Thursday, 05 December 2013 at 03:30 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)
Please join us for our Islamic Studies social open to students, faculty, and community members. Come meet the program staff, get to know other interested members of the Islamic Studies community, and enter the book raffle. Refreshments will be served
Thursday, 21 November 2013 at 12:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)
In this paper, I analyze one of the most extensive accounts of Indian knowledge systems in Persian: Abu al-Fazl’s Learning of India. Abu al-Fazl was the primary historian for the Mughal Emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) and the chief architect of his imperial image. He penned his Learning of India (danish-i hindustan) in the late sixteenth century as part of his A’in-i Akbari (Akbar’s Institutes), a deeply political text that describes the nature and administration of the Mughal Empire under Akbar. The Learning of India section details classical Indian learning, including the major schools of Sanskrit philosophy, Hindu religious ideas and practices, and Sanskrit technical sciences. In addition to its political dimensions, the work was also a major intellectual feat that offers a remarkably detailed and nuanced attempt to translate the sophisticated knowledge systems of one tradition into another. Despite being a well-known and much-cited text, Abu al-Fazl’s Learning of India remains largely unexplored in modern scholarship in terms of both its imperial and intellectual implications. In this paper, I investigate the context, framing, and content of the Learning of India in order to reconstruct Abu al-Fazl’s methods and intentions in importing Sanskrit knowledge systems into the Mughal thought world. I argue that Abu al-Fazl presents his Learning of India as a revolutionary contribution to both the Persianate intellectual tradition and Akbar’s political agenda.
Monday, 11 November 2013 at 06:30 PM in Stanford Humanities Center, Levinthal Hall (424 Santa Teresa)
Jeremy Keenan (University of London), Greg Mann (Columbia University), and Sean Hanretta (Stanford University) will reflect on the contemporary political crisis in Mali and West Africa. Panelists will focus on why the Tuareg are demonized in the region and the future of democracy in Mali.
Thursday, 07 November 2013 at 12:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)
This workshop presentation will analyze Mirza `Abd al-Qadir Bedil’s poetic reworking of the story of King Lavaṇa against its original Hindu source as well as against the larger context of his mystico-philosophical poem, "Muhit-i A`zam." In Muhit-i A`zam (“The Greatest Ocean,” 1667), composed in the form of a saqinamah (or, a poem to the cupbearer), the Indo-Persian poet Bedil describes – through the symbolism of wine – the manifestation of the universe as a stage-by-stage unfolding (or ‘outpouring’) and the eventual return to the divine essence. The longest of the illustrative stories and anecdotes Bedil uses in the poem is the story of King Lavaṇa, a tale that originates in the Hindu popular-religious text Yogavasishtha. Writing in an era when Persian translations of Hindu texts were readily available and poets of Persian were increasingly turning to indigenous Indic literary and religious traditions for subject matter, Bedil’s choice for the story of King Lavaṇa is not as unusual as the way he appropriates it to the conventions of the saqinamah genre and to the conceptual framework of Ibn Arabi’s metaphysics that underlies the poem. While both in the Muhit-i A`zam and the Yogavasistha, the story of King Lavaṇa illustrates the ontological connection between the heart, imagination, and the phenomenal world, in the larger conceptual framework of the Muhit-i A`zam, it primarily serves to underscore the need for transforming the heart from its lowest state (i.e. the imagined separateness of the ‘self’) into the purest possible state (i.e. the state of awareness of its essential unity with the single Reality).
