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Network Summer 2010

Network Summer 2010 will be held from June 7 to June 11, 2010 at New York University's Washington Square campus.

The application deadline for Network Summer 2010 has passed. To view our "Frequently Asked Questions" section please click here.


The following seminars are being offered for Network Summer 2010:

Computing in the Humanities
Financial Crises Past and Present
Forgiveness: The Origins of a Moral Idea
The Geopolitics of Oil
Learning Through Collaborative Technologies
Lost New York
Making Americans: Historical Perspectives on Civic Education in the United States
Popular Music in the 21st Century
Responding to Women's Issues Through Service Learning
Sustainability of the Water Environment
Varieties of Political Islam
 


COMPUTING IN THE HUMANITIES
The Program

Computing in the Humanities is an exciting field that explores computer technologies as applied to research and delivery in the scholarly fields of the humanities and the arts. It includes working with the digitization of texts and images to capture and record source materials; designing hypertext and delivery systems to analyze textual materials and produce inter-active web sites; as well as creating databases of images, documents and multi-media objects to catalogue and study collections. These tools can be applied to research and education in the fields of history, languages and literature, cultural studies, art history and many more.

In this seminar, we will focus on building web sites to serve both teaching and research goals in the humanities. In order to build these sites, we will study tools and practice skills for working with hypertext, mark-up languages, and the selection of images and multi-media. Participants will be encouraged to develop individual projects that use materials and objects relevant to their specific fields within the humanities. We will also review current literature, criteria and paradigms used to evaluate the results of such research.

This seminar will be conducted through a combination of lecture and discussion sessions, readings, and hands-on classes in a computer lab. The seminar is designed for faculty participants who are comfortable with basic computer tools (such as searching the Internet, e-mail, word processing) and who are familiar with teaching, research, developing curricula or related endeavors in the humanities. No previous experience in web site design is required.


Convener:

Deena Engel is a clinical associate professor in the department of computer science of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. She is the recipient of two teaching awards at NYU: The College of Arts and Science Outstanding Teacher Award, in May 2001 and the College of Arts and Science Golden Dozen Teaching Award, in May 2006. Professor Engel teaches undergraduate computer science courses in programming, database technologies, and related areas. She created an undergraduate semester-long course in Computing in the Humanities and the Arts in 2007 as an elective within the Computer Science Department's Web Programming Minor in order to better serve students in the humanities and the arts fields.

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FINANCIAL CRISES - PAST AND PRESENT
The Program

The financial crisis and the ensuing economic recession of 2007-09 serve to remind us that such crises and downturns have been recurring events in American history. They have occurred on average once every fifteen to twenty years since 1789. In this seminar we will study the causes of some major financial crises-those of the distant past (1792, 1837-39, 1873, 1893-95, 1907, 1929-33), and those of a more recent vintage (1989-90, and 2007-09). We will explore the social, political, and economic consequences of the various crises.

During the first half of the seminar we will discuss the typical pattern of most of the crises, the differences among them, and issues such as whether legislative and regulatory responses to a crisis make subsequent crises more or less likely. We distinguish between banking crises and market crashes, with attention to the causes and consequences of each. We pay attention to the role of the central bank in the functioning of a modern financial system and in coping with crises-an interesting topic in U.S. history because the country did and did not have a central bank for many decades. Also to be discussed is the issue of leadership: strong leadership is associated with crises of short duration and minimal economic damage, whereas weak leadership is associated with longer crises and greater economic distress. During the week, seminar participants will visit the Museum of American Finance and the environs of Wall Street to gain a better understanding the complexities of our financial system, how it developed over two centuries, and how periodically it has crashed on the rocks of excessive risk taking and speculation.

The second half of the seminar will examine two recent financial crises, the so-called Savings & Loan crisis of 1989-90, and the current crisis that began in 2007 with problems in the U.S. sub-prime mortgage market that then became a world-wide crisis with the failure of Lehman Brothers and other institutions in 2008. In both instances, the erosion of financial institutions' capital, because of bad loans and investments, lay at the heart of the problem. Accordingly, special attention will be paid to explaining the concept of "capital" as it applies to financial institutions and the related concept of "leverage." We then will discuss the regulatory reforms that have emerged from both crises.


