SPRING 2015 Events


MAY 2015

May
7
Jazz and the Spirit: Freedom Now, Again
Music and song have been inextricably been part of the American civil rights movement.  Join us for a night of performances and a discussion on how jazz and gospel urged civil rights and social justice activists forward and interpreted the messages of the movement through music. A part of the Harl...
May
26
Istanbul Seminars Philosophers Bridge the Bosphorus
“Close encounters across all divides“: Every spring independent minds from different civilizational backgrounds discuss and debate the prospects for democracy, human rights and religion across all divides in week-long meeting (find out who attended the conferencelast time). Something in ...

APRIL 2015

Apr
1
The Bampton Lectures in America, with Daniel Boyarin – A Genealogy for Judaism
The 2015 Bampton Lectures in America will be given by Talmudic scholar Daniel Boyarin, speaking on: A Genealogy for Judaism. In this series of lectures, Daniel Boyarin proposes that scholarship ought to resist using the term “Judaism” with reference to the pre-modern period. As has ...
Apr
2
Emergent Forms of Religious Life in Contemporary Mexico
The period once glossed as “Mexico’s democratic transition” (1976-2000), was an era of deep structural changes – politically, economically, and socially – at all levels of society.  These changes are also manifest in the sphere of religious belief, organization, and pr...
Apr
6
Ancestral Witnesses: Maya Angelou & Amiri Baraka
This event is free and open to all. Registration is required.  Register now at bit.ly/ancestralwitnesses. Monday, April 6, 2015 6:00-8:00pm Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture 515 Malcolm X Boulevard New York, NY 10037 As a series, Ancestral Witnesses will explore the intersections of ...
Apr
7
Ruth Streicher – The ‘New Path’ to Peace: Cultivating ‘Good Muslim’ Masculinities in Southern Thai Counterinsurgency
Religious undercurrents have significantly shaped the ongoing insurgency in Thailand’s majority Muslim southern provinces. Yet scholars have largely failed to ask how the Thai military mobilizes gender and religion for counterinsurgency purposes. Drawing on gender-theoretical approaches, this talk...
Apr
7
States of Division: Borders and Boundary-Formation in the Cold War and Beyond
This panel brings together experts on historical and current border and conflict zones in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The aim is to bring processes of bordering, the areas in which borders come to be, and the agencies, practices, and populations involved in such developments to the center of d...
Apr
8
Religion and Politics in American Public Life – Prema Kurien on “Race, Religion, and the Political Incorporation of Contemporary Immigrants”
“Race, Religion, and the Political Incorporation of Contemporary Immigrants” Indian Americans are becoming politically active. What is particularly striking about this group is that they have mobilized around a variety of identities to influence U.S. policy. Some identify as Indian Ameri...
Apr
8
Word of God series, with Hossein Kamaly: “Can the Word of God be Ambiguous?”
Please note: There has been a change of room for this event.  This will now be held in Knox Hall, Room 509. Wednesday, April 8 Knox Hall, Room 509 Hossein Kamaly, Barnard College “Can the Word of God be Ambiguous?” What does it mean for something to be ‘the word of God?’ What are t...
Apr
8
LAIC Public Initiative: “Islam and the Global City”
Please mark your calendars for the first event in our new LAIC Public initiative, which seeks to put students and faculty from our department into conversation with people from outside of the university in order to address issues of broad public concern. The first event will be a roundtable on “Is...
Apr
9
CANCELLED – Adapting to Modernity or Taming It?
Unfortunately, “Adapting to Modernity or Taming It?” has been cancelled.   Colm Tóibín and Roy Foster in Conversation will still be taking place as planned in the Sulzburger Parlor. Immediately following “Adapting to Modernity or Taming It?,” at 6:15pm, the Writing Lives S...
Apr
13
Selma Screening and Discussion
The Office of University Life presents a Community Citizenship Series event: Selma Screening and Discussion Monday, April 13, 2015, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. Miller Theatre, 2960 Broadway (at 116th Street) This program features a free screening of Selma followed by a discussion with distinguished Colu...
Apr
14
Khaled Fahmy: “The Tragedy of the Egyptian Revolution”
“Bread. Freedom. Social Justice. Human dignity”. This was the slogan that erupted in Tahrir Square in January 2011 in what proved to be one of the largest episodes of the Arab Spring. More than four years later, none of the lofty ideals that this slogan had called for has been fulfilled. On the ...
Apr
15
Shaul Magid – “The Word of God Is No Word at All”
Shaul Magid, Indiana University “The Word of God Is No Word at All” Wednesday, April 15 Knox Hall, Room 509 What does it mean for something to be ‘the word of God?’ What are the origins, forms, and functions of this concept? This seminar series will investigate what it means within the trad...
Apr
17
Charles Hallisey – “Learning the Word of God from Reading the Word of the Buddha”
Charles Hallisey, Harvard University “Learning the Word of God from Reading the Word of the Buddha” Friday, April 17 Knox Hall, Room 509 What does it mean for something to be ‘the word of God?’ What are the origins, forms, and functions of this concept? This seminar series will investigate w...
Apr
22
Concert Spirituals and the Black Soprano
Through a recital and panel discussion, Concert Spirituals and the Black Soprano enacts a reconsideration of the role of singing concert spirituals among black sopranos in relation to political resistance, musical virtuosity, sexuality and the sacred. The particularity of performing this body of a...
Apr
23
Edge of Arabia: A Free Way
Thursday, April 23 6:00 – 7:00pm Judith Lee Stronach Center Schermerhorn Hall, 8th Floor Stephen Stapleton (Artist, Co-Founder and Director), Husam Al-Sayed (Filmmaker & Founder of Telfaz11) and Ava Ansari (Artist and Edge of Arabia Associate Curator and US Tour Manager) will join Professo...

