Islamic Studies Panels & Events at AAR 2019 | 22-26 November, 2019- San Diego, California

As a resource for our readers, the Maydan presents panel, session, paper, and other events/reception information related to Islamic Studies at the American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting in San Diego, California 22-26 November, 2019.

You can find a PDF version of the complete program book here. Although we have done our best to be comprehensive, we are sure we may have missed some very cool sessions/panels / other events. Please do let us know by emailing and we will update the resource.


Friday, November 22

Saturday, November 23

Sunday, November 24

Monday, November 25

Tuesday, November 26

Friday, November 22

A22-115 | Friday, 12:30 PM–6:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Indigo 204B (Second Level) 

Anti-Islamophobia Workshop 

Theme: Teaching Against Islamophobia (By Invitation Only)

Todd Green, Luther College, Juliane Hammer, University of North Carolina, and Aysha Hidayatullah, University of San Francisco, Presiding

Friday, 12 PM | Convention Center, 25B Upper Level East

OneWorld Book Launch

Communities of the Qur’an, Editors: Emran El-Badawi & Paula Sanders

Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy Theme: Coming Together Over the Ganges: Raimon Panikkar Symposium-Gerry Larson Memorial | Friday, 3:00 PM–7:00 PM |  Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 310A (Third Level) 

3:05 PM–4:50 PM Part I: Ecosophy (Raimon Panikkar’s Cosmo-TheAnthropic Worldview): Practical Suggestions from the Religious Traditions on Climate Change 

Abdulaziz Sachedina, George Mason University | Practical Suggestions from Islam on Climate Change

Friday, 6:30 PM–8:00 PM Marriott Marquis-Del Mar (South Tower – Third Level)

Anti-Islamophobia Workshop / Teaching Against Islamophobia Reception (By Invitation Only) 

A22-500 Friday, 8:00 PM–10:00 PM Hilton Bayfront-Cobalt 501AB (Fifth Level) 

Film: Loyalty

Zachary Moon, Chicago Theological Seminary, Presiding Sponsored by the Moral Injury and Recovery in Religion, Society, and Culture Unit 

Loyalty is the first national storytelling project to recount the experiences of American Muslim military service members, past and present. We introduce a diverse group of men and women — immigrants, converts, and American-born Muslims — who gave an oath to protect the United States and uphold its Constitution. Given the rise in Islamophobia since 9/11, the project intentionally shines light on the contradiction that arises when Muslims volunteer to defend a nation that does not always defend them. Through immensely personal stories, the film shows that “loyalty” cannot simply be reduced to one’s love of country but, in fact, takes many forms and is as complicated at the American Muslim experience itself. Themes addressed include the unique work of Muslim military chaplains who are fighting for religious freedom, interfaith cooperation, and acceptance of Islam in the United States Armed Forces.

Saturday, November 23

A23-112 |Saturday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM | Convention Center-4 (Upper Level West)

Islam, Gender, Women Unit and Study of Islam Unit

Theme: New Horizons in Islamic Studies: Advanced Graduate

Work Showcase

Saadia Yacoob, Williams College, Presiding

Abiya Ahmed, Stanford University

  • Prejudice, Progressivism, and Power: Politics in the Making of “Islamic” and American Muslims on Campus

Muhammad Khan, University of Cambridge

  • Sociality and the Mystical Theology of ȾAbd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī (1641–1731AD)

Emma Thompson, Princeton University

  • Teleologies of Becoming: Muhammad Iqbal’s Taqdir (Destiny) as a Model for Rethinking Trans Temporalities

Ryan Brizendine, Yale University

  • Ibn Arabī and Qūnawī between 1DԘDU and Kashf: a Conjoint Critique of Rational Inquiry and Defense of Inspired Knowledge

Sana Patel, University of Ottawa

  • Understanding Muslim Millennials in the Social Media Age

Sawyer French, University of Chicago

  • The Rise of Gender Studies in Indonesian Islamic Universities: Indigenous and Imperial Genealogies

Rahim Samnani, McMaster University 

  • Rethinking the Historical Muhammad: A New Quest 

Responding: Kristian Petersen, Old Dominion University 

Business Meeting: Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, University of Vermont, and Elliott Bazzano, Le Moyne College, Presiding

A23-120 | Saturday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM | Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 303 (Third Level) 

Religion in Southeast Asia Unit 

Theme: Challenging Religious Establishments: Scandal, Transgression, and Sousveillance in Contemporary Southeast Asia 

Bahar Davary, University of San Diego, Presiding 

Brooke Schedneck, Rhodes College 

  • Everyday Scandals: Regulating the Buddhist Monastic Body in Thai Media 

June McDaniel, College of Charleston 

  • Authority and Performance in Bali: Pedandas vs the New Age 

Etin Anwar, Hobart and William Smith Colleges 

  • Debating Equalities: Islamic and Feminist Contestations in Indonesia 

Responding: Thomas Patton, City University of Hong Kong

Business Meeting: Alexandra Kaloyanides, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Presiding

A23-101 | Saturday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM | Convention Center-14B (Mezzanine Level)

Graduate Student Committee 

Theme: Critical Conversations: Religion and Polarized Publics 

Andrew Klumpp, Southern Methodist University, and Meghan Johnston Aelabouni, Iliff School of Theology, University of Denver, Presiding 

How do scholars of religion engage with the public, and who is “the public?” In this roundtable, a panel of scholars will address how scholars of religion begin and sustain fruitful conversation within a variety of public contexts around questions of religion, with particular attention to the polarization of the cultural climate. Panelists will draw on their own experiences of using their expertise in diverse public settings, reflecting both individually and collectively on the challenges faced when engaging the public. This conversation will highlight a variety of contexts, including the classroom, print media, workshops, blogs, media appearances and faith communities. It will also consider both everyday interactions with religion in public spaces as well as how scholars of religion engage the public in moments of crisis or heightened political and cultural tension. The roundtable will allot significant time for discussion not only among panelists but also with the audience. 


Kristy Slominski, University of Arizona 

Omid Safi, Duke University 

Jill DeTemple, Southern Methodist University 

Elizabeth Palmer, University of Chicago Divinity School 

Isaac Barnes May, University of Virginia 

Rahuldeep Singh Gill, California Lutheran University

A23-140 | Saturday, 11:45 AM–12:45 PM | Convention Center-20A (Upper Level East)

Redefining the Public Sphere: The Case of 21st-Century Islam 

Laurie Louise Patton, Middlebury College, Presiding 

This session will explore the ways in which new participants in the public sphere actually redefine it. Ever since 9-11, those working on the study of Islam have borne an extra burden and responsibility to explain Islam and connect Islam with other religious and secular traditions within the United States. How does this activity work best? How has simply being Muslim and speaking up served to re-define the public space in the United States? What are the particular challenges for the mid-twenty first century non-traditional scholar of Islam in influencing public discourse about Islam? Three scholars and activists, who work in creative spaces in between the academy and the multiple publics surrounding and intersecting with it, will share their thoughts in conversation with Laurie L. Patton, AAR President. 