Conveners:

Richard Sylla is Henry Kaufman professor of the history of financial institutions and markets, and professor of economics, at the Stern School of Business, New York University, where he currently teaches courses on "The Development of Financial Institutions and Markets" and "Global Perspectives on Enterprise Systems" in the MBA program, and "Business and Its Publics" for undergraduates. Professor Sylla is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and vice chairman of the board of the Museum of American Finance, a Smithsonian affiliate located on Wall Street. He is a past editor of The Journal of Economic History, and past president of both the Economic History Association and the Business History Conference. Sylla has authored, co-authored, and edited a number of books-among them, A History of Interest Rates and The State, the Financial System, and Economic Modernization-as well as numerous academic and other articles.

Lawrence J. White is the Arthur E. Imperatore professor of economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University, and deputy chair of Stern's Economics Department. He has taken leave from NYU to serve in the U.S. Government three times: as a board member on the Federal Home Loan Bank Board (1986-1989), as chief economist of the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (1982-1983), and as a senior staff economist on the President's Council of Economic Advisers (1978-1979). Among his publications is The S&L Debacle: Public Policy Lessons for Bank and Thrift Regulation (Oxford University Press, 1991); he is the co-editor (with John E. Kwoka, Jr.) of The Antitrust Revolution: Economics, Competition and Policy, 5th edn. (Oxford University Press, 2009).

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FORGIVENESS: THE ORIGINS OF A MORAL IDEA
The Program

Today, forgiveness is very much in the news. Whether in the legal movement known as restorative justice, which seeks to overcome the resentment between criminal and victim as a way of healing both parties, or the truth and reconciliation commissions, that attempt to overcome the deep anger resulting from violent social oppression, or the more individualistic psychotherapies and religious counsels that promise peace with oneself or with God, forgiveness is perceived as a specially profound, moral, and effective way of rising above bitterness and resolving conflict. But what is forgiveness? And how does it work? Did forgiveness always have such importance as an ethical imperative? The surprising answer is that it did not, and that interpersonal forgiveness, as it is commonly understood today, is a relatively recent development in moral thought.

In this seminar, we will examine methods of appeasing anger in ancient Greece and Rome that do not seem to rely on forgiveness. We will also investigate the role of divine forgiveness in ancient Judaism and Christianity, and inquire whether it could be extended to cover forgiveness between human beings. In addition, we will consider moral concepts and behaviors that are closely related to forgiveness, such as confession, apology, guilt, remorse, repentance, and a change of heart, and discuss their role in morality, both ancient and modern. Finally, we shall consider why forgiveness has assumed such a major profile in the past half century, and whether it is indeed the most effective means of promoting personal and social harmony. We shall talk about fake sentiments and sincerity, about whether some acts are by their nature unforgivable, about who has the right -- or perhaps the duty -- to forgive, and whether forgiveness can be withheld, and about what we can do if we are not able, or do not wish, to forgive. Readings will include Konstan's Before Forgiveness: Origins of a Moral Idea, Charles Griswold's Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration, and Anthony Bash's Forgiveness and Christian Ethics, as well as selected articles.


Convener:

David Konstan is the John Rowe Workman distinguished professor of classics and the humanistic tradition, and professor of comparative literature, at Brown University. As of the summer of 2010, he will be joining the Department of Classics at NYU. Among the books that he has published are Roman Comedy (1983); Sexual Symmetry: Love in the Ancient Novel and Related Genres (1994); Greek Comedy and Ideology (1995); Friendship in the Classical World (1997) Pity Transformed (2001); The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks: Studies in Aristotle and Classical Literature (2007), which was awared the American Philological Association's 2008 Charles J. Goodwin Award of Merit; "A Life Worthy of the Gods": The Materialist Pyschology of Epicurus (2008); Terms for Eternity: Ai˘nios and a´dios in Classical and Christian Texts(with Ilaria Ramelli, 2007); and Before Forgiveness: The Origins of a Moral Idea (2010). He has been awarded numerous grants, including the ACLS, NEH, and Guggenheim fellowships, and has taught in Egypt, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, and Scotland, among other places. He has served as president of the American Philological Association (1999), and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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THE GEOPOLITICS OF OIL
The Program

Ask students the current price of a gallon of gasoline, and they will know it exactly. Before answering, however, they may even ask for clarification: "Do you mean regular or premium?" Ask them, however, where the oil refined into that gasoline comes from; how it becomes available for their consumption; what supply and demand factors are at work in the international scramble for this precious resource; who the winners and losers are in global oil industry; and what the future looks like as easy oil supplies diminish, China and India compete more vociferously for the resource, and climate change muscles itself into the oil agenda, and you will be met by confused responses or blank stares. Notwithstanding this, your questions will also elicit keen interest and heightened curiosity. Students are eager to know more about this commodity they use every day and about which they have concerns over the future - if only regarding what the price of a gallon of gas might be after they graduate - and as they begin to scratch the surface, they become enthusiastic students of the subject. Some even seek to become vectors of knowledge and activism beyond the classroom.

