Archives

Mahir Saul Awarded Research Grant from Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research

Published Date: November 8, 2010

Mahir Saul, Professor of Anthropology, has been awarded a research grant from the prestigious Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research for his project entitled "African Journeys in Turkey: From Suitcase Trade to Soccer." This project is a fieldwork based investigation to be carried out in Istanbul, Turkey. He was also awarded additional funding from the Research Board at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The project concerns circular migrations and trade networks between central and west Africa and Turkey.

View all CSAMES members' awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted page, and their interviews and articles on the Members & Media webpage.

 

U.K. University to Honor Rajmohan Gandhi

Published Date: July 1, 2010

Rajmohan Gandhi, Research Professor at CSAMES, will be honored with a Doctorate of Letters by the Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom; he is among four distinguished individuals to be honored at the graduation ceremony on July 13.

See the article from The Hindu, published July 1, 2010, for more information.

View all CSAMES members' awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted page, and their interviews and articles on the Members & Media webpage.


Former CSAMES FLAS Fellows Awarded Fulbright Scholarships

Published Date: May 26, 2010

Three former CSAMES Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) Fellows have been awarded Fulbright scholarships! Sponsored by the Department of State, the Fulbright program awards about 1,700 grants annually to U.S. citizens for use in more than 150 nations. The program is intended to promote cross-cultural interaction and mutual understanding through engagement in the host community on a one-to-one basis in an atmosphere of openness, academic integrity and intellectual freedom.

Jacob Baum, of Ada, Mich., a doctoral student in early modern European history, was named an alternate in the Fulbright competition. He has proposed spending a year examining the relationship between sensory perception and religious practice in Germany in the late 15th and 16th centuries. Jacob held a CSAMES FLAS for Hebrew during academic year 2008-2009.

Paul Hartley, of Las Cruces, N.M., will investigate how musical films contributed to forming and maintaining Turkish national identity between 1950 and 2001. He will incorporate this research from his Fulbright year in Turkey into his dissertation. Hartley, a doctoral student in musicology, also has experience as a professional orchestral clarinetist and performer of Balkan music. Hartley will pursue a career in academia. Paul held a CSAMES FLAS for Turkish during academic year 2006-2007.

Donnie Robinson, of New Orleans, will be spending the 2010-11 academic year teaching English in Turkey under a Fulbright grant. He will be teaching U.S. culture and English to university students. A May 2010 graduate, Robinson earned his bachelor’s and master’s in German at Illinois. With facility in American Sign Language, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish, Robinson hopes to promote cultural integration and diplomacy with his translation skills. Donnie held a CSAMES FLAS for Turkish during summer 2009.

Please see the article from Illinois International for more information.


Middle East Summer Institute

Published Date: May 7, 2010

2010 Middle East Summer Institute: "The Middle East Uncensored: Rethinking Media and Representations"

Monday, June 28 - Wednesday, June 30, 2010 (meet and greet will be on the evening of Sunday, June 27)

This summer’s Institute will be focused on teaching about the modern Middle East through its representation in mainstream and independent media. The material presented will be designed to support the teaching of U.S. history, government, global studies, current events, and media studies at the upper middle school, high school, and college levels. Through use of print, audio and video, and online materials, participants will be given strategies on how to use media to encourage the development of critical thinking skills in their classes while learning about political conflicts and other current issues in the region.

All K-16 educators are welcome. Participants will receive CPDUs or professional development credit through the University of Illinois.

To learn more, view the schedule, and register, please visit the MESI website or view the pdf flier.

Sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


International Summer Institute

Published Date: April 26, 2010

2010 International Summer Institute (ISI): Understanding and Teaching about World Religions

Sunday, June 13 - Friday, June 18, 2010

This intensive 5-day workshop will cover the history and practices of some of the world’s major religions, including Buddhism, Confucianism, Islam, Shintoism, Diasporic religious practices of Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Taoism.

Through facilitated discussions, lectures and roundtables with experts and practitioners, participants will examine multi-disciplinary approaches to understanding and teaching the world’s religions, with particular emphasis on pedagogical approaches in K-12 classrooms. Topics to be covered include history, theology and ethics; rituals and cultural practices; the presentation and discussion of religion in public institutions; gender; and, of course, food.