Linda Komaroff, Los Angeles County Museum of Art 

Eboo Patel, Interfaith Youth Core, Chicago, IL 

Kameelah Rashad, Muslim Wellness Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

M23-112 | Saturday, 12:00 PM–1:00 PM | Marriott Marquis-Rancho Sante Fe 2 (North Tower – Lobby Level)

Oneworld Publications 

Theme: Slavery and Islam, Jonathan Brown, Book Launch 

A23-217 |  Saturday, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM |  Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 313 (Third Level) 

Contemporary Islam Unit, and Islam, Gender, Women Unit, and Islamic Mysticism Unit, and Qur’an Unit, and Study of Islam Unit 

Theme: Mentoring and Networking Session

Ilyse Morgenstein Fuerst, University of Vermont, Presiding

P23-226 | Saturday, 1:00 PM–3:30 PM | Convention Center – 23B (Upper Level East)

Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qurʾanic Corpus

Theme: Style and Vocabulary in the Qurʾan (II): From Text to Concepts

Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau, Université de Strasbourg, Presiding

Ghazala Anwar, Independent Scholar

  • Gender Fluidity of Qurʾanic Grammar 

Hamza M. Zafer, University of Washington

  • The Rainwater Metaphor in the Qurʾan’s Communitarian Rhetoric: “Do You Not See that Allah Sends Down One Water from the Sky and Yet Brings Forth from It Fruits of Different Colors?”(Q 35:27)

Matthew Niemi, Indiana University

  • The Din of Islam: Ambiguity and the Qurʾan’s Religion without Religion 

Adam Flowers, University of Chicago

  • The Qurʾan’s Biblical Vernacular 

Leyla Ozgur Alhassen, University of California Berkeley

  • Hubris in Qurʾanic Stories: Ethical Formation in the Stories of Nuh’s and Adam’s Sons

A23-301 | Saturday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM | Marriott Marquis-Del Mar (South Tower – Third Level)

Applied Religious Studies Committee 

Theme: Preparing Scholars of Religion for Non-Academic Careers: What’s a Faculty Member to Do? 

Annette Stott, University of Denver, Presiding

In recent years as the job market for tenure-track academic positions has tightened and the use of contingent faculty has exploded, increasing numbers of graduate degree seekers are intending to pursue nonacademic careers. While some areas of study present obvious nonacademic options, for scholars in the humanities, nonacademic career opportunities and the best preparation for them may not be obvious and religious studies faculty are exploring how graduate programs can — and should — prepare all alumni for multiple employment outcomes. This panel brings together faculty members from a variety of institutions to discuss some of the problems confronting their students and their programs as more people turn — by necessity and by choice — to nonacademic career paths. 


Sylvia Chan-Malik, Rutgers University 

Gabriel Estrada, California State University, Long Beach 

Caroline T. Schroeder, University of Oklahoma 

Najeeba Syeed-Miller, Claremont School of Theology

A23-314 | Saturday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 303 (Third Level)

Contemporary Islam Unit 

Theme: Humanism, Humanity, and the Environment in Islamic Ethics 

Candace Mixon, Macalester College, Presiding 

Norah Elmagraby, Emory University 

  • “Is the Deen Green?”: The Environment in the Authoritative Islamic Discourse in Saudi Arabia

Basit Iqbal, University of California, Berkeley 

  • An Islamic Dramaturgy of Despair in the Wake of the Syrian War 

Abdul Rahman Mustafa, University of Edinburgh 

  • Gratitude, Gift, and Sovereignty: Political Theology and Environmental Ethics in Radical Islamic Thought 

Taraneh Wilkinson, John XXIII Foundation for Religious Studies 

  • Dynamical Conscience and Religious Humanism in Turkish Islam 

Responding: Sarra Tlili, University of Florida

A23-323 | Saturday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire L (Fourth Level)

Islamic Mysticism Unit and Religion in South Asia Unit 

Theme: Cultivating Devotion to the Prophet in Pre-Modern South Asia 

Sarah Pierce Taylor, Concordia University, Presiding 

Usman Hamid, Hamilton College 

  • Enshrining Devotion to the Prophet in Mughal India 

Ayesha Irani, University of Massachusetts, Boston 

  • Translation as Devotion, Translation as Mission: Representations of the Prophet Muhammad in the Making of Bengali Islam 

Fatima Quraishi, University of California, Riverside 

  • Prophetic Images: Religious Devotion in Nineteenth-Century Kashmir 

Simon Leese, Utrecht University 

  • Sensory Pilgrimages and Encounters with the Prophet: Performing the Hajj through Arabic and Urdu Poetry in the 18th and 19th Centuries 

Responding: Karen Ruffle, University of Toronto

A23-329 Saturday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 311A (Third Level) 

Qur’an Unit 

Theme: Sound, Orality, and the Qur’an 

Aisha Geissinger, Carleton University, Presiding 

Lien Fina, Sunan Kalijaga State Islamic University 

  • Speaking Politics through the Qur’an: Oral Interpretation of the Qur’an in Contemporary Sufi Gatherings in Indonesia 

Kathryn M. Kueny, Fordham University 

  • When Sound Becomes Noise: The Production of Pious Soundscapes in the Qur’an, Sunnah, and Early Islamic Medical Ethics 

Tim Orr, Indiana University – Purdue University, Columbus 

  • The Qur’an’s Composition: Assessing Andrew Bannister’s Oral Formulaic Study of the Quran

Responding: Lauren Osborne, Whitman College

A23-404 | Saturday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM | Convention Center-20A (Upper Level East)

Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee

Theme: Islamophobia: White Supremacy, Ethno-Nationalism, and the Academy 

Munir Jiwa, Graduate Theological Union, Presiding 

This panel will reflect on the historical and contemporary conditions of Islamophobia, white supremacy and racism and how these factors impact and shape the politics of academic knowledge production about Islam and Muslims. Panelists will discuss the particular ways Islamophobia manifests in global contexts, including online, war and the military industrial complex, slavery, civilizing projects on “reforming” Islam and Muslims, CVE, surveillance and policing programs, the structural violence against immigrants and refugees and the rise of ethnonationalism. Panelists will also discuss the welldocumented ‘Islamophobia Industry’ which has provided funding to an interconnected web of foundations, research centers, think tanks, data collection nodes, translation services and conferences through which Islamophobic ideologies are purveyed, circulated and domesticated. How can scholars in both the social sciences and humanities address and counter the epistemic and ontological challenges posed by the alt-right and the global networks of Islamophobia? What are the responsibilities for public intellectuals in challenging these concerns and what are the stakes involved in actively working against racism and Islamophobia? What are the limits and possibilities of studying Islamophobia comparatively? 