MARCH 2015

Mar
5
2015 MESAAS Graduate Conference
2015 MESAAS Graduate Conference Keynote by Ann Stoler –  “Raw Cuts / Other Folds: Palestine, Israel and Colonial Studies” Conference program is available for download here. This event is sponsored by the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies.  Co-sponsore...
Mar
5
Emad Shahin – “Egypt between Untenable Authoritarianism and Thwarted Democratization”
POSTPONED – Due to weather conditions, this event has been POSTPONED. Updated information will be made available soon. Emad Shahin, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the IRCPL, will be speaking on “Egypt between Untenable Authoritarianism and Thwarted Democratization.” This talk i...
Mar
6
Word of God lecture series – Souleymane Bachir Diagne
Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Columbia University “The Word of God in Translation” Friday, March 6 Knox Hall, Room 509 What does it mean for something to be ‘the word of God?’ What are the origins, forms, and functions of this concept? This seminar series will investigate what it means with...
Mar
9
Toby Matthiesen – “The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent, and Sectarianism”
Lecture by Toby Matthiesen to mark the publication of his latest book The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent and Sectarianism (Cambridge University Press, 2015) in which he traces the politics of the Shia in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia from the nineteenth century until the present day. Using...
Mar
10
Matthew Engelke: “Secular Shadows: African, Immanent, Postcolonial”
PLEASE NOTE:  The location for this event has been changed.  It will now take place in the International Affairs Building, room 403. Going by the lights of anthropology, political science, history, and other disciplines, it would seem that “the secular” is an irrelevant concept in, and for, su...
Mar
11
Tanya Erzen – “Captivity and Redemption: Conservative Christians and the Politics of Prison Ministry”
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 6:30pm Ella Weed Room “Captivity and Redemption:  Conservative Christians and the Politics of Prison Ministry”A lecture by Tanya Erzen, Associate Professor, University of Puget Sound; Soros Justice Fellow; and Director, Freedom Education Project Puget Sound ...
Mar
23
The Bampton Lectures in America, with Daniel Boyarin – A Genealogy for Judaism
The 2015 Bampton Lectures in America will be given by Talmudic scholar Daniel Boyarin, speaking on: A Genealogy for Judaism.  In this series of lectures, Daniel Boyarin proposes that scholarship ought to resist using the term “Judaism” with reference to the pre-modern period. As has b...
Mar
25
Word of God lecture series – Lawrence McCrea
Lawrence McCrea, Cornell University “Does God have free will?: Hermeneutics and Theology in Medieval South India” Wednesday, March 25 Knox Hall, Room 509 What does it mean for something to be ‘the word of God?’ What are the origins, forms, and functions of this concept? This seminar series w...
Mar
25
The Bampton Lectures in America, with Daniel Boyarin – A Genealogy for Judaism
The 2015 Bampton Lectures in America will be given by Talmudic scholar Daniel Boyarin, speaking on: A Genealogy for Judaism. In this series of lectures, Daniel Boyarin proposes that scholarship ought to resist using the term “Judaism” with reference to the pre-modern period. As has ...
Mar
27
Teaching Religion: Pedagogy, Transmission, and Technology
Columbia University Religion Department Graduate Student Conference: Teaching Religion: Pedagogy, Transmission, and Technology Keynote speaker: Kathryn Lofton, Professor of Religious Studies, American Studies, History, and Divinity, Yale University Pedagogy, transmission, and technology transform t...
Mar
27
The Tunisian Democratic Transition in Comparative Perspective: With Reflections on Indonesia, India, and Egypt
The Tunisian Democratic Transition in Comparative Perspective: With Reflections on Indonesia, India, and Egypt March 27-28, 2015 International Affairs Building, Room 1501 420 West 118th Street Columbia University This event is free and open to all.  Registration is not required. Sponsored by the In...
Mar
27
Word of God lecture series – Hamid Dabashi
Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University “Can a Monotheist God be Multilingual?” Friday, March 27, 4:10-6:00pm 80 Claremont Ave, Room 101 What does it mean for something to be ‘the word of God?’ What are the origins, forms, and functions of this concept? This seminar series will investigate what i...
Mar
30
Marilynne Robinson and Robert Hardies: A Reading and Discussion
The Heyman Center for the Humanities; the Writing Program of the School of the Arts; and the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life presents an evening with Pulitzer-prize winning author Marrilynne Robinson, who will read from her work and be in discussion with Unitarian Minister Robert Ha...
Mar
30
The Bampton Lectures in America, with Daniel Boyarin – A Genealogy for Judaism
The 2015 Bampton Lectures in America will be given by Talmudic scholar Daniel Boyarin, speaking on: A Genealogy for Judaism. In this series of lectures, Daniel Boyarin proposes that scholarship ought to resist using the term “Judaism” with reference to the pre-modern period. As has ...

