Islam in Asia:   Traditions and Transformation

An NEH Summer Institute ~ June 12 to July 7, 2017 ~ Honolulu, Hawaii ~ Hosted by the Asian Studies Development Program

Presenting Faculty for the Institute: 

Institute Directors:

Peter Hershock is Director of the Asian Studies Development Program (ASDP) and Education Specialist at the East-West Center (EWC) in Honolulu, Hawai’i. His work with ASDP over the past twenty years has centered on designing and conducting faculty- and institutional-development programs aimed at enhancing undergraduate teaching and learning about Asian cultures and societies. As part of the EWC Education Program, he has collaborated in designing and hosting international leadership programs and research seminars that examine the relationship among higher education, globalization, equity and diversity. Trained in Asian and comparative philosophy, his main research work has focused on using Buddhist conceptual resources to reflect on contemporary issues of global concern. His books include: Liberating Intimacy: Enlightenment and Social Virtuosity in Ch’an Buddhism (1996); Reinventing the Wheel: A Buddhist Response to the Information Age (1999); Chan Buddhism (2005); Buddhism in the Public Sphere: Reorienting Global Interdependence (2006); Changing Education: Leadership, Innovation and Development in a Globalizing Asia Pacific (edited, 2007); Educations and their Purposes: A Conversation among Cultures (edited, 2008); Valuing Diversity: Buddhist Reflection on Realizing a More Equitable Global Future (2012); Public Zen, Personal Zen: A Buddhist Introduction (2014); and Value and Values: Economics and Justice in an Age of Global Interdependence (edited, 2015).

Nelly van Doorn-Harder teaches Islamic Studies at Wake Forest University and at the Center for Islamic Theology (CIT), the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. Her research focuses on the Middle East with a focus on Indonesian Islam and Christian minorities, especially where it concerns women’s organizations and their production of Islamic hermeneutics. Furthermore, she is involved in several projects that explore issues of religious freedom and interfaith engagement. An edited volume in Indonesian on the topic of Freedom of Religion at the Grassroots is forthcoming in early 2017. 


Currently, she is co-directing a research project that focuses on the role of women in interreligious dialogue and peaceful co-existence in Indonesia, looking at two grassroots organizations—Komnas Perempuan, or Komisi Nasional Anti Kekerasan terhadap Perempuan (National Committee against Violence against Women), and the Koalisi Perempuan untuk Keadilan dan Demokrasi (Women’s Coalition for Justice and Democracy)—to learn how they negotiate religious differences when addressing violence against women (e.g., domestic violence), legal pluralism, and poverty.


Her publications include: Women Shaping Islam. Indonesian Muslim Women Reading the Qur’an  (University of Illinois Press, 2006); “Polygamy and Harmonious Families: Indonesian Debates on Gender and Marriage,” in Susanne Schröter (ed.), Women and Gender in Southeast Asia (Leiden: Brill, 2013); “Une nouvelle génération féministe au sein de l’islam traditionaliste: une exception indonésienne ?’ with Andree Feillard, REMMM 128, (January 2011) 113-127; and “Translating Text to Context: Muslim Women Activists in Indonesia,” in Masooda Bano and Hilary Kalmbach (eds), Women, Leadership and Mosques: Changes in Contemporary Islamic Authority. (Brill Publishers, 2011). 

Institute Presenters: 
Patricio Abinales is Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. He earned his undergraduate degree in History from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, and his doctorate in Government and Asian Studies from Cornell. Prior to coming to UH, he taught Political Science at Ohio University and at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies in Kyoto University, and was visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. His current research focuses on: the puzzle of American popularity among Muslim Filipinos; violence and the fraternity system in post-war Philippines; and rodent infestation and state-society relationship in the southern Philippines. He is Southeast Asia editor of the journal Critical Asian Studies, and is a member of the editorial boards of the Asian Journal of Political Science, the Asia-Pacific Social Science Journal, the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, and Philippine Studies. His publications include: Making Mindanao: Cotabato and Davao in the Formation of the Philippine Nation-State (2000); After the Crisis: Hegemony, Technocracy and Governance in Southeast Asia (2005), which he co-edited with Takashi Shiraishi; Dislocating Nation-States: Globalization in Asia and Africa (2005); and Orthodoxy and History in the Muslim Mindanao Narrative (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2010). His book, State and Society in the Philippines (2005), co-authored with Donna Amoroso, was chosen as one of the Outstanding Academic Titles in Comparative Politics for 2006 by Choice, the publication of the American Library Association.

Asma Afsaruddin is Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington and previously taught at Harvard and Notre Dame universities.  She is the author and editor of seven books, including Contemporary Issues in Islam (Edinburgh University Press, 2015); the award-winning Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought (Oxford University Press, 2013); and The First Muslims: History and Memory (OneWorld Publications 2008), which has been translated into Turkish.