Jasmin Zine, Wilfrid Laurier University 

Hatem Bazian, University of California, Berkeley, Zaytuna College 

Amir Hussain, Loyola Marymount University

A23-428 | Saturday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire L (Fourth Level)

Religion and Economy Unit 

Theme: Religious Affects of Capital

George Gonzalez, City University of New York, Presiding

Isaac Arten, Saint Louis University

  • “A Matter of Profit and Loss Belonging to Another World”: Reality as Marketplace in Nineteenth-Century British Protestant Theological Anthropology

Timothy Burnside, Florida State University 

  • Angel Economies: Neoliberal Religion and the User-Generated Ordinary

Rebecca Faulkner, Princeton University 

  • Economic Thought of Muhammad Iqbal

Esra Tunc, University of California, Santa Barbara 

  • Translation of Giving into Islamic Entrepreneurship in Corporate America

Matthew King, University of California, Riverside 

  • Śrī Śrī Homo Economicus: Claiming Desire in the Tantric Frontiers of Capital 

Responding: Devin Singh, Dartmouth College Business Meeting: Daniel Vaca, Brown University, Presiding

A23-429 Saturday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM | Convention Center-15B (Mezzanine Level)

Religion and Migration Unit and Secularism and Secularity Unit 

Theme: Surveilling Muslims: Religion, Secularism, and Migration 

Joseph Blankholm, University of California, Santa Barbara, Presiding 

Jennifer A. Selby, Memorial University of Newfoundland 

Secular Masculinities and Migratory Marital “Love Fraud” in Contemporary France

Matt Sheedy, University of Manitoba 

Emerging Ex-Muslim Identities in the Snares of the Intellectual Dark Web 

Bilal Nasir, Northwestern University 

FBI Surveillance, Suspicion, and Islamic Skepticism in Muslim America 

Responding: Mona Oraby, Amherst College

A23-433 | Saturday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 310A (Third Level)

Religion in Europe Unit 

Theme: Religion and the Construction of European Identities 

Jonathan Teubner, Australian Catholic University, Presiding 

Karin Neutel, University of Oslo 

  • The Myth of a Christian Europe: The Bible as a Tool for European Identity Construction in Recent Migration Debates 

Richard Amesbury, Clemson University 

  • Constructing “Religion”, Performing “the People”: Sovereignty and Populism in Germany and the United States 

Matthew Hotham, Ball State University 

  • Bloody Beasts: Halal Butchering, Eid Sacrifice, and the Making of Muslim Monsters 

Peter O’Brien, Trinity University, and Arianna Siddiqui, Trinity University 

  • Islamophobia and Europhobia in Europe 

Business Meeting: Elissa Cutter, Georgian Court University, Presiding 

A23-440 | Saturday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM |  Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire A (Fourth Level)

Study of Islam Unit 

Theme: Reconsidering Sufi and Shi’i Histories: Text, Space, and Embodiment 

Marcia Hermansen, Loyola University, Chicago, Presiding 

Andrew McLaren, Columbia University 

  • Authorship, Belief, Identity: Was Ibn A’tham al-Kufi’s Kitab al-Futuh a Shi’i History?

Ilona Gerbakher, Columbia University 

  • “The Saint in Baghdad Is Like the Saint on a Toilet”: Finding Sufism in the ‘Abbasid City, 950–1150 A.D. 

Fizza Joffrey, University of Toronto 

  • Probing the Other “Other”: A Critical Survey of Shi’i Self-Flagellation Ritual Studies

Responding: Rose Aslan, California Lutheran University

A23-501 | Saturday – 7:00 PM-8:30 PM | Convention Center-7A (Upper Level West)

Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee

Theme: Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Reception

Saturday, 7:30 – 9 pm | Hilton Bayfront-Indigo, 204A (Second Level)  

OUTSIDE THE BOUNDARIES OF THE ACADEMY: A workshop conversation with practitioners at the border 

Presented by the Status of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in the Profession Committee and the Liberation Theologies Unit 

The past three years have greatly challenged practitioners at the borders attending asylum seekers in a variety of spheres. Continually shifting asylum and detention rules burden practitioners with having to adapt their work to this new landscape of frequent changes. This makes asylum seekers and migrants at the border more vulnerable, suffering from a very unpredictable situation where their safety and freedom cannot be ascertained. This panel seeks to bring practitioners at the border in conversation with theologians and scholars of religion to deepen our understanding of the ever changing situation on the ground. Join us for a panel presentation by attorneys, pastors, and other practitioners whose work over the last three years has tried to respond to this ever changing landscape. This will include a workshop conversation that will directly ask attendees to consider how their particular work could/should intersect with these challenges and experiences in liberative and constructive ways.


-Rev. Kaji Dousa, Senior Pastor, The Park Avenue Christian Church, UCC, New York, NY

-Atty. Nicole Ramos, Refugee Program Director, Director of the Border Rights Project, Al Otro Lado, Tijuana, Mexico

-Atty. Meeth Soni, Director of Litigation and Advocacy, Immigrant Defenders Law Center, San Diego, CA

-Dustin Craun, founder of Beyond Borders Studios, Executive Director of CAIR San Diego, Executive Producer of “A Prayer Beyond Borders,” Life Beyond Borders, San Diego, CA

-Filipe Maia, Boston University, Presiding

A23-504 | Saturday, 8:00 PM–10:00 PM |  Hilton Bayfront-Cobalt 501B (Fifth Level) 

Film: Muslimah’s Guide to Marriage Muslimah’s Guide to Marriage (2016) is the story of Muslimah Mohammad, a young African-American Muslim woman from Inglewood, California. The narrative centers around the events during Muslimah’s Iddah (waiting period of separation), where in only one week her divorce from her husband Musa will be finalized and official. She wants to reconcile the marriage before it’s too late since she knows that divorce will have negative social consequences within her local Muslim community, and will be especially upsetting for her observant father. This humorous romantic comedy provides a unique vision of Black Muslim life in a South Central Los Angeles community. Writer and Director Aminah Bakeer Abdul-Jabbaar both disrupts stereotypical Hollywood images of Muslims and broadens the spectrum of Muslim American cultural production, which has largely set aside the experiences of Black Muslims.

Sunday, November 24

A24-116 | Sunday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM | Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire 411B (Fourth Level)

North American Religions Unit 

Theme: Race, Gender, and Religion in Muslim America: A Conversation with Three Authors

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, Reed College, Presiding 


Sylvia Chan-Malik, Rutgers University 

Harold Morales, Morgan State University 

Edward E. Curtis, Indiana University – Purdue University, Indianapolis 

Business Meeting: Kathleen Holscher, University of New Mexico, and Pamela Klassen, University of Toronto, Presiding

A24-102 | Sunday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM | Convention Center-15A (Mezzanine Level) 

Teaching Against Islamophobia: Lessons and Questions 

Caleb Elfenbein, Grinnell College, Presiding 

This roundtable session will reflect on how members of the AAR across a broad array of fields of specialization can teach against Islamophobia in a variety of educational contexts, and how the AAR can support their pedagogical work. The roundtable discussion will include reflections from AAR leadership and participants in the 2018 “Teaching Against Islamophobia” workshop (co-sponsored with the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion) and the 2018 “Countering Islamophobia” workshop. 


Todd Green, Luther College 

Alice Hunt, American Academy of Religion 

Sajida Jalalzai, Trinity University 

Oluwatomisin Oredein, Texas Christian University 

Heather White, University of Puget Sound

A24-112 | Sunday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM | Hilton Bayfront-Indigo 204B (Second Level)

Islam, Gender, Women Unit

Theme: New Directions in the Field of Islam and Gender

Justine Howe, Case Western Reserve University, Presiding

This workshop session focuses on new directions in the field of Islam and gender, organized around four pre-circulated articles and book chapters. Each table will focus on one paper and bring together the author, a facilitator, and interested readers. A broader discussion among all participants will finish the session. Attendees should choose and sign up for one of the four tables in advance and read the paper for discussion at that table prior to the session (accessible through the AAR website). Please contact Justine Howe ( to obtain access to the sign-up web form.

