EMILY S. SILVERMAN for CAROLINA CONNECTIONS on NOVEMBER 6, 2012: 

Thanks to the generosity of UNC faculty members and the region’s Persian community, Carolina’s Persian studies collection has grown in the last 18 months. With the addition of books, films and subscriptions, supporters have taken on this library project with great enthusiasm, while interest continues to build. Continue reading

by CHRIS DELISO for BALKANALYSIS.COM on OCTOBER 28, 2012: 

(Balkanalysis.com Editor’s note) While an October exhibition of Macedonian medieval manuscripts in Brussels incited protests from the government in Sofia over historical issues, there is another collection of texts in the country about which relatively little is known- that is, Macedonia’s Islamic manuscript collection, a legacy from Ottoman times. In this intriguing new interview, Balkanalysis.com Director Chris Deliso gets the insights of Prof. Dr. Mesut Idriz, an expert on the subject who has done considerable research on the history, identity and preservation possibilities of Islamic manuscripts from Macedonia. Continue reading

by DOROTHEA SCHULZ for International Journal of Middle East Studies  (Volume 44 / Issue01 / February 2012, pp 23-43),DOI: Published online, JANUARY 27, 2012:

(Abstract from publisher) This article explores how the introduction of sound reproduction technologies inflects what were previously considered authoritative, standardized, and gender-specific forms of religious leadership and how these changes affect in turn the (gendered) subjects of media practice. Examining the recent, controversial public presence of female radio preachers in Mali, the article elucidates the often ambivalent reactions to their radio-mediated dissociation of voice and physical presence, ambivalences that are expressed in the form of gender-specific evaluations of the acceptability of preaching on radio. The article thus argues that analyses of the controversial position of Muslim women in religious debates might benefit from a close scrutiny of the media technologies that enable these women’s public mediation and also from paying sustained attention to cultural constructions of the voice as a medium of transmitting religious knowledge.  Continue reading

by MOHAMMAD TALIB  for (OXFORD) JOURNAL OF ISLAMIC STUDIES on SEPTEMBER 22, 2012: 

(Article reviews Rethinking Islamic Studies: From Orientalism to Cosmopolitanism (University of South Carolina Press, May 30, 2010), edited by Carl Ernst and Richard Martin, with afterword by Bruce Lawrence)

The editors’ Introduction has a subtitle evocative of the main thrust of the book: Towards a Post-Orientalist Approach to Islamic Religious Studies. The study of Islam, it is pointed out, lay between Orientalism and area studies on the one hand, and religious studies on the other. The volume intends to show how historians of religion specializing in Islam are pursuing Islamic studies within newer theoretical frameworks, such as critical theory and cosmopolitanism.

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by THE COLLEGE VOICE (CONNECTICUT COLLEGE) on SEPTEMBER 25, 2012:

What would you feel like if you could no longer study the one subject that you loved and were passionate about? Would you feel angry or sad? Or frustrated? Would you feel hostile? Or would you feel hopeful that something could be done for the future?  For Claire Brennan ’13 and Ryan Dillon ’13, the feelings listed above are only the tip of the iceberg.

The Middle Eastern Studies program at Connecticut College (or lack thereof) has developed beyond many people’s expectations: there are language offerings and classes dedicated to culture, students have fallen in love with Arabic and people have had the opportunity to travel to Egypt, Morocco and Jordan to put their knowledge to the test.  However, many students now feel as if they have “outgrown” the program, and that although it has made significant progress, it still has a long way to go. FULL ARTICLE