Professor Afsaruddin is currently a member of the academic council of the Prince al-Waleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University and of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion and serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy in Washington DC.  She was previously the Kraemer Middle East Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the College of William and Mary (2012) and a visiting scholar at the School of Oriental and African Studies (2003).  She has also been a fellow with the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) based in Cairo and the American Research Institute of Turkey (ARIT) based in Istanbul.  She has served on a number of editorial boards, including, most recently, of the Oxford Encyclopedia on Islam and Women (2013) and the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (2008).  Afsaruddin lectures widely on various aspects of Islamic thought in the US, Europe, and the Middle East and has served as a consultant for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life as well as a number of other governmental and non-governmental agencies.  Her research has been funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which named her a Carnegie Scholar in 2005.

Tamara Albertini is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She has a Lic.phil. from the University of Basel (Switzerland) and a D.phil. from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich (Germany). Her research fields are Renaissance and Islamic philosophy. In the near future Professor Albertini is planning to venture into Geophilosophy.  Her major publications are Verum and Factum (editor, 1993), Marsilio Ficino. Das Problem der Vermittlung von Denken und Welt in einer Metaphysik der Einfachheit (1997); “The Seductiveness of Certainty. Fundamentalists’ Destruction of Islam’s Intellectual Legacy,” Philosophy East and West (2003); “Islamic Philosophy” in The Oxford Handbook of World Philosophy (sub-editor, 2011); and Charles de Bovelles’ Liber de Sapiente or Book of the Wise (co-editor, 2011). Professor Albertini has been awarded a number of national and international fellowships and grants, including a NEH travel grant for Iran and Central Asia. She is the co-founder and President of The International Charles de Bovelles Society and the current director of the undergraduate certificate in Islamic studies.

Muhamad Ali is an Indonesian scholar of Islamic studies in the United States. He is currently an associate professor in Islamic Studies at the Religious Studies Department and is the faculty member of Southeast Asia: Text, Ritual, and Performance Program; and the director of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies Program, University of California, Riverside (UCR). He earned a B.A. in Islamic Studies from the State Institute for Islamic Studies, Jakarta; an MM-CAAE from the University of Indonesia and Universite Grenoble, France; an M.Sc. in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from Edinburgh University, Scotland, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, U.S.A. Dr. Ali has published books, essays, and chapters on topics related to Islam, including as jihad,violence and peace, gender, interfaith dialog and global education, Indonesian Muslims’ perceptions of Judaism and Jews, Indonesian Islamic liberal movements, and a modern history of Southeast Asia.

His recent book is Islam and Colonialism: Becoming Modern in Indonesia and Malaya (Edinburgh University Press, 2015) and his other two booksMulticultural-Pluralist Theology (2003) and Bridging Islam and the West: An Indonesian View (2009) were published in Indonesia. His current projects are concerning religious freedom and pluralism in modern Indonesia; Indonesian Islam; and the expressions of adab in Indonesia and Malaysia. At UCR, Dr. Ali teaches courses on Islam, the Qur’an, comparative scripture, Islam in Southeast Asia, Southeast Asian religions, and graduate seminars on Approaches to Islam; Religion, Politics, and Public discourse; and Religions in Contact.  He can be contacted at [email protected] .

Barbara Watson Andaya
(BA Sydney, MA Hawai‘i, Ph.D. Cornell) is Professor and Chair of Asian Studies at the University of Hawai’i. Between 2003 and 2010 she was Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and in 2005-06 she was President of the American Association of Asian Studies. In 2000 she received a John Simon Guggenheim Award, and in 2010 she received the University of Hawai‘i Regents Medal for Excellence in Research. She has lived and taught in Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and the United States. Her specific area of expertise is the western Malay-Indonesia archipelago, on which she has published extensively, but she maintains an active teaching and research interest across all Southeast Asia. Her most recent books are The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Early Modern Southeast Asia (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2006) and (co-authored with Leonard Y. Andaya) A History of Early Modern Southeast Asia (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and a third edition of A History of Malaysia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).  Her present project is a history of Christianity and religious interaction in Southeast Asia, 1511-1900.
Paul Lavy is associate professor of South and Southeast Asian art history at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He received his B.A. in cultural anthropology from Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, VA, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in South and Southeast Asian art history from the University of California, Los Angeles. He subsequently taught ancient art history at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, and Asian and Islamic art history at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.  Dr. Lavy has conducted research in India and throughout Southeast Asia, particularly in Cambodia and Thailand, as well as in Vietnam, where he lived and worked as an independent lecturer and researcher prior to coming to Hawaii.  His ongoing research, which has been funded by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Asian Cultural Council, and the National Security Education Program, investigates the links between art/architecture and politics in early historic Southeast Asia.  His primary interests are the Hindu-Buddhist artistic traditions associated with Mekong Delta and Preangkorian Khmer civilizations and their relationships with the art of South Asia (ca. 5th – 9th cent. CE).  He is currently researching and writing a book on early sculpture from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, entitled The Crowned Gods of Early Southeast Asia.

Bruce B. Lawrence is Marcus Family Professor of Religion Emeritus at Duke University and adjunct Professor at Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakf University, Istanbul.  His research interests include: Religious Ideology; Comparative History; South Asian Sufism; Islamic Cosmopolitanism; the Multiple Roles and Uses of the Qur’an. In addition to his translation, Morals for the Heart (Paulist Press, 1992),  other recent books include: Sufi Martyrs of Love (with Carl Ernst; Palgrave, 2002); The Qur’an – a Biography (Grove/Atlantic, 2006); and Who is Allah? (UNC/EUP Press, 2015). His next monograph, The Koran in English - A Biography, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press (2017).