Zahra Ayubi, Dartmouth College

  • Prolegomenon to Feminist Philosophy of Islam
  • Martin Nguyen, Fairfield University, Facilitator

Juliane Hammer, University of North Carolina

  • Murder, Honor, and Culture: Mediatized Debates on Muslims and Domestic Violence
  • Kayla Renée Wheeler, Grand Valley State University, Facilitator

Ali Altaf Mian, University of Florida

  • Genres of Desire: The Erotic in Deobandi Islam
  • Ash Geissinger, Carleton University, Facilitator

Joseph Hill, University of Alberta

  • Wrapping Authority: Women Leaders in a Sufi Movement in Dakar, Senegal
  • Ula Taylor, University of California, Berkeley, Facilitator

Responding: Kathryn M. Kueny, Fordham University

A24-130 | Sunday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM | Hilton Bayfront-Aqua E (Third Level)

Religions, Borders, and Immigration Seminar

Theme: Religions, Borders, and Immigration Seminar 

Kristine Suna-Koro, Xavier University, Presiding 

The Religions, Borders, and Immigration Seminar’s Round Table Session will be devoted to formal responses and discussions of six pre-circulated papers. These papers come from a diverse group of scholars who explore and reflect on the topics related to immigration from different religious, theological, and methodological perspectives. This is the first year of the Seminar and we welcome scholars and religious leaders interested in contributing to the conversation

Katherine Kunz, University of Basel

  • Integration and “Being with” Refugees: A Case Study of Offene Kirche Elisabethen, Basel, Switzerland

 Victor Carmona, University of San Diego, and Robert Heimburger, Fundación Universitaria Seminario Bíblico de Colombia, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, Oxford Pastorate

  • The Border, Brexit, and the Church: A Comparative Theological-Ethical Analysis of U.S. Roman Catholic and Church of England Statements on Migration Today

Molly Greening, Loyola University Chicago

  • Border Walls and Islamic Borderlands: Transgressing the Shared Ethos of Religious Boundary Making and Geopolitical Border Policing

Kaia D. S. Rønsdal, University of Oslo

  • Fluid Hospitality in Borderlands

James McBride, New York University

  • The Wall, Semantic Desubstantiation, and Authoritarian Discourse: Why Trumpism Confounds Its Critics

Edith Szanto, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani

  • Voluntourism in Iraq: Saving Refugees during Vacation 

Responding: Ashley Theurig, Xavier University; Anne Blankenship, North Dakota State University; Helen Boursier, College of Saint Scholastica; Kirsteen Kim, Fuller Theological Seminary; Loye Ashton, Tougaloo College; Mary Beth Yount, Neumann University

A24-131 | Sunday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM |  Convention Center-28B (Upper Level East) 

Exploratory Session: New Approaches in Asceticism

Alison Melnick, Bates College, Presiding 

Nourah Alhasawi, Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University 

  • Sufis and Early Asceticism in Islam 

Jimmy Yu, Florida State University 

  • The Aesthetics of Asceticism: Chinese Blood Writings as Objects of Connoisseurship 

Laura Dunn, Graduate Theological Union 

  • Reenchanting the Body: Modern-Day Asceticism of Ashtanga Yoga 

Rachel Wheeler, University of Portland 

  • Reading Luce Irigaray for an Elaboration of the Shared as Ascetic Practice 

Sam Houston, Stetson University

  • “Monks by Night and Knights by Day”: Asceticism as Precondition for Socio-Political Critique in Modern Islamic Activism 

Responding: Zachary Smith, Creighton University

Sunday, 11:30 AM- 2:00 PM | Friendship Park/ El PArque de la Amistad (1250 Monument Rd, San Diego, CA 92154)

AAR Border Church/ Border Mosque Contingent

What is the Border Church/Mosque? Watch this short video about it:

You are welcome at the Border Church and Border Mosque gatherings this weekend on the 24th of November.

The timing for the event is 1-2pm on both sides of the border, but you have to leave at different times if you are going to the US side or Mexican side of Friendship Park. Directions are below.

There is no coordinated car pooling from AAR hotels, please organize yourselves with friends or take Uber/ Lyft to the park in a group. Uber should cost $26 to the border crossing or $32 to Friendship Park on the US Side.

For Border Church / Border Mosque Attendance in the US:

While people can visit the Border Mosque / Border Church in the US at Friendship Park, the better experience is in Tijuana. On the US side the secondary barrier is restricted to 10 people at a time with the families visiting each other given primary access. What this usually means is visiting groups can go in for about 10-15 minutes at a time during the service Border Mosque or Border Church service.

We also don’t know when the road leading to the Wall will close as the rainy season is just beginning in San Diego. It is open as of now but that could change by Sunday the 24th.


Friendship Park is located on the US-Mexico border, at the southern edge of California’s Border Field State Park. The entrance to BFSP can be found at the westernmost terminus of Monument Road … use this address: 1250 Monument Rd, San Diego, CA 92154.


A24-212 Sunday, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 300A (Third Level) 

Comparative Theology Unit 

Theme: “Who Do They Say That I Am?”: Jesus in Comparative Theological Perspective

Catherine Cornille, Boston College, Presiding 

Hans Harmakaputra, Boston College 

  • A Comparative Theology Approach to the Quranic Notion of Jesus as the “Word of God” and “Spirit from God” 

Paul Hedges, RSIS, Nanyang Technological University 

  • Exploring Christology in Islam as Prophethood 

David Maayan, Boston College 

  • A Talmudic Wrestling with God and Jesus: (Mis)Interpreting the Hands of God in History 

Katie Mylroie, Boston College 

  • Khrist Bhaktas: Jesus in Hinduism 

Business Meeting: Bede Bidlack, Saint Anselm College, and Wilhelmus Valkenberg, Catholic University of America, Presiding 

A24-214 | Sunday, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire E (Fourth Level)

Contemporary Islam Unit and International Development and Religion Unit 

Theme: Making (Counter)Publics Through Islamic Development and Humanitarianism 

Jill DeTemple, Southern Methodist University, Presiding 

Basit Iqbal, University of California, Berkeley 

  • “Spurring Humanity”: Islamist Counterpublic in a Humanitarian World 

Katherine Merriman, University of North Carolina 

  • Islamic Horizons for Aid: Taking the Long View of Muslim Charitable Practice in the United States 

Nermeen Mouftah, Butler University 

  • Development as a Way of Life: Continuing Alms, Continuing Revolution in Post-Mubarak Egypt

Maliha Chishti, University of Chicago 

  • Orientalist Tropes and “Rescuing” Afghan Women through Foreign Aid Interventions

Responding: Abbas Barzegar, Georgia State University

A24-219 | Sunday, 1:00 PM–3:00 | PM Hilton Bayfront-Cobalt 501A (Fifth Level)