FEBRUARY 2015

Feb
4
Gil Anidjar: The Word of God
PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE AND LOCATION FOR GIL ANIDJAR: “THE WORD OF GOD.” Wednesday, February 4 Knox Hall, Room 509 Gil Anidjar, Columbia University “The Word of God” What does it mean for something to be ‘the word of God?’ What are the origins, forms, and functions of this c...
Feb
6
WHY PRAYER? A Conference on New Directions in the Study of Prayer
What can the study of prayer tell us about social life, religious institutions and practices, ethical self-formation, and our concepts of communication, both shared and unique? The Social Science Research Council’s Program on Religion and the Public Sphere announces Why Prayer? A Conference on ...
Feb
9
Sam Haselby – The Limits of American Secularism: A Perspective from its Early History
The Limits of American Secularism: A Perspective from its Early History The U.S. has made historic contributions to secularism, yet it is arguably the world’s most religious political democracy. The early history of American secularism offers some clues as to why and how these facts cohere.  ...
Feb
10
Elizabeth L. Cline – Fast Fashion: Disposable Society and the Soul
The hastening speed and obsolescence of modern consumer goods–expressed in its most extreme form within fast fashion–has fundamentally reshaped society, culture, economics, and ultimately our sense of selves. Overheated global supply chains now work tirelessly in the service of producing...
Feb
13
Word of God lecture series – Wael Hallaq
Wael Hallaq, Columbia University “God’s Word: Between the Intentional and the Political” Friday, February 13 4:10 – 6:00pm 80 Claremont Ave, Room 101 What does it mean for something to be ‘the word of God?’ What are the origins, forms, and functions of this concept? This sem...
Feb
13
Tomorrow is the Question: Afrofuturism, Sound, and Spirit
PLEASE NOTE NEW LOCATION.  This event will now take place at: Union Theological Seminary, Social Hall 3041 Broadway at 121st Street New York, NY 10027 Enter through UTS main doorway on West side of Broadway. Following the idea of a black radical tradition, African and African diasporic futurism re...
Feb
23
CANCELLED – Gish Amit – Ex-Libris – Chronicles of Theft, Preservation, and Appropriating at the Jewish National Library: The Case of the Palestinian and Yemenite Looted Books
This event has unfortunately been cancelled. Gish Amit has been involved in non-formal education for some twenty years. He taught cinema and literature at the Arab Democratic School in Jaffa, and lectured in philosophy and critical theory at Tel-Aviv University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev...
Feb
23
Mirjam Kunkler – Religious Actors in Democratization Processes
What is the role of religious actors in the democratization processes of Muslim-majority countries? The only five countries categorized as democratic and free/partly free by Freedom House, the BTI and Polity IV as part of the Third and Fourth Waves of Democratization are Albania, Indonesia, Mali, Se...
Feb
27
Word of God lecture series – Arindam Chakrabarti
Arindam Chakrabarti, University of Hawai’i “Moral Epistemic Authority With or Without God: The Meaning of an Imperative Sentence (Vidhi-vAkya), Nyaya versus Miimamsa” with Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak as Chair Friday, February 27, 10:00am – 12:00pm Schermerhorn Extension, Room 754 What ...