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Lecture / Reading

Another Orient: Conversion and Rediscovery of Islam in Interwar Europe

In the aftermath of the First World War, the conversion of European intellectuals to Islam raised controversial new questions about Muslim and European pasts and possible futures. Mirza M. Abdurrahman was one such convert who, after leaving Catholicism for Islam in 1922, left his native Yugoslavia to study in Spain, correspond with Muslim missionaries in Berlin, and publish a French translation of a classic Ottoman-Persian mystic text.

Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly

The Arab Spring began and ended with Tunisia. In a region beset by brutal repression, humanitarian disasters, and civil war, Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution alone gave way to a peaceful transition to a functioning democracy. Within four short years, Tunisians passed a progressive constitution, held fair parliamentary elections, and ushered in the country's first-ever democratically elected president. But did Tunisia simply avoid the misfortunes that befell its neighbors, or were there particular features that set the country apart and made it a special case?

The Ukrainian Famine Reconsidered: Why It Happened - and Why It Matters

Anne Applebaum is a columnist for the Washington Post and a prize-winning historian with a particular expertise in the history of communist and post-communist Europe. She is also a Professor of Practice at the London School of Economics, where she runs ARENA, a research project on disinformation and 21st-century propaganda. She is the author of several books, including Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine; Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe; and Gulag: A History, which won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction.

Ophelia-cult in Japan

About the talk:
As represented by John Everett Millais’s painting (1851–1852), Ophelia is a fetishized icon of female victimhood in the West. Japan has its own version of an Ophelia-cult, beginning with Soseki Natsume’s reworking of Ophelia in The Three-Cornered World (1906). The protagonist, a painter, curiously compares O-Nami, a strong-willed, rebellious woman, to Ophelia. The novel also draws on certain Japanese legends and horror tales that link Ophelia with Japanese revengeful female ghosts and monsters.

A Conversation with Award-Winning South African Writer & Scholar Jonny Steinberg

Join us for an evening with best-selling author and Oxford University Professor of African Studies Jonny Steinberg. Professor Steinberg will discuss and read from his forthcoming book One Day in Bethlehem, which tells a story that raises questions about the ethics of memory. Associate Professor of Classics Grant Parker will moderate the Q&A discussion.

Nation-State-izing Religion: Bureaucratic Islam in Southeast Asia

Transnational Islam lacks the centralized leadership and institutions associated with Catholicism. Yet hierarchical and authoritative bodies do make decisions regarding Islam in various contemporary settings, including within the institutional frameworks of states. What happens when Muslim faith and practice are adapted to the terms and procedures of bureaucracy and the modern nation-state? Dr. Müller will present an original conceptual framework for studying the bureaucratization of Islam.

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