The questions posed above provide the fundamental framework of this seminar, as they explore the past, the present and the future of oil. By following this framework, this seminar will provide participants with ideas, information, resources, tools and methodologies that will enable them to stoke and then respond to that latent interest and curiosity among their students, helping them to examine, understand and confront one of the most vital issues of our - and their - time: the geopolitics of oil.

Our week-long seminar will begin with an overview of the history and geography of oil. From there, it explores the present, surveying key world oil-producing regions with particular emphasis on demand and supply issues, and on international competition over access to and control over the valuable resource. The seminar ends with an examination of the future, including the aforementioned issues of increased demand of a finite resource whose unabated use contributes fundamentally to climate change. Seminar resources include published materials along with maps, films, websites, and guest speakers. Special attention is given to adaptation of ideas to the geographic and academic contexts of individual participants.


Convener:

Robert Maguire is an associate professor of international affairs at Trinity University in Washington, D.C. He holds a Ph.D. in geography from McGill University in Montreal and an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean studies from the University of Florida. He joined the faculty at Trinity in 2000, following a career as an official of the federal government, where he served as a social science analyst and program officer at both the Inter-American Foundation and the Department of State. He teaches diverse courses on international affairs and geography in Trinity's undergraduate international affairs program. He also teaches a graduate seminar on geopolitics at Howard University and is active as a lecturer at the U.S. Department of State's Foreign Service Institute and a research fellow at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). In 2004, he served as an FRN convener for a seminar on Haiti. His international-oriented career began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Dominica in the West Indies.

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LEARNING THROUGH COLLABORATIVE TECHNOLOGIES
The Program

Collaborative learning is an important teaching strategy that most faculty use in their face-to-face teaching, but few realize how technology can support collaborative learning in face-to-face, blended, and online learning situations. Students are already heavily using collaboration technologies, such as wikis like Wikipedia, instant messaging like AIM, online discussion boards, online virtual worlds like Second Life, media sharing sites like YouTube, and social networking sites like Facebook, in ways that may hinder learning. However, each of these technologies can have a productive place in a collaborative learning environment, if used well. And, technology-mediated collaboration can provide important benefits: for instance, online discussion has been shown to improve gender equity over in-class discussion in some cases.

This seminar will focus on three areas: why and when to use collaborative learning; what technologies can be used to support collaboration; and how to use those technologies in your own teaching. We'll examine the state of the art in collaborative learning research, including the field called CSCL (computer-supported collaborative learning). Then, we'll spend time hands-on getting familiar with popular collaboration tools and designing collaborative learning activities for them. Finally, we'll spend time reviewing some of the strategies for assessing collaborative work, including ways to prevent plagiarism.

Because the focus of the seminar is teaching strategies, extensive technology background is not an important prerequisite, nor should expert techies feel the seminar will be too slow. Faculty participants should be comfortable with the basics such as Internet browsing and search, email, and word processing, and be willing to learn how to use new online tools if they are not already familiar with them.


Convener:

Chris Hoadley is an associate professor of educational communication and technology at New York University. He designs, builds, and studies ways for computers to enhance collaboration and learning. Hoadley has degrees in cognitive science, computer science, and education from MIT and the University of California at Berkeley, and currently his research focuses on collaborative technologies and computer support for cooperative learning (CSCL). Other interests include research on and through design, systems for supporting social capital and distributed intelligence (especially for educational reform), the role of informatics and digital libraries in education, sustainability education, and science and engineering education. Hoadley is the director of dolcelab, the Laboratory for Design Of Learning, Collaboration & Experience. Hoadley previously chaired the American Educational Research Association's Special Interest Group for Education in Science and Technology (now SIG: Learning Sciences), and served as the first president of the International Society for the Learning Sciences. For the 2008-2009 school year, he was a Fulbright Scholar in South Asia studying educational technology in rural Himalayan villages.