He is also co-editor, with Vincent Cornell, of The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Islamic Spirituality (2017).

Ebrahim Moosa (Ph.D. University of Cape Town 1995) is Professor of Islamic Studies in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and in the Department of History at Notre Dame University. Born in South Africa, Moosa earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Cape Town, as well as a degree in Islamic and Arabic studies from Darul Ulum Nadwatul `Ulama in Lucknow, India. Prior to coming to Notre Dame in the fall of 2014, he taught in the Department of Religious Studies at Duke University for 13 years, as well as at the University of Cape Town (1989-1998) and Stanford University (1998-2001).

As a senior faculty member in Notre Dame’s Keough School of Global Affairs, Moosa is also a leading member of the research and education initiative on Global Religion and Human Development that explores interactions among Catholic, Muslim, and other religious and secular forces in the world. His interests span both classical and modern Islamic thought with a special focus on Islamic law, history, ethics and theology. He is the author of Ghazali and the Poetics of Imagination (2006), winner of the American Academy of Religion’s Best First Book in the History of Religions, and more recently of Muslim Family Law in Sub-Saharan Africa: Colonial Legacies and Post-Colonial Challenges (2010), Islam in the Modern World (2014), The African Renaissance and the Afro-Arab Spring (2015) and What is a Madrasa? (2015).

Ronit Ricci is Associate Professor at the Australian National University’s School of Culture, History and Language. She holds B.A and M.A degrees from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan. Her teaching and research interests include the history of Islamization in Southeast Asia, conversion narratives, Javanese and Malay Islamic literary traditions, manuscript culture in Java, translation studies, alphabet histories, and historical and literary representations of exile in colonial Asia. Her book, Islam Translated: Literature, Conversion, and the Arabic Cosmopolis of South and Southeast Asia (2011), won the Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies and the AAR’s Best First Book in the History of Religions Award. She is the co-editor (with Jan van der Putten) of Translation in Asia: Theories, Practices, Histories (2011) and the author of numerous articles and essays, most recently “Perfect Wedding, Penniless Life: Ali and Fatima in a Sri Lankan Malay Text,” in  South Asian History and Culture (February 2013);  “The Malay World, Expanded: The world’s first Malay newspaper, Colombo 1869,” in Indonesia and the Malay World  (July 2013); and “Remembering Java’s Islamization: A View from Sri Lanka,” in  Global Islam in the Age of Steam and Print, ed. Nile Green and James Gelvin (Los Angeles: University of California Press, forthcoming January 2014).
Anna Stirr is Assistant Professor in Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. She earned her undergraduate degrees in Music and Religious Studies at Lawrence University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology at Columbia University. Her research focuses on South Asia, particularly on Nepal and the Himalayan region, and she is currently involved in two projects that deal with love, intimacy, and politics in Nepal. Along with teaching and researching about music, Anna is also active as a performer. She has studied Hindustani classical bansuri flute, has learned the folk style of bansuri performance through musical interaction with many Nepali performers during her fieldwork, and has studied the Hindustani classical tradition. Prior to joining the UH faculty she held postdoctoral positions in ethnomusicology and anthropology at Oxford University, and in Asian Studies at Leiden University. Her most recent publications are: “Sounding and Writing a Nepali Public Sphere: The Music and Language of Jhyaure.” Asian Music 46(1), 2015; “Tears for the Revolution: Nepali Musical Nationalism, Emotion, “Class Love and the Unfinished Transformation of Social Hierarchy in Nepali Communist Songs” in Robert Adlington, edited, Red Strains: Music and Communism Outside the Communist Bloc (2013); and “Changing the Sound of Nationalism in Nepal: Deuda and the Far West,” Southeast Asian Popular Culture 10(3), 2102.

Eric Tagliacozzo is Professor of History at Cornell University (USA), where he primarily teaches Southeast Asian Studies.  He is the author of The Longest Journey; Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford, 2013) and Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States Along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865-1915 (Yale, 2005), which won the Harry Benda Prize from the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) in 2007.  He is also the editor or co-editor of nine other books: Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement, and the Longue Duree (Stanford, 2009); Clio/Anthropos: Exploring the Boundaries Between History and Anthropology (Stanford, 2009); The Indonesia Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke, 2009); Chinese Circulations: Capital, Commodities and Networks in Southeast Asia (Duke, 2011); Burmese Lives: Ordinary Life Stories Under the Burmese Regime (Oxford, 2014); Producing Indonesia: The State of the Field of Indonesian Studies (Cornell, 2014); Asia Inside Out: Changing Times (Harvard, 2015); Asia Inside Out: Connected Places (Harvard, 2016); and The Hajj: Pilgrimage in Islam (Cambridge, 2016).  He is the Director of the Comparative Muslim Societies Program at Cornell, the Director of the Cornell Modern Indonesia Project, and editor of the journal INDONESIA.