Islamic Mysticism Unit 

Theme: Self and Other in Sufism: Moments of Identification

 Cyrus Zargar, University of Central Florida, Presiding 

Sara Abdel-Latif, University of Toronto 

  • Female Tricksters and Dissident Slaves as Enforcers of Idealized Patriarchy in Early Sufi Literature (11th–13th Century) 

Verena Meyer, Columbia University 

  • Not a Wali, Not His Grave: The Sufi Dimensions of Modernist Discourse in Java 

Quinn Clark, Columbia University 

  • Who Are “Non-Sunnis”? Intra-Islamic Relations in North India and the Politics of Muslim Saint Shrines 

Saeed Zarrabi-Zadeh, Universität Erfurt 

  • Mystical Islam in the Occident: Multifaceted Presence and Association with the “Counter-Culture” 

Responding: Matthew Lynch, Bard College

A24-232  | Sunday, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM |  Hilton Bayfront-Aqua E (Third Level)  

Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity Unit 

Theme: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam: Intersections with Eastern Late Antiquity 

Naomi Koltun-Fromm, Haverford College, Presiding 

Jason Mokhtarian, Indiana University 

  • Rabbis and Others in Babylonian Talmudic Medicine 

Laura Locke Estes, Saint Louis University 

  • Accessorizing Faith: Dress as a Sign of Conversion in Two Christian Martyrdom Accounts 

Mark Leuchter, Temple University 

  • Ezra, the Great Assembly, and the Mythopoesis of a Rabbinic Future 

Business Meeting: Naomi Koltun-Fromm, Haverford College, and James McGrath, Butler University, Presiding

A24-309 | Sunday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM | Convention Center-16B (Mezzanine Level)  

Asian North American Religion, Culture, and Society Unit and North American Hinduism Unit and Study of Islam Unit and Study of Judaism Unit 

Theme: Making America Hate Again: Contextualizing Violence Against Religious Minorities in and Beyond Trump’s America 

Annalise Glauz-Todrank, Wake Forest University, Presiding 


Tanisha Ramachandran, Wake Forest University 

Ronald Neal, Wake Forest University 

Simran Jeet Singh, New York University 

Ayesha S. Chaudhry, University of British Columbia 

Shana Sippy, Carleton College, Centre College

A24-317 | Sunday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM | Marriott Marquis-Laguna (South Tower – First Level)

Class, Religion, and Theology Unit 

Theme: The Subject of Labor: Gender, Caste, Affect 

Jeremy Posadas, Austin College, Presiding 

Mark Balmforth, Columbia University 

  • The Aesthetics of Slavery: Religion, Textiles, and Caste in the Indian Ocean, 1660–1960 

Samira Musleh, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 

  • Sexual Division of Labor and Its Discontents: The Disorganized Harmony of Islamic Discourse, Feminist Theory, and Decolonial Thought 

Yuki Schwartz, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary 

  • Guilt, Salvation, and Power: Domestic Workers and Abjection in Christian Theology 

Joseph Strife, Fordham University 

  • Work at the Margins, Shame, and Spirit

A24-324 | Sunday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire P (Fourth Level)

Gay Men and Religion Unit 

Theme: Eschatological Judgments and the Experiences of Gay Men 

Or Porath, University of California, Santa Barbara, Presiding 

Jason Steidl, Saint Joseph’s College 

  • Swallowed by Satan: Joseph Sciambra, Catholic Rhetoric of the Demonic, and the HIV/AIDS Apocalypse 

Richard McCarty, Mercyhurst University 

  • An Eschatological Challenge to Homonormativity 

Mohamed S. Hassan, Temple University 

  • “The Earth Will Suck Him inside and He Shall Reach the Place of the Dead of Lut”: Homosexuality, Eschatological Imaginings, and Eternal Damnations in Islamic Texts

Responding: Roger A. Sneed, Furman University

A24-332 Sunday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM |  Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 310B (Third Level)

Religion and Cities Unit 

Theme: Cosmopolitanism and Mobile Cities: Interreligious Communication in Mumbai and Inter-Regional Pilgrimage in Indonesia 

Rupa Pillai, University of Pennsylvania, Presiding 

István Keul, University of Bergen 

  • Contextual Religious Cosmopolitanism in Mumbai 

James Edmonds, Arizona State University 

  • Pilgrimage Sites as Mobile Cities: Indonesian Piety on the Move 

Business Meeting: Harold Morales, Morgan State University, Presiding

A24-334 Sunday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM |  Convention Center-23C (Upper Level East)

Religion and Politics Unit and Religions, Social Conflict, and Peace Unit 

Theme: Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorist Rehabilitation Programs: Regulating Islamic Narratives and Practices in China, Singapore, and Australia 

Hatem Bazian, University of California, Berkeley, Zaytuna College, Presiding 

Mohamed Nawab Mohamed Osman, Nanyang Technological University 

  • The Construction of the Uighur Threat in China’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Policy

David Tittensor, Deakin University 

  • Counter Terrorism as “Performance” and the Muslim Bogey Man in Australia 

Aida Arosoaie, University of Wisconsin 

  • Religious Rehabilitation in Singapore: Religion, Race, and State Politics

A24-335 | Sunday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM |  Hilton Bayfront-Aqua F (Third Level)

Religion in Europe Unit and Religion in Premodern Europe and the Mediterranean Unit 

Theme: Author-Meets-Critics: John Tolan, Faces of Muhammad: Western Perceptions of the Prophet of Islam from the Middle Ages to Today (Princeton University Press, 2019) 

Anna Moreland, Villanova University, Presiding 


Stephanie Yep, Emory University 

Fadi Ragheb, University of Toronto 

David Freidenreich, Colby College 

Jamel Velji, Claremont McKenna College 

Responding: John Tolan, University of Nantes 

Business Meeting: David Freidenreich, Colby College, Presiding

A24-411 | Sunday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Cobalt 520 (Fifth Level)

Comparative Approaches to Religion and Violence Unit 

Theme: Religion, Violence, and Technologies of Communication 

Kelly Denton-Borhaug, Moravian College, Presiding 

Benjamin Rolsky, Rutgers University 

  • Establishments and Their Fall: Direct Mail, the New Right, and the Remaking of American Politics 

Sara Kamali, University of Oxford 

  • RaHoWa: White Nationalists Waging a Racial Holy War through Social Media 

Simon Mastrangelo, University of Bern 

  • Justification of Violence on Facebook: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Portrayed as a Religious War 

Giulia Evolvi, Ruhr University

  • Islamophobia on Twitter: Antagonistic Anti-Muslim Narratives about Brexit and Migration

A24-434 |  Sunday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM |  Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire 402 (Fourth Level)

Study of Islam Unit 

Theme: Islam and Governmentality: From Modern Kingship to Contemporary Prison Regimes

Kathleen Foody, College of Charleston, Presiding 

Jocelyn Hendrickson, University of Alberta 

  • Let’s Pretend: French-Sponsored Taqiyya in Colonial West Africa 

Arianne Ekinci, University of North Carolina 

  • Stripping “Muslim” from Uyghur Cultural Heritage: Islam as Oppression and the Justification for State-Led Development in Xinjiang during the Early PRC 