All K-16 educators are welcome. Participants will receive CPDUs or professional development credit through the University of Illinois. Graduate course credit is available; please inquire. The non-refundable registration fee of $100 includes housing and some meals. Single-day registration is available. Registration is limited to 35 participants; the deadline is May 14. Register now to ensure your place!

To learn more, please visit the ISI website or view the pdf flier.

Co-Sponsored by: Center for African Studies, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Center for Global Studies, Center for International Business Education and Research, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, European Union Center, Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, School of Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The United States Department of Education


Antoinette Burton Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

Published Date: April 22, 2010

Antoinette Burton, Professor of History and Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies, has won a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship to work on a book currently titled Empire from Below: Resistance in the British Empire From the Opium Wars to Mau Mau. Read an article about her award from the Illini News Bureau.

View all CSAMES members' awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted page, and their interviews and articles on the Members & Media webpage.


Rajmohan Gandhi Leads a "Voyage of Dialogue and Discovery"

Published Date: April 16, 2010

Rajmohan Gandhi, Research Professor at CSAMES and a grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, is leading a team to countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle-East, Europe and the Americas, on a "Voyage of Dialogue and Discovery" March - June 2010. (View the tour flyer.)

The BBC news website has reported on Rajmohan Gandhi's visit to Palestine and Israel in a report on the growing movement for non-violent struggle there. View the article, "Palestinians Test Out Gandhi-Style Protest," from April 2010, and read more about the tour online.

View all CSAMES members' interviews and articles on the Members & Media page and their awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted webpage.


D. Fairchild Ruggles Named University Scholar

Published Date: March 9, 2010

D. Fairchild Ruggles, Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, was has been recognized as a University Scholar. The program recognizes excellence while helping to identify and retain the university’s most talented teachers, scholars and researchers. View the article, "Six U. of I. faculty members named University Scholars," published February 18, 2010.

The article states, "Beyond the impact of her original research in the field of Islamic landscape and garden history, Ruggles also has made important contributions to a synthetic, interdisciplinary understanding of the ways that cultural and environmental systems intersect, and why that understanding continues to be important and useful today. In her prolific body of original research, Ruggles has almost single-handedly redefined Islamic landscape studies, and established an alternative, more synthetic, and sophisticated framework for understanding Islamic cultural and technological heritage."

View all CSAMES members' awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted page, and their interviews and articles on the Members & Media webpage.


Muhammad Yunus: "Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century"

Published Date: February 26, 2010; Updated: March 10, 2010

Nobel Peace Prize-Winner to give Public Talk on Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century

Update: Watch Dr. Yunus' lecture online.

Update: Watch Dr. Yunus' interview on "Illinois International" online.

Monday, March 1 • 7pm • Foellinger Auditorium

Muhammad Yunus received the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his pioneering concept of banking without collateral for the poorest of the poor along with Grameen Bank, which he founded in 1983, to offer small loans for self-employment for the rural poor, especially poor women. Bob Easter, the interim chancellor at Illinois, will present the university’s Presidential Award and Medallion to Yunus. The award and medallion is given to recognize those who “support and bring distinction to the university in profound ways." The presentation ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. at Foellinger, 709 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana. Yunus will speak after the ceremony and will take audience questions after his remarks.

In connection with Yunus’ talk, students, researchers and organizations with social entrepreneurship projects have been invited to display posters and be on hand to talk about their projects. Posters will be on display in the Atrium of the Business Instructional Facility from 4 to 6 p.m. The BIF is at 515 E. Gregory Drive, Champaign. Poster topics will address several areas of enduring interest to Yunus: micro-credit opportunities for poor people, gender equity, health care and social business. Yunus is the author of two best-selling books, “Banker to the Poor” and “Creating a World Without Poverty.” He will be available to sign copies in the BIF Atrium from 4 to 5 p.m.