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LOST NEW YORK
The Program

Has New York always been a lost city? On the heels of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's voyage for the Dutch and the 200th anniversary of Washington Irving's legendary reimagining of this New World encounter in his Knickerbocker's History of New York, this seminar will explore the dynamics of creativity and destruction, nostalgia and invention, that have for centuries marked efforts to represent life in New York City. Readings and discussions will address the relationships between the literary imagination and the archives, between migrations and displacements, between loss and remembrance, and between preservation and development in the long and storied history of one of the world's greatest cities. We will focus our analysis on two famous cultural moments in the city's history -- Greenwich Village Bohemia and the Harlem Renaissance -- and explore the ways in which our approaches to uncovering forgotten urban pasts might serve as a methodological foundation for the exploration of urban modernity more generally.

Readings will include selections from Patell and Waterman, The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of New York; Patell and Waterman, Lost New York (Fales Library); David Freeland, Automats, Taxi Dances, and Vaudeville: Excavating Manhattan's Lost Places of Leisure; Gerald McFarland, Inside Greenwich Village: A New York City Neighborhood, 1898-1918;Ann Douglas, Terribly Honesty: Mongrel Manhattan in the 1920s; and Daphne Brooks, Bodies in Dissent: Spectacular Performances of Race and Freedom, 1850-1910. Primary readings will be drawn from Djuna Barnes, Emma Goldman, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, and others. Activities will include walking tours and guest speakers.


Conveners:

Cyrus R. K. Patell is associate professor in the Department of English at New York University, where he has served as director of undergraduate studies and director of undergraduate honors. He has received the university's Distinguished Teaching Award and is a two-time winner of the Golden Dozen Award for undergraduate teaching from the NYU College of Arts and Science. His courses this year include the lecture-section classes Conversations of the West, American Literature I, and Writing New York. He obtained his Ph.D in English and American literature and language from Harvard University in 1991.

Bryan Waterman is associate professor of English and American literature at New York University. The author of Republic of Intellect: The Friendly Club of New York City and the Making of American Literature (Johns Hopkins, 2007), he has also published on topics relating to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American writing in The William and Mary Quarterly, Early American Literature, American Literary History, and the online quarterly Common-place. He is currently collaborating with Cyrus R. K. Patell on a cultural history of New York City.


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MAKING AMERICANS: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON CIVIC EDUCATION IN THE UNITED STATES
The Program

This seminar will examine how Americans have used their public schools to make citizens, from the birth of the republic into the present. By 1850, the United States sent a greater fraction of its children to school than any other nation on earth. Why? What did young people learn there? And, most of all, how did these institutions both reflect and shape our evolving conceptions of "America" itself?

In an irreducibly diverse society, the answers were never simple. Americans have always defined their nation in a myriad of contrasting and often contradictory ways; so they have also clashed vehemently over their schools, which remain our central public vehicle for deliberating and disseminating the values that we wish to transmit to our young. Our course will pay close attention to these education-related debates, especially in the realms of race/ethnicity and religion. When immigrants came here from other shores, would they have to relinquish their old cultures and languages? When African-Americans won their freedom from bondage, what status would they assume? And as different religious denominations fanned out across the country, how would they balance the uncompromising demands of faith with the pluralistic imperatives of democracy? All of these questions came into relief at school, where the answers changed dramatically over time. Early American teachers blithely assumed that newcomers would abandon their old-world habits and tongues; today, "multicultural education" seeks to preserve or even to celebrate these distinctive patterns. Post-emancipation white philanthropists designed vocational curricula for freed African-Americans, imagining blacks as loyal serfs; but the blacks themselves demanded a more academic education, which would set them on the road to equality. Protestants and Catholics both used the public schools to teach their faith systems until the early 1960s, when the courts barred them from doing so; but religious controversies continue to hound the schools, especially on the questions of evolution and sex education. How should our public schools address such dilemmas? How can the schools provide a "common" education, as Horace Mann called it, melding us into an integrated whole while still respecting our inevitable differences?

This course will be especially useful to professors of history and also of education. For historians, public schools provide a rich window onto some of the most important controversies and developments in the American past. For educators, meanwhile, a look backwards can shed new light upon many issues and problems in contemporary schools.


Convener:

Jonathan Zimmerman is professor of education and history at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University. He also holds an appointment in the Department of History in NYU's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. A former Peace Corps volunteer and high school teacher, Zimmerman is the author of Small Wonder: The Little Red Schoolhouse in History and Memory (Yale, 2009), Innocents Abroad: American Teachers in the American Century (Harvard, 2006), Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools (Harvard, 2002), and Distilling Democracy: Alcohol Education in America's Public Schools, 1880-1925 (Kansas, 1999). Zimmerman is also a frequent op-ed contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and other popular newspapers and magazines. In 2008, Zimmerman received NYU's Distinguished Teaching Award.

