Islamic Studies Research Network – Spring 2023 events

Posted on February 22, 2023

The Islamic Studies Research Network is delighted to present the following events for Spring 2023. Please consider attending and feel free to share the attached flyer with others!

Fri., Feb. 24, 5pm Zoom,

“Vast Oceans: The Transatlantic African Sufi Path”
A lecture by Dr. Youssef Carter, UNC-Chapel Hill.

In this talk, Dr. Carter will share his fascinating study of the transatlantic spiritual network of African-American and West African Muslims who are members of the Mustafawi Tariqa (Sufi Path). These Muslims rely on dhikr (remembrance of God) as a spiritual technology and deploy certain modes of West African Islamic spiritual training to navigate historical-political contexts around the Black Atlantic. Dr. Carter’s groundbreaking contribution to the study of Islamic spirituality and culture is based upon extensive ethnographic research in South Carolina and in Senegal. Dr. Carter is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Kenan Rifai Fellow in Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Co-sponsored by Religious Studies, African American & African Diaspora Studies, Lloyd International Honors College, and HNAC.

Register here:

Wed., March 1, noon, Foust 216B,

Islamic Studies Minor Informational Meeting!

Interested in minoring in Islamic Studies at UNCG? Already a minor and want to know more about Fall 2023 course offerings? Come to this event, meet professors who teach in the minor and other students like yourself! Snacks will be served.

Tues., April 4, 5:30-6:30 Zoom,

“Impermanent Monuments, Lasting Legacies: The Dar al-Khilafa of Samarra and Palace Building in Early Abbasid Iraq”
A lecture by Dr. Matt Saba, MIT.

In this talk, Dr. Saba offers a new interpretation of early Abbasid palaces as “impermanent monuments.” Synthesizing an array of sources, ranging from archaeological finds and classical Arabic literature to modern studies on the social and intellectual history of Islamic civilization, this talk reveals ways in which the Abbasid court designed, decorated, presented, and documented its palaces to leave lasting legacies of imperial power with what were considered at the time to be impermanent structures. In doing so, it sheds light on an architectural concept endemic to early Islamic Iraq that challenges popular notions of the monument as permanent and unchanging. The main palace of Samarra, known as the Dār al-Khilāfa, serves as the primary case study for this phenomenon.

Dr. Saba is Visual Resources Librarian for Islamic Architecture at the Aga Khan Documentation Center, MIT Libraries.

Co-sponsored by HNAC, Lloyd International Honors College, and Religious Studies.

Register here:

Fri., April 14, 4pm, Venue TBD, in person.

“Reading Native American Portraits in Ottoman: Diplomacy and Photography Across Atlantic & Mediterranean Worlds”
A lecture by Emily Voelker (UNCG) and Erin Nolan (Bates College)

Beginning with a donation from Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II to the Library of Congress, American and Ottoman powers embarked on a decades long photographic gift exchange (c. 1880 – 1910) in the form of sumptuous presentation albums. Our collaborative project examines the interconnections between these mobile objects as a relational discourse shaped by diplomatic visions, political milieu, colonialist agendas, and, as collections cross-pollinating archives across the American, European, and Asian continents. These album exchanges reveal a networked history of photography across the Atlantic and Mediterranean worlds, characterized by shared themes of expansion, settlement, and race-making across diplomatic survey practices of the era. Dr. Voelker is Assistant Professor of Art History in UNCG’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Dr. Hyde Nolan is Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Visual Culture at Bates College and Lecturer at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University.

Co-sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing arts, HNAC, Lloyd International Honors College, and Religious Studies.

The Islamic Studies Research Network is grateful to the International Program Center Kohler Fund for its ongoing support of programming.

Best wishes,

The Islamic Studies Research Network

(Omar Ali, Asa Eger, Jazmin Eyssallenne, Alyssa Gabbay)

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