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November 2016 
News and Events

Contents


01) November 10 and 11 | Between the World and the International: Thinking with
Ottoman and Islamic Pasts | Two-Day Workshop
02) November 28 | Sectarianism and Coexistence in the Modern Middle East | Ussama S. Makdisi


All events are free and open to the public.
For more information, visit
bcsr.berkeley.edu.

 
01) November 10 and 11 | Between the World and the International: Thinking with Ottoman and Islamic Pasts | Two-Day Workshop

Co-Sponsored Event

Between the World and the International: Thinking with Ottoman and Islamic Pasts
Two-Day Workshop
Thursday, November 10, 9:30am-6:30pm
360 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley
Friday, November 11, 10am-5:30pm
7415 Dwinelle Hall


This interdisciplinary workshop considers Ottoman/Islamic visions of the world that preceded or contended with our globalized notion of the international comprised of discrete, sovereign nation-states connected by seas. The objective is both to historicize and pluralize visions of the world, so as to grapple with our contemporary predicaments. We focus on Ottoman and Islamic visions and practices not because they are privileged sites but because they are some of the traditions of an area (the Middle East) that is currently crumbling under the weight of world order. Discussion will be based around pre-circulated papers to allow for sustained engagement and for the development of meaningful, collective insights across disciplines.

To attend the workshop and to receive the pre-circulated papers, please email Basit Iqbal. For more information and event schedules, please visit http://bcsr.berkeley.edu/events/.

Convened by Samera Esmeir, organized by the Department of Rhetoric and the Center for Middle East Studies, and co-sponsored by the Mellon Project Grant, the Office of the Dean of the Humanities, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, the History Department, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion, and the Center for the Study of Law and Society.

 
02) November 28 | Sectarianism and Coexistence in the Modern Middle East | Ussama S. Makdisi

Co-Sponsored Event

Sectarianism and Coexistence in the Modern Middle East
Ussama S. Makdisi, Professor of History and Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies, Rice University
Monday, November 28, 4-6pm
3335 Dwinelle Hall, UC Berkeley


This talk provides a historical perspective to the contemporary sectarian tragedy unfolding in the modern Middle East. First, it uncovers a complex, but now obscured, modern culture of coexistence in a region that is historically rich in religious diversity, but that today encompasses a series of war-torn countries including Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. Second, it challenges two narratives that have traditionally dominated the story of diversity in the Middle East.  The first idealizes coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims; the second stresses a continuous history of either latent or actual sectarian strife between allegedly antagonistic religious communities. Rather than taking sectarianism or coexistence for granted, I am interested in historicizing both.  At what point was “sectarianism” first identified as a political problem?  When and why was public office parceled out along sectarian lines as an expression of equality?  Why in some parts of the Middle East but not in others? And when was “coexistence” first celebrated as a national value?

Ussama Makdisi is Professor of History and the first holder of the Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair of Arab Studies at Rice University. In 2012-2013, Makdisi was an invited Resident Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Study, Berlin).  In April 2009, the Carnegie Corporation named Makdisi a 2009 Carnegie Scholar as part of its effort to promote original scholarship regarding Muslim societies and communities, both in the United States and abroad.

 
By connecting scholars, students, and the global community, the Berkeley Center for the Study of Religion (BCSR) fosters critical and creative scholarship on religion and activates this scholarship for students and the public at large.

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