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POPULAR MUSIC IN THE 21ST CENTURY
The Program

Music remains a global force at the end of the first decade of the 21st century: more people than ever before consume music in the age of iTunes and iPhones. At the same time, the traditional business of recorded music has been devastated by the rise of Internet peer-to-peer sharing programs like Napster and Limewire, and many more people than ever before perceive recorded music as product for sharing but not worth paying for. Adding to this conundrum, contemporary century popular music appears to be a reflection of the post 9-11 generation's radical shifts in cultural priorities: a good deal of what shows up on the charts is a tangled mash-up of genres, styles, and musical ideas that resists simple definitions and identifications.

In this seminar we look at the changing role of popular recorded music over the course of the 20th and 21st century and we discuss innovative ways to bring music into the classroom as a teaching tool. This seminar has a strong focus on the history and culture of hip-hop music - one of the most important global cultural forms of the last 30 years - by providing faculty members with a framework to present the challenges and debates that hip-hop has engendered around issues of race, class, nation, gender and sexuality.

We also will look at ways of writing successfully about music and sound, with some attention to the ways that technology has impacted the music making and consumption process. Under-explored areas of research in popular music, such as record producing, branding and artist development, music discovery, and the business of recommendation, will be considered. Throughout the seminar, we'll be identifying key readings in popular music studies and illuminating other useful teaching tools. Guest speakers and field trips will be arranged where possible. Faculty members should walk away from the seminar with a range of ideas about how to successfully design a meaningful contemporary music syllabus or curriculum.

The seminar is designed for faculty participants who are comfortable with basic computer tools (Google, e-mail, Microsoft Word) and are familiar with at least one technology application used for teaching and learning (course management system, assessment tool, etc.).


Convener:

Jason King Ph.D is artistic director of The Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, an innovative leadership institute for aspiring young music entrepreneurs at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. The founding full-time faculty member of the program, he teaches classes on branding, music discovery, and music history. Professor King has been a pop, hip-hop, and R&B music critic for magazines like Vibe and Blender as well as a producer and manager for major label and indie artists. Jason is the author of The Michael Jackson Treasures: Celebrating the King of Pop in Photos and Memorabilia, a Barnes and Noble exclusive biography on the King of Pop, and Blue Magic: Spirit and Energy in Popular Music, an innovative look at the role of energy and metaphysics in the music of artists like Jay Z, forthcoming from Duke University Press.

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RESPONDING TO WOMEN'S ISSUES THROUGH SERVICE LEARNING
The Program

This seminar will introduce, evaluate and develop various service learning pedagogical strategies that focus on engaging communities of women. The socio-historical and cultural patterns of gendering justice that have disenfranchised, silenced or diminished the voices and experiences of women will frame the service learning approaches. Special attention will be given to how to develop courses based upon a social justice model that focuses on the lived experiences of women and includes a service learning component. The seminar will examine service learning pedagogical strategies that connect students to communities of women who have been subject to social, legal and/or political policies that have served to diminish their basic human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The seminar also will explore service learning courses designed to respond to issues of intimate interpersonal violence, the experiences of refugee women and women and public health. The intentional design of service learning courses that recognize the various intersectional experiences of women as their identities are constructed and responded to based on race, class, gender, sexual preference, and cultural markers will govern the course discussions and experiences.


Convener:

Cynthia Neal Spence is an associate professor of sociology at Spelman College and director of the UNCF/Mellon Programs. Her teaching and research interests in the areas of sociology, criminology, law and violence against women support the Law and Criminology concentration in the Department of Sociology. Dr. Spence has served in the capacities of assistant dean for freshman studies, associate academic dean and academic dean at Spelman College. Her interest in issues of higher education access, gender role socialization and violence against women frame her research, writing, community service involvement and public speaking. Recent publications include "A Woman's College Perspective on the Education of Men" (2004) New Directors for Student Series and "The Spelman College Total Person Commits to Positive Social Change" (2006), Engaging Departments: Moving Faculty Cultures from Private to Public, Individual to Collective Force for the Common Good. As Director of the UNCF Mellon Programs, Dr. Spence oversees a suite of future faculty development and faculty career enhancement programs for UNCF students and faculty. The UNCF/Mellon Programs are housed at Spelman College.

