12:00 PM
Research Hall, 163

The Home That Was Our Country is a deeply researched, personal journey that shines a delicate but piercing light on Syrian history, society, and politics. Teeming with insights, the narrative weaves acute political analysis with a century of intimate family history, delivering an unforgettable portrait of the Syria that is being erased. At the Arab Spring's hopeful start, Alia Malek returned to Damascus to reclaim her grandmother's apartment, which had been lost to her family since Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970. Its loss was central to her parent's decision to make their lives in America. In chronicling the people who lived in the Tahaan building, past and present, Alia portrays the Syrians--the Muslims, Christians, Jews, Armenians, and Kurds--who worked, loved, and suffered in close quarters, mirroring the political shifts in their country. Restoring her family's home as the country comes apart, she learns how to speak the coded language of oppression that exists in a dictatorship, while privately confronting her own fears about Syria's future.

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Second Annual Book Review Colloquium on Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies, "Islam in Modern Regional Contexts"

Thursday, October 11, 2018 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Johnson Center, Meeting Room E

The Second Annual Book Review Colloquium invites graduate students from national institutions to review the most recent publications in the broader field of Islamic Studies. The day long colloquium features three panels focused on the theme of "Islam in Modern Regional Contexts". Sponsored by Fall for the Book Festival.

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Filmaker, Tamer El-Said presents, "In the Last Days of the City" Screening & Discussion

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 7:30 PM
Johnson Center, Cinema

In downtown Cairo in 2009, Khalid (Khalid Abdalla), a 35-year-old filmmaker struggles to make a film that captures the soul of his city while facing loss in his own life. With the help of his friends who send him footage from their lives in Beirut, Baghdad and Berlin, he finds the strength to keep going through the difficulty and beauty of living in Cairo. More information at

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Fall for the Book Festival presents, "The Ottoman Caliphate's Mystical Turn" by Dr. Husyein Yilmaz

Wednesday, October 10, 2018 10:30 AM
Johnson Center, Room F

Dr. Huseyin Yilmaz in his recent book, "Caliphate Redefined: The Mystical Turn in Ottoman Political Tradition", traces how the Ottomans redefined the caliphate to be at once ruler, spiritual guide, and lawmaker corresponding to the three natures of the Prophet Muhammad. "A masterful work of scholarship, "Caliphate Redefined" is the first comprehensive study of premodern Ottoman political thought to offer an extensive analysis of a wealth of previously unstudied texts in Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish."

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AVACGIS Visiting Scholar Brown Bag Series

Presented by Dr. Ali Yousofi, Ferdowsi University, Mashad, Iran

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Johnson Center, Room F

Dr. Yousofi presents his research findings about Islam and democracy. He maintains that both the concepts of Islam and democracy are interpretable and will in practice lead to a variety of religiosities and democratic attitudes. The religion of Islam plays a central role in the social life of Muslim societies and each type of religiosity offers a different interpretation of democracy. The main hypothesis of his research is that only some perceptions of Islam (religiosity) are compatible with some perceptions of democracy (democratic attitudes), but that some perceptions of each of them are incompatible with one another. The results of this research will be published as a book with the support of the Center. Refreshments will be served.

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