Rebecca Makas, Villanova University 

  • Access to Islamic Texts While Incarcerated: A Report from Pennsylvania 

Responding: Kathleen Foody, College of Charleston

A24-437 | Sunday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM |  Marriott Marquis-Leucadia (South Tower – First Level)

Women of Color Scholarship, Teaching, and Activism Unit 

Theme: Teaching Islam and Muslim Studies: Cross-Disciplinary and Anti-Disciplinary Orientations to Pedagogies in North American Academia 

Najeeba Syeed-Miller, Claremont School of Theology, Presiding 


Shaista Patel, University of California, San Diego 

Shehnaz Haqqani, Mercer University 

Nadeen Kharputly, University of California, San Diego 

Merin Shobhana Xavier, Queen’s University 

Sarah Eltantawi, Evergreen State College

A24-415 | Sunday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM | Convention Center-16B (Mezzanine Level)

Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Unit and Religion and Politics Unit and Sikh Studies Unit

Theme: The Racialization of Religion

Katharine Batlan, University of Alberta, Augustana, Presiding

Simranjit Khalsa, Rice University

  • Becoming American: Narratives of Marginalization and National Identity among Sikhs in the US

Seth Gaiters, Ohio State University

  • BlackLivesMatter and Sacred Politics: Promiscuous Solidarities Conjuring Justice

Elisabeth Becker, Yale University 

  • Black Muslim, White Muslim? Race, Religion, and the Color Gradient in Contemporary America 

Tazeen Ali, Washington University, St. Louis 

  • Towards a Collective American Muslim Consciousness: Building Multiracial Community at the Women’s Mosque of America

Sunday, 8:00- 10:00 PM | Marriott Marquis, Santa Rosa Room

Muslim Women and Non-Binary Scholars Gathering at the AAR


Monday, November 25


A25-107 | Monday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM | Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 305 (Third Level) 

Contemporary Islam Unit and Religion, Media, and Culture Unit 

Theme: Popular Preachers, Gendered Authority, and the Digital Ummah 

Samah Choudhury, University of North Carolina, Presiding 

Jacquelene Brinton, University of Kansas 

  • From National Television to YouTube: Shaykh Sha’rawi, Zakir Naik, and Gendered Religious Authority in the Age of Mass Media 

Garrett Kiriakos-Fugate, Boston University 

  • Yasir Qadhi, Homosexuality, and Preaching an Islamic Masculine Heterosexuality 

Abtsam Saleh, Harvard University 

  • NAKscandal: Nouman Ali Khan and the Rhetoric of Authority in Digital Space 

Brittany Landorf, Emory University 

  • Becoming the Alpha Muslim: Popular Da3i, Men’s Rights Activists, and the Emergent Muslim Manosphere 

Faiza Rahman, Emory University 

  • Khanum Tayyiba Bukhari on TV: Anti-Shia Violence and Shia Female Propriety in Contemporary Pakistan 

Responding: James Hoesterey, Emory University

A25-108 Monday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire A (Fourth Level)

Critical Approaches to Hip-Hop and Religion Unit 

Theme: Redefining Difference: Naming, Classifying, and Confronting Culture with Hip Hop 

Jon Gill, Pomona College, Presiding 

Charrise Barron, Brown University

  • Kanye West and Snoop Dogg: Making Christianity Cool Again 

Harjeet Grewal, University of Calgary 

  • Political Hip-Hop of Diasporic Sikhs: Sovereignty and Militant Ethics 

Yasmina Burezah, University of Bonn 

  • “Kanake” as the German N-Word? German Hip-Hop and the Production of a Post-Migration Identity in the Face of Racialist Islamophobic Discrimination 

Business Meeting: Daniel White Hodge, North Park University, Presiding

A25-113 | Monday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM | Convention Center-16B (Mezzanine Level)

Interreligious and Interfaith Studies Unit 

Theme: Decolonizing and Resetting the Interfaith Table 

Feryal Salem, American Islamic College, Presiding 

Valeria Vergani, University of Toronto 

  • A Space and Time for Sovereignty: Indigenous Peoples at the Parliament of the World’s Religions and the Question of Inclusion 

Aaron Ghiloni, Charles Sturt University 

  • An Islamopolitan Strategy for Decolonizing Interreligious Studies 

Henry Millstein, Islamic Networks Group, San Jose, CA 

  • Decolonizing Interreligious Education: The Example of Islamic Networks Group (ING) 

Kevin Minister, Shenandoah University 

  • Decolonizing of the Study of Religion: Interreligious Studies as a Theoretical Intervention 

Responding: Santiago H. Slabodsky, Hofstra University 

Business Meeting: Rachel Mikva, Chicago Theological Seminary, and John Sheveland, Gonzaga University, Presiding 

A25-114 | Monday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM |  Convention Center-4 (Upper Level West)

Islamic Mysticism Unit 

Theme: Sufism, Political Engagement, and Social Reform 

Maria Massi Dakake, George Mason University, Presiding 

Ali Karjoo-Ravary, Bucknell University 

  • Shadowing the True Kings: Sufism and Monarchy in 14th-Century Islam 

Parisa Zahiremami, University of Toronto 

  • Bridging Sufism and Kingship: Sanā’ī’s Sufi Advice as a Form of Cultural Capital 

Raissa von Doetinchem de Rande, Princeton University 

  • From Transformation to Isolation: Ibn Bājja and Ibn Tufayl on the Mystic as Political Dissident

Theodore Dedon, Georgetown University 

  • The People of Perfection inside and against the Empire: ‘Abd al-Ghanī al-Nābulusī and the Possibility of a Social Jihād 

John Thibdeau, University of California, Santa Barbara 

“The Zawiya Is in the UN”: The Role of Charity and Social Action in the Tariqa Alawiyya

Responding: Tehseen Thaver, Princeton University 

Business Meeting: Maria Massi Dakake, George Mason University, and Cyrus Zargar, University of Central Florida, Presiding 

A25-115 | Monday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM |  Convention Center-11A (Upper Level West)

Middle Eastern Christianity Unit 

Theme: Middle Eastern Christians in Public Life: Pre-Modern and Modern Test Cases 

Deanna Womack, Emory University, Presiding 

Mourad Takawi, University of Notre Dame 

  • Envisioning Christian-Muslim Relations in the Early Islamic Period: A Case for Mutual Attraction

Stephen J. Shoemaker, University of Oregon 

  • The Passion of Peter of Capitolias (d. 715) and Christian-Muslim Relations in the Early Caliphate 

David Freidenreich, Colby College 

  • Appeals to Anti-Jewish Tropes in Christian Texts about Early Muslims

Kenny Schmitt, Al-Quds Bard College 

  • Gazan Christian Pilgrimage: Sacred Practice or Means of Escape? 

Rachel Scott, Virginia Tech 

  • Christian Communal Autonomy, State Law, and Islamic Law: Divorce and Remarriage among Coptic Christians 

Business Meeting: Jason R. Zaborowski, Bradley University, Presiding

A25-119 | Monday, 9:00 AM–11:30 AM |  Convention Center-24A (Upper Level East) 

Philosophy of Religion Unit 

Theme: Philosophy of Islam and Islamic Philosophy: What Is the Difference and Why Does It Matter? 

