Archives for April 2017

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As an anthropologist of religion, I have advocated that the skills one develops in an ethnographic setting are necessarily translated to the classroom. I’m a proponent of creating a space for students to serve as experts and to speak to their own experiences—especially when addressing contemporary political movements ...

The questions and challenges concerning the teaching of Islam and race that I raised last year in “Teaching Islamic Theology through Black Lives” are no less urgent and relevant now as they were then. In that contribution, I attempted to delineate ways in which I could make important interventions on ...

The car service arrived at my house. I grabbed my purse, suitcase, and briefcase and hurried out the door making sure it was locked behind me. As scheduled, we stopped to pick up a colleague who was also attending the conference in Toronto, Canada. Driving east on Highway 78 and almost ...

Allow me to be honest. There are few things in my job that I dislike more than having a conversation with someone who is feigning objectivity or neutrality. I call it academic pretense. I cherish conversations when people speak from their hearts, even if I disagree with them. This holds ...

In two classes that I teach—“Islam” and “The Qur’an”—I often assign the film Wadjda (dir. Haifaa Al-Mansour, 2012) as the first homework assignment. Wadjda tells the tale of a young girl (same name as the film’s title) in Saudi Arabia who longs to own a bicycle, despite ...

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