Yunus was born in 1940 in Chittagong, Bangladesh, and studied at Dhaka University in Bangladesh. He received a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Vanderbilt University and earned his doctorate in economics there in 1969. Yunus was an assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University and led the economics department at Chittagong University. Yunus serves on the board of directors of the United Nations Foundation.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: The Provost's Gender Equity Council. Co-sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies-India Studies Fund, Center for Global Studies, Office of the Chancellor, Office of the Provost, Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership, College of Business, Center for Advanced Study, College of ACES, Illinois-CIBER, International Programs and Studies, College of Engineering, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program, College of Fine and Applied Arts, and with generous support from the Fox family.


Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others

Published Date: February 18, 2010

Friday, April 16 & Saturday, April 17 • I-Hotel and Conference Center

The Department of Religion at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is hosting an international symposium entitled "Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others." The purpose of this symposium is to explore views on salvation in Islamic thought, particularly as it pertains to “Others." The participants of this conference (and book project and documentary) are among the most prominent academics engaged in this discourse, and represent different (sometimes conflicting) views.

For the full schedule, please see the conference website or poster.

Confirmed participants (in alphabetical order): Asma Afsaruddin, Patrice Brodeur, William Chittick, Farid Esack, David M. Freidenreich, Marcia Hermansen, Amir Hussain, Muqtedar Khan, Jerusha Lamptey, Bruce Lawrence, Gary Carl (Muhammad) Legenhausen, Daniel A. Madigan, Yasir Qadhi, Tariq Ramadan, A. Kevin Reinhart, and Sajjad Rizvi. (Contributors who will be unable to join us include T. J. Winter, Reza Shah-Kazemi, and Abdulaziz Sachedina.)

For further inquiries regarding the conference, please email Mohammad Khalil at khalil@illinois.edu.

Confirmed co-sponsors: Office of the Provost, International Council (Hewlett International Conference grant), College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Title VI, Dept. of Education), Center for Global Studies (Title VI, Dept. of Education), European Union Center (Title VI, Dept. of Education), Global Crossroads Living-Learning Community, The Program in Jewish Culture and Society, Center for African Studies (Title VI, Dept. of Education), Russian, East European and Eurasian Center (Title VI, Dept. of Education), Department of History, Department of Sociology, Gender and Women's Studies Program, Religious Studies Student Association

Location: I-Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 South First Street, Champaign, IL 61820-6914


Violence, Trauma, and Displacement in the Middle East and Eurasia

Published Date: January 20, 2010

January 29-30, 2010 • Board Room (on the 2nd floor) at Alice Campbell Alumni Center

This collaborative workshop between the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES) and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies (CEERES) and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at the University of Chicago is also co-sponsored by the UIUC Department of History and Center for Global Studies.

"Violence, Trauma, and Displacement in the Middle East and Eurasia" aims to strengthen resource networks by organizing a shared workshop that allows scholars - faculty and students alike - to share their research and engage in discourse to promote a better understanding of important issues in the interconnected world regions that we study. The workshop theme is intended to include a range of research topics from natural disasters that bring about displacement and trauma such as earthquakes and floods, as well as human conflicts, such as war and genocide. The workshop will take place January 29-30, 2010 at the University of Illinois. View the schedule of events on our calendar or as pdf.


Conference on Iran's Economy

Published Date: January 14, 2010

CSAMES at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago are hosting a Conference on Iran's Economy October 15-16, 2010.

This conference will provide a venue for the best current research on Iran’s economy and generate information and encouragement for future high quality research in this subject. Please visit the conference website.


Kenneth Cuno: Family, Gender, & Law in a Globalizing Middle East & South Asia

Published Date: January 14, 2010

Kenneth Cuno, Associate Professor of History, is co-editor of the newly published book entitled Family Gender, & Law in a Globalizing Middle East & South Asia, Syracuse University Press, 2009. The book is co-edited by Manisha Desai, former CSAMES affiliate and current Director of Women's Studies at the University of Connecticut.

View the book information.


Dr. Haghighatjoo offers an online course

Published Date: January 5, 2010

Dr. Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, a leading proponent of human rights and women’s rights in Iran, is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She will be offering an online course, "Women's Political Leadership in a Global Perspective." If you are interested, the videos below have more information on the course. You can also read a brief bio for Dr. Haghighatjoo on the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy staff webpage: http://www.mccormack.umb.edu/centers/cwppp/staff.php.