Iman AbdoulKarim, Presiding 

Loumia Ferhat, Johns Hopkins University 

  • Islamic Philosophy and Philosophia in Islam through the Lens of Ghazālī 

Zahra Ayubi, Dartmouth College 

  • Frameworks for Critiquing Gender, Race, and Class Hierarchies in Feminist Philosophy of Islam 

Caner Dagli, College of the Holy Cross 

  • The Culture of Ultimate Questions 

Nora Jacobsen Ben Hammed, University of Chicago 

  • Genre-Bending and Discipline Defying: The Philosophical Poetry of Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1210) 

Muhammad Faruque, Fordham University 

  • A Philosophy of “Self ” in Islam, or an Islamic Philosophy of “Self?” What Is the Difference and Who Cares? 

Nicholas Boylston, Harvard University 

  • The Primacy of Being between Assent and Conception: Some Ramifications of the Insider-Outsider Problem in Islamic Philosophy 

Responding: Oludamini Ogunnaike, College of William and Mary

P25-147a | Monday, 9:00 AM-11:30 AM | Convention Center- 23B (Upper Level East)

IQSA Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics

Theme: Divine Revelation, Scripture and Speech in Qur’anic and Islamic Thought

Johanna Pink, Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg, Presiding

Khalil Andani, Harvard University

  • From Transcendent Kitab to Piecemeal Qur’ans: A Qur’anic Model of Revelations

Mohsen Goudarzai, University of Minnesota

  • A Common Archetypal Scripture, or Major and Minor Scriptures?  Narrative of Scriptural History in Academic and Exegetical Writings

Arezu Riahi, Harvard University

  • Conceptualizing God’s Speech: The Formulations of Fakhr al-Din al-Razi

Arjun Nair, University of Southern California

  • Influences from the School of ‘Ibn Arabi upon Post-Classical Shi’ite Conceptualizations of God’s Speech (Kalam Allah)

Nevin Reda, University of Toronto

  • What is the Qur’an? A Practical, Spiritually Integrative Practice

A25-216 | Monday, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM  | Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 314 (Third Level) 

Contemporary Islam Unit 

Theme: Islamic Education and New Ideals 

Hassanah El-Yacoubi, University of California Riverside, Presiding 

Sawyer French, University of Chicago 

  • “Active Learning” Pedagogies, Islamic Education, and the Authoritative Pious Subject 

Ian VanderMeulen, New York University 

  • The Untimeliness of Ikhtisar: Technology and Temporality in Morocco’s Revival of the Qira’at

Timea Greta Biro, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology 

  • Bringing Trans-Women Back to “Fitrah”: Social Engineering through Religious Education and the Use of Islamic Alms in Malaysia

Nareman Amin, Princeton University 

  • Revolutionary Religion: Egyptian Youth and Islam in Post-2011 Egypt 

Responding: Ahmet Tekelioglu, George Mason University 

Business Meeting: Zahra Ayubi, Dartmouth College, and Kayla Renée Wheeler, Grand Valley State University, Presiding 

A25-227  | Monday, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM | Convention Center-4 (Upper Level West) 

Qur’an Unit 

Theme: Approaches to the Qur’an 

Munim Sirry, University of Notre Dame, Presiding 

Duygu Yeni Cenebasi, Syracuse University 

  • Materiality of the Qur’an as a Book: The Medium, the Message, and the Audience 

Emmanuelle Stefanidis, Sorbonne Université 

  • The Ambiguities of Qur’anic Temporality: Chronological Lists and the Legitimacy of the ‘Uthmani Codex in the Formative Period of Islam 

Syed Zaidi, Emory University 

  • The Use of the Qur’ān in the Brethren of Purity’s (Ikhwān al-Safa) Conception of Resurrection and the Last Day 

Maria Massi Dakake, George Mason University 

  • The Relationship between Prophecy and Sanctity: The Significance of Non-Prophetic Figures in the Qur’an 

Martyn A. Oliver, American University 

  • Teaching the Qur’an in the Classroom and the Community 

Business Meeting: Lauren Osborne, Whitman College, and Gordon D. Newby, Emory University, Presiding

A25-236 | Monday, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM | Convention Center-15B (Mezzanine Level)

Wildcard Session: Religious Perspectives on Boycott: BDS and Scholarly Work in Public

Rebecca Alpert, Temple University, Presiding 


Elizabeth W. Corrie, Emory University 

Tarek Abuata, Friends of Sabeel, Portland, OR 

Zahra Billoo, Council on American-Islamic Relations 

Elizabeth Ingenthron, Jewish Voice for Peace, Oakland, CA

A25-300 | Monday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Indigo 202A (Second Level)

Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Committee and Graduate Student Committee and Teaching Religion Unit 

Theme: Teaching Unfamiliar Topics 

Kathleen Fisher, Assumption College, Presiding 

In collaboration with the Graduate Student Committee and the Academic Labor and Contingent Faculty Working Group, the Teaching Religion Unit is facilitating conversations about teaching unfamiliar topics and/or teaching outside one’s research area. This session will take place as conversations around tables focused on particular areas or courses. We anticipate that our presenters and participants bring a range of pedagogical experience and research knowledge to each table so that faculty currently engaged in teaching unfamiliar topics, faculty who anticipate teaching outside their research subjects, and future faculty, including graduate students, can share tips, tricks, and sources. 

Alyssa Beall, West Virginia University 

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Academia: Navigating Alien Courses, and Surviving 

Emily Bennett, Bellevue University, Central Community College 

  • Teaching Unfamiliar Topics 

Matthew Hotham, Ball State University 

  • Teaching Islam across the Curriculum: Strategies for Enhancing Teaching about Islam beyond the Religious Studies Classroom 

Anne Blankenship, North Dakota State University 

  • Strategies for Teaching Unfamiliar Topics 

Beth Ritter-Conn, Belmont University 

  • Learning to Swim: How to Survive in the Deep End When Teaching Unfamiliar Course Material

Responding: Aaron Ghiloni, University of Queensland

A25-323 | Monday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire P (Fourth Level)

Platonism and Neoplatonism Unit 

Theme: Neoplatonic Elements in the Islamic and Christian Traditions 

John Turner, University of Nebraska, Presiding 

Parisa Zahiremami, University of Toronto 

  • The Intellect, Love, and Human Ascent: The Intersection of Neoplatonism and Islamic Mysticism in Sanā’ī’s Haditad al-haqiqah 

Joshua Hollmann, Concordia College, New York 

  • Eros and Ascent in Nicholas of Cusa’s Mystical and Dialogical Theology 

Eva Braunstein, University of California, Santa Barbara 

  • Immanent Ascent in Nicholas of Cusa’s De Visione Dei 

Business Meeting: Kevin Corrigan, Emory University, Presiding

A25-335 | Monday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM | Marriott Marquis-Presidio 1 (North Tower – Lobby Level) 

Study of Islam Unit 

Theme: Roundtable on W. Hallaq’s Restating Orientalism: A Critique of Modern Knowledge (Columbia University Press, 2018) 

