|Rethinking Islamic Studies Workshop on "Teaching Islamic Studies: Key Topics and Best Practices"|
Friday, November 22, 1:00 PM–5:00 PM
Danielle Abraham, Harvard University, and Omid Safi, University of North Carolina, Presiding
For 2013, the Rethinking Islamic Studies Workshop will explore best practices for teaching undergraduates foundational topics in Islamic studies — the Qur'an, gender, American Islam, and visual/literary culture.
Our focus will be pedagogical, exploring the practical aspects involved in enhancing student learning and critical thinking regarding essential topics in the study of Islam. How can students best grasp the complexity of multiple engagements with the Qur’anic text — as scripture, as literary inspiration, and as performance? In teaching gender issues, what conceptual tools do students need to understand the profound variety of gendered lives? How can we facilitate students’ exploration of contested conversations about gender inequality across cultures without reinforcing stereotypes of "oppressed Muslim women"? What historical and ethnographic material provokes students to develop an interpretive frame to understand American Islam as simultaneously Islamic and distinctly American? What are effective ways to introduce students to the visual and literary cultures of Islam that can build their analysis of the role that creative expression and aesthetics plays in the ongoing social formation of Islam?
The format will consist of presentations by experienced instructors combined with interactive small group discussion. Our aim is to provide an opportunity for reflection on effective teaching and student-centered learning. The workshop is intended both for graduate students and professors of Islamic studies, as well as scholars from other fields in religious studies who are looking to incorporate more Islam material in their courses.