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

Week Four:  Contestations of Faith and the Roles of Women in Asian Islam

The relationship between religion and modernity is complex. In this final week of the program, attention will be given to the encounters of Islam with global modernity, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, and the ways in which these developments are shaping the contested topic of women’s rights and roles in the Muslim world. The week will open with a session by Asma Afsaruddin focused on the contemporary entanglement of religious authority and political aspirations in the Muslim world, with particular emphasis on the rise of groups like al Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State. Muhamad Ali (University of California, Riverside) will join the Institute on Monday afternoon to revisit the Shi’ite-Sunni divide in the contemporary context, with an emphasis on how it does (and does not) manifest in the Asian context. On Tuesday, he will return to discuss peacebuilding and conflict resolution dialogues that are taking place today in Indonesia as an example of the distinctiveness of Asian Islam. Barbara Andaya (University of Hawaii) will join the Institute on Wednesday to offer, first, an historical overview of the lives and contributions of women in the context of Southeast Asian Islam and then to look at women’s experiences as Muslim minorities in Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia and Myanmar. Nelly van Doorn-Harder will close the program by looking at Southeast Asian responses to Middle-Eastern radicalizations of the role of women and family dynamics, and by addressing the involvement of women in peacebuilding initiatives in contemporary Indonesia, focusing on their creative use of both traditional Islamic texts and new media. Thursday afternoon and Friday morning will be devoted to presentations by Institute participants.

 "The Story of the Princess of the Blue Pavillion: The
Youth of Rum Is Entertained in a Garden by a Fairy and
her Maidens", Folio from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Amir
Khusrau Dihlavi Poet:Amir Khusrau Dihlavi (1253–1325)
Calligrapher:Muhammad Husain Kashmiri (active ca.
1560–1611), Artist:Painting by Manohar (active ca. 1582–1624),
India (Photo credit:  www.metmuseum.org)