Ruqayya Yasmine Khan, Claremont Graduate University, Presiding 


Omar Farahat, McGill University 

Raissa von Doetinchem de Rande, Princeton University 

Ahmad Ahmad, University of California, Santa Barbara 

Wendell Marsh, Northwestern University

A25-330 | Monday, 3:30 PM–5:00 PM | Convention Center-28A (Upper Level East)

Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Unit 

Theme: Labor, Law, and the Power of Language: Postcolonial Perspectives 

Syed Adnan Hussain, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Presiding 

Yasmine Flodin-Ali, University of North Carolina 

  • The Politics of Enumeration and the Casteification of Shi’ism in Colonial India 

Whitney Wilkinson Arreche, Duke University 

  • MasterClass: Performative Mastery in Academy, Economy, and Church 

Alexander Rocklin, College of Idaho 

  • Religion before the Law: Labor, Colonial Secularism, and the Politics of Freedom in Colonial Trinidad 

Business Meeting: Adrian Hermann, University of Bonn, and Prea Persaud, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Presiding

A25-401 Monday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 305 (Third Level) 

African Religions Unit 

Theme: Ritual and Imagination in African Religions 

Sara Fretheim, University of Edinburgh, Presiding 

Shannon Frediani, Starr King School of Theology 

  • Ritual Theatre as Communal Practices of Resistance and Healing 

Daria Trentini, Drake University 

  • “Majini Refused to Come out”: Ritual Failure and Religious Change in Northern Mozambique 

Dianna Bell, University of Capetown 

  • Ara Dreams: One Malian Woman’s Reflection on Fertility, Islam, and Dream Interpretation

A25-438 | Monday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM |  Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire P (Fourth Level)

Study of Islam Unit 

Theme: South Asian Islam and Modernity 

William Sherman, University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Presiding 

Mohsin Ali, University of California, Los Angeles 

  • Imagined Wahhabis: Disentangling British and Indian Representations of Wahhabism in Colonial India 

Megan Robb, University of Pennsylvania 

  • Forming Muslim Emotions, Forming Muslim Nations: Writing and Practicing Love and Regret in Muslim South Asia 

SherAli Tareen, Franklin and Marshall College 

  • Encountering the “Other”: Power, Politics, Political Theology 

Responding: Karen Ruffle, University of Toronto

A25-433 Monday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Aqua F (Third Level) 

Religion in Europe Unit 

Theme: Racial Afterlives in Post-Holocaust Germany: Jewish and Muslim (A)Synchronicities for a Christian-Secularized Self 

Cynthia M. Baker, Bates College, Presiding 

Sultan Doughan, University of California, Berkeley 

  • Of Humans and Muselmanns: The Racial Afterlife of Religious Difference in Post-Holocaust Germany 

Alexandra Zirkle, University of Chicago 

  • Tortured Readings: Historicism and the Threat of Imperial Violence 

Hannah Tzuberi, Freie Universität Berlin 

  • Critique of Religion or Racism: On the Legibility and Categorization of Vulnerability in Post-Holocaust Germany

Luis Manuel Hernandez Aguilar, University of Amsterdam 

  • The “Jewish” and “Muslim” Question through the Lens of Recursive History: Circumcision Debates in Germany 

Responding: Susannah Heschel, Dartmouth College

A25-431 | Monday, 5:30 PM–7:00 PM | Convention Center-28A (Upper Level East)

Religion and Popular Culture Unit 

Theme: Beyond Television: Religious Controversy in Contemporary Televisual Mediascapes 

Linda Ceriello, Rice University, Presiding 

Laurel Zwissler, Central Michigan University

  • Feminists and Cannibals: Marginalized Religions in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 

Leyla Ozgur Alhassen, University of California, Berkeley 

  • The Qur’an in Turkish Television Series and Films 

Rachel Wagner, Ithaca College 

  • The Testaments: The Handmaid’s Tale as Emerging Transmedia

Tuesday, November 26

A26-109 Tuesday, 8:30 AM–10:00 AM |  Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 310A (Third Level)

Religion and Politics Unit 

Theme: Islam and Politics in Global Contexts 

Rachel Scott, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Presiding 

Anna Piela, Northwestern University 

  • Shifting between Experiences of Islamophobia and Racism: The Niqab as a Focal Point for the Study of Intersections of Exclusion in the United States and Great Britain 

Ermin Sinanovic, Shenandoah University 

  • Political Theology of Obedience in Contemporary Islamic Thought 

Andreas Johansson, Lund University 

  • Muslim Politics in Sri Lanka

A26-111 Tuesday, 8:30 AM–10:00 AM |  Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire 411A (Fourth Level)

Religion, Colonialism, and Postcolonialism Unit 

Theme: Negotiating Islam and Racial Logics in Global Africana Contexts 

Deirdre DeBruyn Rubio, Harvard University, Presiding 

Kimberly Wortmann, Wake Forest University 

  • Mosques and the Negotiation of Afro-Arab Identities in Contemporary Tanzania 

Youssef Carter, Harvard University 

  • West African Sufi Pedagogy and the Matter of Black Lives 

Kirsten Wesselhoeft, Vassar College 

  • More Than Malcolm: US Islam as Religious and Racial Analytic in French Muslim Communities

Matthias Gebauer, University of Passau 

  • Black Islam South Africa: Global Passages of Racialized Muslim Identities and the Bringing about of African Indigeneity in a PostColonial Society

A26-113 | Tuesday, 8:30 AM–10:00 AM | Hilton Bayfront-Aqua 311A (Third Level)

Study of Islam Unit 

Theme: Ways of Knowing in Premodern Islam: Morality, Orthodoxy, and Aesthetics 

Elliott Bazzano, Le Moyne College, Presiding 

Caitlyn Olson, Harvard University 

  • Commanding Right Belief and Forbidding Wrong: Islamic Theology for the 10th/16th-Century Moroccan Masses 

Youcef Soufi, University of Toronto 

  • The Formation of Classical Critical Islam: Munāzara (Legal Disputation) among Islamic Jurists in the 10th–13th Centuries 

Mohammad Sadegh Ansari, Columbia University 

  • Miskawayh’s (d. 1030 CE) Treatise on Pleasure and Pain and the Possibility of an Islamic Aesthetics Discourse 

Responding: Aun Hasan Ali, University of Colorado Boulder

A26-122 | Tuesday, 10:30 AM–12:00 PM | Hilton Bayfront-Sapphire 402 (Fourth Level) 

Contemporary Islam Unit 

Theme: Gender Politics in Contemporary Muslim Discourse 

Yasmine Flodin-Ali, University of North Carolina, Presiding

Iman AbdoulKarim, New York, NY 

  • Intersectional Critique: Strategies for Supporting Muslim Women’s Feminisms through Black Feminist Theory 

Nicole Correri, Boston University 

  • Speaking for Zaynab: The Male Appropriation of the Female Voice in Contemporary Shi’i Religious Ritual 

Samuel Kigar, Duke University 

  • God’s Feminine Shadow: A Feminist Muslim Political Theology of Territory 

Responding: Amanullah De Sondy, University College Cork