This Summer Institute for college and university teachers will explore Islam as an evolving system of thought and practice in South and Southeast Asia, including its impacts on social dynamics, the arts and politics. Striking a balance between the needs for both breadth and depth in engaging traditions that are culturally and historically distant, the Institute has been designed for educators from community colleges, liberal arts colleges and universities who are interested in exploring Islam’s origins in the Middle East, the history of its spread throughout South and Southeast Asia, and its place in contemporary Asia. With a stress on deep and context-rich engagement with key traditions, practices and primary texts (in translation), the four-week, multidisciplinary program will enable participants to develop curricular materials applicable across a wide range of humanities disciplines, including religion, philosophy, history, art history and literature. Applicants accepted into the program will receive a $3,300 stipend to help defray the costs of participation.
At a structural level, the program is organized geographically, historically and thematically. Beginning with Islam’s origins on the Arabian peninsula in the early 7th century and its early developments in the Middle East, the first two weeks of the program will examine the early evolution and spread of Islam into South and Southeast Asia from the especially the 9th to 14th centuries. Building on these geographic and historical foundations, the program will then explore key issues in the transmission and evolution of Islamic thought, practice and culture in Asia. The final week will be organized around “case studies” of Islamic encounters with global modernity. Throughout, the aim will be to generate a richly interactive intellectual environment, carefully combining lectures and discussions led by some of the best teacher-scholars in the field with weekly film screenings, museum visits, small group discussions, and individual curriculum development meetings with the Institute Directors.