Past Events

Apr24

AVACGIS Visiting Scholar Presentation by Ms. Betul Yurtalan (Hitit University, Corum, Turkey)

Anti-Fatimid Policy During the Reign of Abbasid Caliph al Qadir (991-1031): A Case Study of Sunni-Ismaili Relations During the Medieval Islamic Period

Wednesday, April 24, 2019 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Johnson Center, 239a

Ms. Yurtalan will present her research on Sunni-Ismaili relations during the reign of the Abbasid Caliph, al-Qadir (991-1031). Betul is a Research Assistant at Hitit University in the Faculty of Divinity Department and is currently working on her doctorate at Ankara University in Ankara, Turkey. Her dissertation looks at Fatimid Abbasid relations and its effects on Sunni Islamic thought. Ms. Yurtalan focuses her research on the cultural, religious and sectarian relations between the Fatimid and Abbasid States as an important development in Islamic thought. She is especially interested in examining the various Islamic sects during the fourth and fifth centuries of the Islamic period. Ms. Yurtalan has been in residence as Visiting Scholar at the University of Jordan's Faculty of Theology and was selected for Erasmus scholarships/internships in Germany and the United Kingdom.

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Apr22

AVACGIS Faculty Talk - Dr. Ahsan Butt (Political Science)

Law & Order: Rebels as Judges in South Asia?

Monday, April 22, 2019 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Enterprise Hall, 318 (conference room)

This talk will be a discussion of, how and why, non-state actors provide dispute resolution in conflict environments in South Asia. Ahsan Butt, Ph.D., is Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. His main research interests focus on nationalism and political violence in South Asia. His book, "Secession and Security: Explaining State Strategy Against Separatists," was published by Cornell University Press in 2017. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, such as International Organization, Journal of Global Security Studies, Journal of Strategic Studies, Politics and Religion and Security Studies. Professor Butt has received generous support from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Mellon Foundation, the Stanton Foundation and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). Dr. Butt is a non-resident fellow at the Stimson Center.

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Apr4

Islam in China: New Studies and Perspectives

Annual Conference

Thursday, April 4, 2019 9:30 AM to 5:15 PM
Johnson Center, Gold Room (G19)

Islam in China has a long and intricate history. For centuries, Muslim communities across China have been integral to the development of Chinese civilization in arts, literature, science, and commerce. Muslims in and around China played a crucial role in connecting it to cultures and economies to other regions of the globe ranging from South Asia to the Middle East and Europe. This conference aims to provide general audiences with a broader and nuanced understanding of genuine experiences of Muslim communities in China from medieval to modern times. Leading scholars from various academic disciplines will contribute their recent scholarship in the field and put forth new ideas for future areas of exploration.

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Mar28

AVACGIS Faculty Talk - Dr. Benjamin Gatling (English & Folklore)

Expressions of Sufi Culture in Tajikistan

Thursday, March 28, 2019 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Enterprise Hall, 318 (conference room)

Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2010 and 2014, Dr. Gatling highlights the range of expressive forms- memories, stories, poetry, artifacts, rituals, and other embodied practices- Sufis employ as they try to construct a Sufi life in twenty-first century Central Asia. He argues that Sufis transcend the oppressive religious politics of contemporary Tajikistan by using expressive forms to inhabit multiple times: the paradoxical present, the Persian sacred past, and the Soviet era. This lecture shows the intricate, ground level ways that Muslim expressive culture intersects with authoritarian politics, not as artful forms of resistance but rather as a means to shape experiences of the present. Benjamin Gatling (Ph.D., Ohio State University) is a folklorist specializing in the expressive culture of Central Asia and the Middle East. Prior to coming to Mason, he held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University, where he was a core faculty member of the Duke Islamic Studies Center. His first book, Expressions of Sufi Culture in Tajikstan, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press. His research interests include narrative, performance, the ethnography of communication, Persianate oral traditions, and Islam in Central Asia. He serves as a book review editor for the Journal of American Folklore and lead list editor of H-FOLK, H-Net's network for folklore and ethnology.

