Pedagogy and Methodology
in Islamic Studies
JOINT DUKE-UNC GRADUATE SEMINAR
UNC Reli 299/Duke Rel. 280
Instructors: Carl Ernst & Bruce Lawrence
Tuesdays, 7-9:30, alternating between Franklin Center 028 (Duke) and Graham Memorial 038 (UNC).
Prerequisites/Permission: graduate standing and permission of instructor
1. Syllabus: the main written work will consist of the formulation of a syllabus for a course about Islam. Syllabi presented in the seminar are available here. This should be fully detailed in terms of resources, schedules, assignments, and evaluation. Each student is to make a short presentation of the syllabus towards the end of the semester (70 percent of grade).
2. Brief paper on the contribution of an early scholar of Islamic studies or Orientalism, also to be briefly presented in the seminar (10 percent).
3. Participation: discussion and active engagement with the work of the seminar is also an essential factor (20 percent).
miriam cooke and Bruce B. Lawrence, ed., Muslim Networks: Medium, Method, and Metaphor (UNC Press, 2004).
Carl W. Ernst, Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World (UNC Press, 2003).
Bruce B. Lawrence, New faiths, old fears: Muslims and other Asian immigrants in American religious life (Columbia University Press, 2002).
Melani McAlister, Epic encounters: culture, media, and U.S. interests in the Middle East, 1945-2000 (University of California Press, 2001).
Emran Qureshi and Michael A. Sells, ed., The New Crusades: Constructing the Muslim Enemy (Columbia University Press, November 2003).
Brannon Wheeler, ed., Teaching Islam (Oxford University Press, 2002).
Additional recommended background and resources:
Marilyn Waldman, "Islamic World," Encyclopaedia Britannica (electronic reserve) (a great historical survey)
articles on Islam in HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion, pp. 498-539
The Ellen-Fairbanks D. Bodman Collection of Middle Eastern and Islamic World Films (UNC Media Resources Center, Undergraduate Library)
IRANIAN FILMS available at UNC and Duke
UNC Films on Sufism and Saints
A short list of recommended films on Islam/Islamic cultures
This course is a distinctive outgrowth of the collaborative graduate program in Islamic studies at Duke and UNC. It is designed as a new "gateway" course for the field of Islamic studies in the UNC graduate program in Religious Studies. It will be a prerequisite for teaching assistants (from any department or specialization) who plan to work in large introductory undergraduate courses on Islamic civilization (Reli 25, 26) at UNC. It is also a required core course for the graduate field in Islamic Studies at Duke.
At both Duke and UNC, this course will be an important teacher training experience, to help qualify graduate students in Islamic studies for teaching in this field and to give them a competitive edge on the academic job market. This course will also provide background and ready-made syllabus preparation to graduate students in other fields of religious studies (or other disciplines) who wish to be prepared to teach a course on Islam. This has been offered twice previously as a "topics" course, but with the formal establishment in 2003 of an Islamic studies graduate field at UNC, in partnership with the Islamic studies concentration at Duke, and with a growing cadre of interested graduate students at both UNC and Duke, the need for a periodic offering of this course is evident.
Principal topics will include: the history of Islamic studies, in relation to Orientalism, area studies, and religious studies; problems of anti-Islamic bias and stereotypes; use of textbooks, primary sources, novels, films, and the Internet; teaching the Qur'an; Muslim presence in Europe and America; contemporary reflection on "classical" sources; modern Muslim thinkers; gender studies; and other related subjects.
To illustrate the concept of Islamic studies as "a global, interdisciplinary, and comparative approach to the study of Islamic religion and Muslim cultures," this course will feature regular visits and conversations with scholars in related fields of study, generally during the first hour of our weekly meeting. That interdisciplinary conversation will then be followed by detailed discussion of the texts used in the course, plus student presentations.
(D) 1. Jan. 13. Introduction
Reading: Ernst, Following Muhammad
(CH) 2. January 20. Islamic studies and Middle Eastern history. Guest: Sarah Shields* (UNC)
This meeting will start at 7 p.m. with two lectures for the Great Decisions program, "Diversity in Islam": Carl Ernst on "Unity and Variety among Muslims today" and Sahar Amer on "Muslims in Europe," in Carroll Hall 111; then shift to Graham Memorial 038 at about 8:30 pm to meet with our guest speaker.
, pp. 1-42
(D) 3. January 27. Islamic studies and Arabic literature. Canceled due to snowstorm; see April 6
Reading: Wheeler, pp. 94-107, 145-62
(CH) 4. Feb. 3. Muslims and non-Muslims in the Middle East. Guest: Lucas Van Rompay* (Duke)
Reading: McAlister, pp. 125-197
(CH) 6. Feb. 17. Rethinking the "classical" Muslim heritage. Guests: Ebrahim Moosa* (Duke), Tariq al-Jamil* (NCSU).
Reading: Wheeler, pp. 22-45, 61-76, 77-93
(CH) 8. March 2. Islamic studies and the study of religion in America. Guests: Ed Curtis* (UNC), Jamilla Karim (Duke)
Lawrence, pp. 69-132; Jamilla Karim, "Voices of Faith, Faces of Beauty: Empowering American Muslim Women Through Azizah Magazine" (unpublished paper from Muslim Networks)
(D) 9. March 16. Modernist and Liberal Islam. Guest: Charles Kurzman* (UNC)
Reading: either of the introductory chapters to Kurzman's Liberal Islam and Modernist Islam anthologies; plus examine
the syllabus for his "Sociology of Islam" class
(CH) 10. March 23. Islamic studies and Jewish studies. Guests: Kalman Bland* (Duke)
Reading: Wheeler, pp. 46-60; Christopher Melchert, TBA
Presentations of syllabi: Maureen O'Brien, Bennie Reynolds, Catherine Burris, AnnieBlakeney-Glaser
, Jared Anderson
(D) 11. March 30. Islamic studies and human rights. Guest: Abdullahi an-Na`im* (Emory)
Reading: Qureshi & Sells, 312-88
Presentations of syllabi: Maryam Ali, Peter Wright, Josie Hendrickson, Usep Matin, Jafar Muhibbullah
Presentations of syllabi: G. A. Lipton, Fuad Naeem, Neelma Ali, Youshaa Patel, Brett Wilson
(CH) 13. April 13. The Debate of the Orientalists (class presentations)
(CH) 14. April 20. Islamic studies and religious studies.
Reading: Ernst, chapter 2
(D) = Durham, (CH) = Chapel Hill
* = confirmed guest speakers
This web page last updated Apr. 13, 2004.