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Global Fridays – Fall 2014 Film Series

Promoting Cultural Understanding Through Film

This Film Series is cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Europe, Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, Middle East and North African Studies, Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies, and the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature.

Fall 2014 Film Series

Event: Afghan Hazaras’ Perceptions on Najafi School of Thought

Our last event of the Spring 2014 semester will be a lecture by PhD candidate Melissa Chiovenda. Melissa spent eighteen months in Afghanistan researching Hazara ethnic identity in Bamyan, as well as gender among women working for NGOs in Jalalabad. She previously volunteered with the Peace Corps in Kyrgystan and Uzbekistan.

April 29, 2014

4:00-6:00 PM

152 Bay State Road; Room 101

Hazara Event


Event: Persian Symposium 2014: Translating and Teaching Premodern Persian Literature

April 24-25, 2014

2:00-4:00 PM

The Editorial Institute
143 Bay State Road

Persian Symposium-1

Schedule is available on the MLCL Website. 

Event: Protecting Syrian Refugees: Laws, Policies, and Global Responsibility Sharing

April 4, 2014

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Room 920B

The International Human Rights Clinical Program at the Boston University School of Law will give a ‘report-back from the field’ on a two-year research project focusing on the legal issues and problems that are creating barriers to relief and protection for refugees fleeing Syria. This project focuses on the international and regional legal instruments that govern the rights of and obligations towards this refugee flow in the most affected states: Lebanon,
Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt. Addressing weaknesses in the existing legal framework within and among the states in which most of the Syrian refugees are seeking refuge, this research is oriented towards wider responsibility sharing of the refugee flow.

Clinical Professor Susan Akram and clinic students Aaron Lang, Sarah Bidinger and Danielle Hites will discuss the preliminary findings and recommendations based on their research.

Protecting Syrian Refugees April4

Event: The Struggle of Iraq’s Future

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
4:30 PM

BU Trustee Lounge
School of Management Building, 9th Floor
Enter at 1 Silber Way

The Institute for Iraqi Studies is pleased to invite Zaid  Al-Ali to lead a discussion at Boston University on Iraq’s future and political landscape. Mr. Al-Ali’s new book, The Struggle for Iraq’s Future, was recently published.

 Zaid Al-Ali_Flyer

Event: A Room of One’s Own: Creating and Crafting Muslim Women’s Autobiographical Writing in South Asia

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

4:00-5:30 PM

745 Commonwealth Ave; STH Room 636

Join us as Dr. Lambert-Hurley explores how geographical, literary, and linguistic contexts shape the stories South Asian Women write about their lives. Dr. Lambert-Hurley serves as Senior Lecturer in Modern history at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. She is currently acting as Visiting Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of British Columbia.

Lambert-Hurley Flyer (1)

Event: Binding the Pages of the Heart

Friday, January 17th

3:00 PM

745 Commonwealth Ave; STH Room 636

Join us this Friday for a presentation by Professors Paul E. Losensky of Indiana University who will discuss “Metaphors of the Arts of the Book in the Poetry of Sa’eb Tabrizi.” Dr. Losensky is an Associate Pro

fessor of Comparative Literature and Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University. His research primarily focuses on 16th and 17th century Persian literature and literary history in Iran, India, and Central Asia. The event is cosponsored by Boston University Center for the Humanities, the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature, and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations.




Spring 2014 SMSC Courses!

October 28th, 2013 in News

The Spring 2014 SMSC Courses are now posted on our website! You can view them here.

By Erin Shibley

Upcoming Event: Chasing “Empty Signifiers”

October 15th, 2013 in Events

Please Join the SMSC Institute, the Modern Languages and Comparative Literature Department, and the African Studies Center as we welcome Dr. Hazem Amzy, visiting Assistant Professor at the department of Drama and Theatre Criticism of Ain Shams University and Co-Convener of the Arabic Theater Group of the International Federation for Theater Research. He will be discussing Egyptian Theatre, Before and After the Arab Spring, primarily analyzing three different Egyptian productions all by key figures of the “Free” Theatre Movement.


Tuesday, October 22,2013

4 PM – 5:30 PM

232 Bay State Road, Room 505


By arjonam

Upcoming Event: Book Talk with Kirk Johnson

October 8th, 2013 in Events, News

Join the SMSC Institute, the Center of International Relations, and the Institute for Iraqi Studies as we sit down with founder of The List Project and author Kirk W. Johnson to discuss his book:

To Be a Friend is Fatal: The Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans stepped forward to assist U.S. soldiers, diplomats, and aid workers over the past decade of war, acting as interpreters, engineers, and advisors to America’s reconstruction efforts.  As the U.S. development program foundered and counter-insurgency tactics alienated the Iraqi and Afghan public, though, they were increasingly viewed as traitors to their country.  Despite their immense value to America’s interests, as soon as they began to petition the U.S. government for refuge, they were met by a bureaucracy that viewed them as potential terrorists.  With the war in Iraq a distant memory and the withdrawal from Afghanistan gathering speed, the Iraqis and Afghans are now tarred with a stigma that is both lethal and generational.  Johnson will discuss the efforts of the List Project to confront both Republican and Democratic resistance in Washington and bring Iraqi and Afghan allies to safety, the state of humanitarianism in an America-in-withdrawal, and a brief history of bureaucratic abandonment in past wars.