Course Introduction video:
http://rstream.umassonline.net:8080/ramgen/boston/GRAD-STUDIES/PAFG697/Haghighatjoo-PAFG697-Intro.rm
Captioned Version:
http://rstream.umassonline.net:8080/ramgen/boston/GRAD-STUDIES/PAFG697/Haghighatjoo-PAFG697-Intro.smil


Francis Boyle: The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka

Published Date: December 16, 2009

Francis Boyle, Professor in the College of Law, published a book entitled The Tamil Genocide by Sri Lanka, Clarity Press, 2009.

See a book review, from November 2009, which calls Dr. Boyle's book the first to develop an authoritative case for genocide against the Government of Sri Lanka under international law.


Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi in "The Illinois International Review"

Published Date: November 23, 2009

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi published an article entitled "The Iranian Revolution Turns 30: But the Future of its Democratic Institutions is Imperiled" in the "Illinois International Review," published by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

See the article, published Fall 2009.

View all CSAMES members' interviews and articles on the Members & Media page and their awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted webpage.


Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi in "The Iranian Revolution Turns Thirty"

Published Date: October 30, 2009

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi published articles "The Theory of Survival: An Interview with Taraneh Hemami" and "Memory, Mourning, Memorializing: On the Victims of Iran-Iraq War, 1980—Present" in the Radical History Review's special issue "The Iranian Revolution Turns Thirty," for which he was also an editor. The issue examines select themes related to the outbreak of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, its reception, and its consequences inside and outside Iran.

See the Radical History Report special issue "The Iranian Revolution Turns Thirty," published Fall 2009.


Supreet Saini awarded 2009 Girdhari Tikku Memorial Prize

Published Date: September 28, 2009

CSAMES presented the Girdhari Tikku Memorial Prize to Supreet Saini, a PhD candidate in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His exemplary scholarship was demonstrated by his paper "Food, Farmers, Famines, and Hunger: the Role of Market Forces," a critical evaluation of the British imperialist free market policies that continued in spite of the famines of 1876-78 and 1896-1902, and relates the British imperialist policies with the present day neo-liberal policies followed by the Indian government.

Read about the Girdhari Tikku Memorial Prize on the prize webpage.


D. Fairchild Ruggles Awarded J. B. Jackson Book Prize

Published Date: September 15, 2009

D. Fairchild Ruggles, Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, was awarded the J. B. Jackson Book Prize for her book Islamic Gardens and Landscapes (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).

About the book: Islamic Gardens and Landscapes proposes that gardens emerge from specific botanical, climatic, and hydraulic contexts that are also shaped by social factors such as agro-economics, political systems, and the resonance of past gardens, both real and legendary. The book addresses these issues from the earliest period of Islamic garden-making in the Mediterranean to Central Asia, India, and the modern period. In one up-to-date scholarly volume, with an accompanying encyclopedia of sites, it provides an accurate resource text for archaeology, architecture, manuscript representations, and literature of Islamic gardens and landscape history.

View all CSAMES members' awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted page, and their interviews and articles on the Members & Media webpage.


Peyman Nojoumian Discusses Iran's Election

Published Date: July 10, 2009

Tensions in Iran continue following charges of widespread voting fraud in that country’s June 12 presidential election. One of the latest developments unfolded on July 4 when a respected group of clerics, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, issued a statement proclaiming the election and the new government to be illegitimate. Peyman Nojoumian, is a linguisics instructor at the UI who teaches Persian with an emphasis on culture, commerce, politics and Islam.

View the article "A Minute With Persian linguistics and culture instructor Peyman Nojoumian," from July 9, 2009.

View all CSAMES members' interviews and articles on the Members & Media page and their awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted webpage.


Hans Hock is Jawaharlal Nehru Institute Fellow

Published Date: June 24, 2009

Hans Henrich Hock, professor emeritus of linguistics and Sanskrit, has been invited to be a fellow in the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He will work on a publication project on language contact in South Asia and offer a short course in the Centre for Linguistics.

View all CSAMES members' awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted webpage.


