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Stanford Institute on Islam

Course Description: 

Join Stanford scholars in exploring how you can deepen your students’ understanding of Islam and Muslim societies. Establish a critical background on elementary concepts, practices, traditions of Islam. Acquire tools for navigating the complex questions concerning arts, gender,  immigration, the Islamic State. Explore strategies to expand your students’ appreciation of the diversity of Muslim societies and cultures, and develop ways to integrate the study of Islam into your curriculum. 

The Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies and Center to Support Excellence in Teaching at Stanford invite middle- and high-school instructors (teaching grades 6-12) and community college educators to participate in the Stanford Institute on Islam, a Saturday series that explores how the study of this global religion can be incorporated into the teaching of History, Social Studies, Current Affairs, the Arts, and related subjects.


April 22 |  Key Concepts in the Study of Islam
An introduction to the elementary beliefs, concepts, practices for a complex understanding of Islam in its historical and cultural diversity.

April 29 | Islamic State & Politics
A critical engagement with Islamic State and its political implications.

May 6 | Refugees, Immigration, Islam
A critical look at the issue of refugees, immigration, and cultural contact zones, past and present.

May 13 | Islam, Arts, Gender
Investigate how notions of arts and gender can be complicated through a study of Muslim societies and cultures.

May 20 | Final Presentations & Wrap-up
An opportunity to share your final assignment with fellow course participants and special guests.

Keywords: religion, history, arts, politics, diversity, immigration, international relations, globalism

Audience: Designed for educators at the community college, high school and middle school levels

Dates: Five Saturdays, 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM*
April 22, 2017
April 29, 2017
May 6, 2017
May 13, 2017
May 20, 2017 (*Final Presentations, morning only)

Format of Course: In-person at Stanford University

Cost: $400 Group (3+ teachers from same school/district)
$450 Individual

This cost covers all five sessions. Coffee/tea service and box lunches are included.

Continuing Studies Credit: 3 Status: Closed

Course Facilitators: 

Nicole Lusiani Elliott serves as a Professional Development Associate and Instructional Coach for CSET, primarily in areas of history education and instructional equity. In addition to serving as the lead on multiple site-based projects, Nicole also works on the Hollyhock Fellowship, AP Success Project, and in partnership with Stanford Global Studies. Prior to working for CSET, Nicole worked as an instructional coach and professional development associate for the Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning and spent 19 years teaching at an East Bay public high school. She holds a BA in Political Science from Saint Mary’s College of California and an MA in Educational Leadership from California State University, Northridge.

Stanford Speakers

APR 22 | Will Sherman is Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Studies at Stanford. His dissertation explores how Roshaniyya, a 16th century messianic Sufi movement, was connected to the development of Afghan identity. Will’s other academic interests include Islam in America, Islam and race, and theories of place and space in the study of religion. Before coming to Stanford, Will completed a master’s degree in Classical Arabic Literature at the UCLA. Read More

APR 29 | Tanvir Ahmed is a graduate student in the Department of Religious Studies. He works on revolutionary movements in premodern Islamic societies, sectarianism and its formation, and hagiography. Sometimes his mind (and mouth) wander off toward subjects such as contemporary historical fiction in Islamic societies, which can be dangerous for anyone trapped within earshot. He is currently interested in the question of sectarianism in the contemporary production of Islamic histories, the ways in which narratives of sacred figures’ lives can challenge extant framings of those histories, and the esoteric techniques of making Cuban coffee. Read More 

MAY 6 | Vladimir Troyansky ​is Ph.D. Candidate in Modern Middle Eastern & Ottoman History at Stanford’s History Department. His work focuses on refugee migration and resettlement in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions prior to World War I. His dissertation explores how Muslim refugees from Russia transformed the late Ottoman Empire at the turn of the 20th century. His other research interests include the Syrian-Russian relations in the post-Cold War era, and the missionary education in the late Ottoman Palestine.  Read More

MAY 13 | Ahoo Najafian is Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Studies at Stanford University. Her research interests focus on the cultural manifestations of religion with a focus on literature, visual arts, and gender. Her dissertation explores how modern poets in Iran imitated classical forms in order to represent the present moment. Ahoo holds a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from the University of Tehran, and a M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of British Columbia. Read More

This series is sponsored by the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, an interdisciplinary program in the Stanford Global Studies Division.