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Mar27

RESCHEDULED | Unpacking Sectarianism in Contemporary Lebanon: A Critical Ethnographic Study

Wednesday, March 27, 2019 3:00 PM
Merten Hall (formerly University Hall), 1203

Dr. Yasemin Ipek will discuss how different communities in Lebanon talk about and problematize sectarianism, based on ethnographic research she conducted between 2012 and 2015. She will unpack competing local discourses on sectarianism and nationalism by examining how rival political communities and individuals blame each other for the sectarianism of the “Lebanese.” Attending to how discourses on sectarianism and nationalism are deployed in order to make competing ethical claims to citizenship, identity, belonging, and social change; Ipek will show how public debates around sectarianism could inform us on broader negotiations of social difference structured around class, urbanity, religiosity, gender, and generation. Dr. Ipek is Assistant Professor in the Global Affairs Program at George Mason University. She received her Ph.D. degree in Anthropology from Stanford University, California. She received a second doctoral degree from Bilkent University in the Department of Political Science in Turkey. Dr. Ipek teaches courses on globalization, anthropology of the Middle East, refugees and humanitarianism, youth activism, social movements and qualitative research methods. Her work has appeared in several peer-reviewed journals.

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Mar23

Workshop and Teacher Resource on Political Islam

Teacher Workshop

Saturday, March 23, 2019 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Off-Campus Location, Georgetown University, Intercultural Center, CCAS Boardroom

Teacher workshop co-sponsored with Georgetown University, featuring presentations by AVACGIS faculty members; Huseyin Yilmaz, Peter Mandaville, and Ahmet Tekelioglu.

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Feb28

AVACGIS Faculty Talk - Dr. Abdulaziz Sachedina - IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies (Religious Studies)

Juridical Ethics in Islam

Thursday, February 28, 2019 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Enterprise Hall, 318

Professor Sachedina will discuss his current research on juridical ethics in Islam. He argues that In the field of Islamic Studies thus far, the reference to Islamic ethics have been in the area of virtue ethics as inherited from Aristotelian ethics. The general perception among Western scholars is that Muslim scholarship is too legalistic and it has ignored ethics. Since the Muslim scriptures regard moral behavior and character ethics to be an essential part of faith in God, we need to search for the ethical foundations of Interpretive Jurisprudence (al-fiqh), to underscore the fact that no legal decisions could have been made without due regard to the moral philosophy of the Qur’an and Hadith in Islam. Abdulaziz Sachedina, Ph.D., is Chair and Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Dr. Sachedina has studied in India, Iraq, Iran, and Canada and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He has been conducting research and writing in the field of Islamic Law, Ethics, and Theology (Sunni and Shiite) for more than two decades. In the last ten years he has concentrated on social and political ethics, including Interfaith and Intrafaith Relations, Islamic Biomedical Ethics and Islam and Human Rights. Dr. Sachedina’s publications include: Islamic Messianism (State University of New York, 1980); Human Rights and the Conflicts of Culture, co-authored (University of South Carolina, 1988) The Just Ruler in Shiite Islam (Oxford University Press, 1988); The Prolegomena to the Qur’an (Oxford University Press, 1998), The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism (Oxford University Press, 2002), Islamic Biomedical Ethics: Theory and Application(Oxford University Press, February 2009), Islam and the Challenge of Human Rights (Oxford University Press, September 2009), in addition to numerous articles in academic journals. He is an American citizen born in Tanzania.

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Feb27

After Malcolm Digital Archive Reception

Celebrating and Preserving the Legacy of African American Islam

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Fenwick Library, Reading Room

Join AVACGIS for a celebration and viewing of the After Malcolm Digital Archive with guest speakers, Sister Aisha al-Adadawiyya and lead scholar/researcher, Dr. Abbas Barzager. AFTERMALCOLM.COM.

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Feb27

After Malcolm Digital Archive Panel

Celebrating and Preserving the Legacy of African American Islam

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Johnson Center, Room F

Please join us for the launch of the After Malcolm Digital Archive. AFTERMALCOLM.COM

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Feb20

POSTPONED - Unpacking Sectarianism in Contemporary Lebanon: A Critical Ethnographic Study

Wednesday, February 20, 2019 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Merten Hall (formerly University Hall), 1202

Dr. Yasemin Ipek will discuss how different communities in Lebanon talk about and problematize sectarianism, based on ethnographic research she conducted between 2012 and 2015. She will unpack competing local discourses on sectarianism and nationalism by examining how rival political communities and individuals blame each other for the sectarianism of the “Lebanese.” Attending to how discourses on sectarianism and nationalism are deployed in order to make competing ethical claims to citizenship, identity, belonging, and social change, Ipek will show how public debates around sectarianism could inform us on broader negotiations of social difference structured around class, urbanity, religiosity, gender, and generation. Dr. Ipek is Assistant Professor in the Global Affairs Program at George Mason University. She received her Ph.D. degree in Anthropology from Stanford University, California. She received a second doctoral degree from Bilkent University in the Department of Political Science in Turkey. Dr. Ipek teaches courses on globalization, anthropology of the Middle East, refugees and humanitarianism, youth activism, social movements and qualitative research methods. Her work has appeared in several peer-reviewed journals.

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