Ken Cuno Discusses Obama's Speech in Cairo

Published Date: June 9, 2009

President Obama spoke in Cairo on Thursday, June 4; his speech was viewed as a major address to the Muslim world. Dr. Kenneth Cuno teaches the history of the Middle East, and focusing on the social history of Egypt. Ken was interviewed in UIUC's "A Minute With" feature on Obama's speech.

View the article "A Minute With Ken Cuno, expert on the history of the Middle East," from June 4, 2009.

View all CSAMES members' interviews and articles on the Members & Media page and their awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted webpage.


Clifford Singer is the Recipient of the 2008 Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement

Published Date: May 8, 2009

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has announced that Professor Clifford Singer is the recipient of the 2008 Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement.

This annual award acknowledges the exemplary work of a current University faculty member in teaching, research, and public service in the international arena. Dr. Singer, professor of nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineering, was the director of the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS) on the University of Illinois campus for eight years. He is also a CSAMES faculty member. He led the University's efforts in pursuing a MacArthur Foundation grant for study in international security and related policy.

Read the Illinois International news article about Dr. Singer's award and the other 2008 International Achievement Award winners.

View all CSAMES members' awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted webpage.


Valerie Hoffman Selected as 2009 Carnegie Scholar

Published Date: April 17, 2009

Valerie Hoffman, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Advisor, Department of Religion, has been selected as a 2009 Carnegie Scholar. Her project, “Islamic Sectarianism Reconsidered: Ibadi Islam in the Modern Age,” explores the impact of globalization on Ibadism, a marginalized strand of Islam distinct from the two dominant branches, Sunni and Shiite.

Read an article about her award in the Illini News Bureau, and the announcement of the 2009 Carnegie Scholars from the Carnegie Corporation.

View all CSAMES members' awards and achievements on the Members Highlighted webpage.


Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World

Published Date: April 8, 2009

Apply Now for the Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World

SILMW will offer intensive courses in a variety of Muslim World languages, including Arabic, Persian, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu and Indonesian, by experienced, trained, and highly proficient instructors. Classes will be held four hours per day over a period of eight weeks, for a total of 132 hours. Students will earn credits equivalent to one full academic year of language instruction.

SILMW provides a unique opportunity to explore the languages and cultures of the Muslim World and interact with experts in this region. In addition to classroom instruction, SILMW will offer a variety of extracurricular activities designed to enhance classroom instruction, provide additional channels for language contact and practice, and expose learners to the traditions of the Muslim World communities. These extracurricular activities include research forums, conversation hours, cooking demonstrations, music, film showings, and other cultural activities.

Deadline to apply: April 15, 2009

FLAS fellowships may be available for graduate students who attend the SILMW.

For more information, please view the SILMW website.

Sponsored by: The Department of Linguistics in collaboration with the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, the Center for African Studies, CIBER, the Center for Global Studies, and the European Union Center


Middle East Summer Institute

Published Date: April 2, 2009

CSAMES presents: 2009 Middle East Summer Institute for Educators

Interactive Teaching Methods for Teaching about the Middle East, for K-12 Teachers

Tuesday, June 23 - Friday, June 26, 2009

Objectives: Organized by the University of Illinois Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, this intensive institute offers resources for teaching about the Arab World, Islam, and Middle Eastern culture. It introduces technology-based resources to teach about geography, religion, trade, and art in the Middle East. Films, activities, and discussion sessions will be incorporated into each session. While all are welcome, the curriculum material will be geared mainly towards middle and high school education. Resources will also be appropriate for librarians, counselors, advisors, and administrators.

Deadline for early applications and travel grant is April 24, 2009. Late registration is open until May 22, 2009.

To learn more, please view the pdf information flyer.

To learn more, please see the Middle East Summer Institute webpage.

Sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


International Summer Institute

Published Date: April 2, 2009

2009 International Summer Institute (ISI)

Music in Many Languages, with special guest Mary Goetze

Sunday, June 14 - Friday, June 19, 2009

Objectives: The goal of the 2009 ISI is give teachers the confidence to use songs in a variety of less commonly taught languages in their classrooms. This intensive institute will address ways of incorporating less-commonly taught languages (languages other than Spanish, French and German) and cultures into the classroom, with special emphasis on the elementary general music classroom. Languages will include Chinese, Arabic, Bulgarian, Zulu, and Portuguese (tentative). For each language, institute participants will participate in sessions covering basic language pronunciation, culture, and songs that might be used in the classroom. Sessions on implementation and lesson plan development will provide participants with concrete ways to use their newly-acquired skills.