Friday, 01 November 2013 at 12:00 PM in Encina Hall, Philippines Room (616 Serra Street)
In this seminar, Şener Aktürk will explore Muslim minority representation in 25 Western and 20 post-communist legislatures, using descriptive and inferential statistics as well as qualitative and historical comparisons. On average, Muslims remain severely underrepresented in most Western legislatures, while they are almost proportionately represented in most post-communist ones. In explaining this variation, he will focus on forms of “consociational” power-sharing (including legacies of Communist-era affirmative action and multi-confessional power sharing), electoral systems based on proportional representation, processes of nation-building, and religious traditions. This session is open only to Stanford affiliates. RSVP is requested at https://creeesevents.wufoo.com/forms/zzeiftq1l1vuwb/
Tuesday, 29 October 2013 at 05:30 PM in Tresidder Memorial Union, East Oak Lounge (459 Lagunita Drive)
Germany’s ethnic citizenship law, the Soviet Union’s inscription of ethnic origins in personal identification documents, and Turkey’s prohibition on the public use of minority languages underpinned the 20th century definition of nationhood in these countries. Despite many challenges from political and social actors, these policies did not change until the turn of the 21st century, when Russia removed ethnicity from the internal passport, Germany opened the citizenship route to many immigrants, and Turkish state television began to broadcast in minority languages such as Arabic, Bosnian, Circassian, Kurdish and Zaza. How did such tremendous changes occur? In addressing this question, this lecture will identify and define ideal-types of monoethnic, multiethnic, and antiethnic regimes. This new conceptualization will connect the study of nation-building to studies of ethnic diversity and citizenship, and also provide a coherent typology of state policies on ethnicity that accommodates the full range of variation across cases. Employing this new typology and a close study of primary documents and numerous interviews, I will argue that the coincidence of three key factors – counterelites, new discourses, and hegemonic majorities – explains successful change in state policies toward ethnicity. Event open to the public.
Thursday, 24 October 2013 at 12:15 PM in Encina Hall West, Room 208 (616 Serra Street)
Workshop Series: “Literary Cultures of Muslim South Asia” Kevin Schwartz is pursuing his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies at University of California, Berkeley. He received his B.A. in Political Science and International Relations from Columbia University, and his M.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. His research focuses on the literary culture of the Persianate world in the early modern and modern periods, with particular interests in historiography, literary debate, circulation of texts, and geography of textual production. In his doctoral dissertation, Kevin provides a comparative evaluation of different literary movements and practices in Iran, India, and Afghanistan during the late 18th and 19th centuries. Beginning in January 2014, he will start a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Maryland’s Roshan Institute of Persian Studies. Funded by the Social Science Research Council, his postdoctoral project utilizes the tazkiras to create a topographic intellectual map that charts the activities and movement of poets, administrators, and littérateurs across borders in Iran and Asia during the 19th century. Papers are available to Stanford affiliates upon request.
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 at 12:00 PM in Encina Hall Central, CISAC Conference Room (616 Serra Mall)
Gregory Simpson (CIPE), Lina Khatib (Stanford University), and Amr Adly (Stanford University) will discuss the entrepreneurship eco-system in the contemporary Egypt and Tunisia. The session is open to the public and is co-sponsored by the CDDRL Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, and the Mediterranean Studies Forum.
Monday, 21 October 2013 at 06:30 PM in Encina Hall, Bechtel Conference Center (616 Serra Street)
Amr Adly (Stanford University), Ayça Alemdaroğlu (Stanford University), Alexander Key (Stanford University), and Kabir Tambar (Stanford University) will discuss the contemporary political situation in the Middle East with special respect to Egypt and Turkey.
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 at 12:00 PM in Lane History Corner, Room 307 (450 Serra Mall)
Karen Barkey, Professor of Sociology and History, and Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life at Columbia University, will deliver a lecture, titled “Religious Pluralism and Shared Sacred Sites: A Legacy of the Ottoman Empire?,” as part of the Eurasian Empires Workshop Series organized by the Stanford Humanities Center.
Thursday, 03 October 2013 at 03:30 PM in Encina Commons Lawn
Join us in celebrating the beginning of the 2013-14 Academic Year with Stanford affiliates who are interested in the study of Islam and Muslim societies. All Stanford affiliates are welcome. Refreshments will be served. For questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, 03 October 2013 at 12:00 PM in CISAC Conference Room, Encina Hall (616 Serra Street)
Lina Khatib (Stanford University), Amr Adly (Stanford University), Adel Iskandar, and Hesham Sallam (Stanford University) will discuss the recent developments in Egypt. The session is open only to Stanford affiliates and is co-sponsored by the CDDRL Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, and the Mediterranean Studies Forum.