She has served as consultant for the Ford Foundation Institutional Transformation Project, the University of Chicago Provost Initiative on Minority Affairs, the Agnes Scott College Center for Teaching and Learning and the Georgia Department of Corrections. She is the former chair of the Board of the non-profit agency Men Stopping Violence and is a former Board member of the Georgia Network to End Sexual Assault. Dr. Spence is a graduate of Spelman College where she earned her B.A. degree. She earned both her Masters and Ph.D. degrees from Rutgers University.

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SUSTAINABILITY OF THE WATER ENVIRONMENT
Science and Society Series
The Program

The Faculty Resource Network announces a new series of science workshops designed to enhance faculty awareness of the growing problems relating to science and society. While we rely on technology derived from scientific discoveries every day of our lives, the consequences of this dependence now affect our climate, our water supply, our economy and the survival of societies worldwide. As Peter Agre, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, has emphasized, "The relevance of science, technology, and engineering as well as scientific literacy to the well-being of society is more profound than ever." Our new workshops will focus on themes that interface teaching science to majors and non-majors in the context of societal issues, with the objective of raising awareness of our students to problems they will confront in their lives: climate change and what can be done to reduce risk, access to clean water, pandemic diseases, etc. Scientifically we hope to bring together faculty from mathematics, natural sciences and social sciences in these workshops, which will be convened by authorities in these different fields. Participants will be encouraged to develop effective ways to introduce topics into their teaching.

Our first program in this series is a workshop in June, 2010, on Sustainability of the Water Environment, to be convened by Professor Peter P. Rogers of Harvard University.

The workshop will introduce participants to environmental engineering methodology, use of software, approaches to problems in specific areas, and offer presentations from a distinguished group of invited speakers who are experts on water resources and management around the world. Presentation topics will include Statistics and Stochastic Models in Water Management and Control; Water, Sanitation, and Health: the Biggest Water Problem on the Globe; and Climate Change and Water Availability: How to Adapt to Propective Changes.


Convener:

Peter P. Rogers is Gordon McKay professor of environmental engineering at Harvard University. Professor Rogers' research interests include the consequences of population on natural resources development, conflict resolution in international river basins, improved methods for managing natural resources and the environment, with emphasis on the use of analytic optimizing methods to incorporate the natural phenomena as well as the engineering controls and impacts of global change on water resources, and the development of indices of environmental quality and sustainable development. He has carried out extensive field and model studies on population, water and energy resources, and environmental problems in many countries.

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VARIETIES OF POLITICAL ISLAM
The Program

The goal of this seminar is to introduce the participants to the many different ways in which Islam is used as the ideological basis for political movements in the world today. We shall start with a brief overview of the rise of Islam in seventh-century Arabia, its rapid expansion as a religion and a vast political community, and, over the past two centuries, its role in inspiring movements of resistance against Western domination in North Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia. As the main focus of the seminar, we will examine the various forms of "political Islam," including liberal, fundamentalist, radical, and theocratic ideologies and political movements. In the final section of the seminar, we will discuss the challenges that these movements present to their base societies and to the West, as well as policy choices for Western liberal democracies for dealing with the Muslim world. The principal text for the seminar will be Mohammad Ayoob, The Many Faces of Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Muslim World (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2008, paperback). In addition several readings by contemporary Muslim thinkers, representing quite different ideological orientations, will be distributed to the participants as pdf files for discussion.

The seminar will be of interest not only to faculty members in political science but also to those from the fields of history, cultural studies, women's studies, religion, and sociology whose focus is the Middle East or comparative studies.


Convener:

Ali Banuazizi is professor of political science at Boston College and director of the program in Islamic civilization and societies. After receiving his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1968, he taught at Yale and the University of Southern California before joining the Boston College faculty in 1971. Since then, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Tehran, Princeton University, Harvard University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, M.I.T., and Oxford University. He served as the founding editor of the Journal of Iranian Studies, from 1968 to 1982. He is a past president of the International Society for Iranian Studies (ISIS) and the Middle East Studies Association (MESA).

Ali Banuazizi is the author of numerous articles on Middle Eastern society, culture, and politics, and the coeditor (with Myron Weiner) of three books on politics, religion and society in Southwest and Central Asia, including The State, Religion, and Ethnic Politics in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan (1986), The Politics of Social Transformation in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan (1994), and The New Geopolitics of Central Asia and Its Borderlands (1994). His forthcoming book on the politics of martyrdom is tentatively titled Sacrificing the Self and Others in the Way of God.

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