We hope you can join us! Please RSVP Mikaela at smscinst@bu.edu

Kirk Flyer 10.16.13 new copy

By arjonam

Upcoming Event: The Politics of Neutrality

September 23rd, 2013 in Events, News

Tanielian flyer 9.26.13

By Amy Ringquist

Event: “Go, my daughter and don’t back off!”

September 16th, 2013 in Events, News

Fleischmann Flyer

By Amy Ringquist

New Seminar Series: Americans in the Middle East

September 10th, 2013 in News

Amer in MidEast Series flyer

By Amy Ringquist

New Persianate Travel Writing Publication from MS Faculty

May 29th, 2013 in Uncategorized

9780674073340Muslim Studies Faculty Associates Sunil Sharma and Roberta Micallef (Modern Languages and Comparative Literature) have recently edited a book published by Harvard University Press’ Ilex Series, titled On the Wonders of Land & Sea: Persianate Travel Writing.  The publication initiates a comparative study of non-European travel writers in the eastern Islamic or Persianate world from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. The essays in this volume discuss travel narratives by male and female Muslim and Parsi/Zoroastrian travelers in the Hijaz, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Europe. Focusing on the literary and linguistic aspects of the travelogues, the essays reveal links to traditional forms of narrating travel and the introduction of hybrid forms of discourse. The authors’ methodological approach situates the texts in their socio-historical contexts and the travelers in their geographical locations, taking into account their gender and national identity. Each essay investigates a Muslim or Persianate traveler, whether sojourning in Europe or another part of the eastern world, and explores how the narrator represents what she or he sees while questioning the social and historical transformations accompanying modernity. The aim of this collection is to take a step toward a more sustained critical discussion of travelogues by Muslim travelers in dialogue with other Muslim, Persianate, and European travelers.

For additional information: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674073340

By Michael J Carroll

Spring 2013 Course List Now Online

October 31st, 2012 in News

The Institute is pleased to announce that courses for Spring 2013 in Muslim Studies, offered in multiple schools and departments throughout Boston University, is now available online.  For more information about registration times, please see the schedule posted on the Registrar’s web site.  For more information on the courses, please consult the respective departments.

By Michael J Carroll

Fellow Matthew Pierce Writes Chapter in New Book on Women Leadership in Islam

March 6th, 2012 in News

46081Matthew Pierce, a former recipient of the CAS Dean’s Fellowships issued for the support of Muslim Studies initiatives, contributed a chapter in the new book entitled Women, Leadership and Mosques. The editors, Mosooda Bano and Hilary Lambach, accepted submissions from academia researching the trends of the contemporary Muslim women, and current changes in Islamic traditions towards women in leadership. His chapter (“Remembering Fāṭimah: New Means of Legitimizing Female Authority in Contemporary Shīʿī Discourse”) discusses the shifting role of Shīʿīte women in leadership. His research was funded in part by the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations.

Currently, Pierce works at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky as a faculty member for the Department of Religion. His focus remains the study of cultural symbols of Shi’ite and Sunni opinion regarding issues of gender and authority.

By Micaela Huerta

Muslim Studies Faculty and Students Travel to Hyderabad, India for Persianate Studies Convention

January 31st, 2012 in News

chehabi and co

Prof. Sunil Sharma, Chris Taylor, and Prof. Houchang Chehabi

Houchang Chehabi, a professor of International Relations and History was among the three Boston University scholars chosen to present papers at the Fifth Biennial Convention of the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies. The convention, held in early January in Hyderbad, India, attracted scholars from all over the world who presented their academic research and written work.  Chahabi’s paper, “Controversy around Titles in Late Qajar Iran”, analyzes the Qajar era, and the use of titles while delineating the political actions that led to their decline and eventual fall to the new Pahlavi Iran era.

Boston University’s professor of Persian and Urdu Literature, Sunil Sharma, also presented his paper entitled, “Mughal Shahnama from Ahmedabad: Sub-Imperial or Provincial?” where he studies the early manuscript of Firduasi and traces the history of the art piece from its inception to future ownership.

Former graduate student of the Department of Anthropology, Chris Taylor (CAS ’09), presented his paper on his recent fieldwork conducted in Herat, Afghanistan. The paper, “Islamic alms in Afghan Cities”, tries to illustrate the complex meanings behind the act of almsgiving in the Afghan village. He discusses how international Islamic discourse takes shape in the community and emerges as a response to the instability in the area. He is currently researching civic participation and ethnic and Islamic identities in Persian societies.

Hosted by the Hyderabad’s Maulana Azad National Urdu University, the event was co-sponsored by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Iran Heritage Foundation (London), the Roshan Center for Persian Studies (University of Maryland).

Information regarding convention derived from the Association for the Study of Perisianate Studies.

By Michael J Carroll