We are very happy to announce that Mary Goetze, Indiana University, nationally and internationally known clinician, conductor and composer, will present a session on her work teaching songs in less commonly taught languages.

While all K-14 teachers are welcome, the curriculum materials are geared mainly towards elementary general music teachers. Social studies/social science teachers, particularly those teaching history, geography, sociology, and world cultures, may also find it useful.

Teachers will receive a CD with the pronunciation of song lyrics as well as other pedagogical materials.

To learn more, please visit the ISI website.

Co-Sponsored by: Center for African Studies, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Center for Global Studies, Center for International Business Education and Research, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, European Union Center, Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, School of Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The United States Department of Education


A Message from the Director

Published Date: March 25, 2009

It is with pleasure that I have joined the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES) as the Director. CSAMES has taken major strides over the past several years and has enhanced its contribution to research, education, and outreach on a host of issues concerning the regions of South Asia and the Middle East. In particular, thanks to the efforts of its past directors and support from CSAMES faculty, associates, and staff, over the past few years the unit has managed to attract a major Title VI grant from the Department of Education and elevate itself from a program to a National Resource Center for Middle Eastern studies. We have also successfully rejuvenated the Master’s program in both Middle Eastern Studies and South Asian Studies with our first M.A. student having graduated this past December. It is my goal to build upon these achievements and take CSAMES forward.

The University of Illinois campus at Urbana-Champaign has substantial potential for contributing to South Asian and Middle Eastern studies. A unique feature of the campus is its strength in a wide range of fields, from engineering and sciences to social sciences and humanities. The large size of the campus has also facilitated the emergence of a large number of cross-disciplinary units focusing on a variety of issues facing today's world. With help from the faculty, students, and the community, I believe CSAMES will be able to take advantage of these resources and fulfill its mission with distinction.

The current year is a critical juncture for the continued growth of CSAMES as we strive to expand its scope and resources. To this end, a task force has been appointed at the campus level to seek enhanced funding for South Asian studies and programs. This initiative is being led by Professor Rajeshwari Pandharipande of the Department of Religion. More information about this initiative can be found on the web pages dedicated for this purpose on the CSAMES website.

Our comprehensive plans to expand our scope include increasing the set of courses being offered on the Middle East, arranging new activities in support of research on the region, and augmenting the Center's outreach activities. In all these activities, CSAMES will be enhancing its collaboration with other campus units and student organizations to productively leverage its resources as much as possible. The Center will also work with other campus and community organizations to maintain the momentum of the Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies (I-NIMS), which was launched last year with the help of a grant from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC). Although that grant was not renewed for the coming academic year, we plan to tap into other resources and support I-NIMS while we reapply to SSRC for future years.

One of the visible and immediate changes at CSAMES is the remake of its website, which you are now viewing. We owe this redesign to the thoughtful efforts of Ritu Saksena, Associate Director of CSAMES, Elizabeth Rogers, our Visiting Project Specialist, and the staff of ATLAS. We hope that this new design will make the site more accessible, informative, and interesting. Any suggestions for improving the website or any other aspect of CSAMES activities would be welcome and greatly appreciated.

Finally, I would like to thank the CSAMES staff—Ritu Saksena, Angela Williams, Elizabeth Rogers, Darakhshan Khan, and Stevanna Farley-Wamberg—for their dedicated work. I would also like to add, on behalf of the staff and myself, that we very much appreciate the generous support that CSAMES receives from the College of LAS and the University. And, of course, we are all thankful to the community and the faculty and students affiliated with CSAMES who assist us in various ways and make it easy for us to serve them.

I look forward to working with the faculty, staff, students, and the community to boost the contribution of our campus to the understanding of South Asian and Middle Eastern societies.

Hadi Salehi Esfahani

Director of the CSAMES and Professor of Economics


Website Redesign

Published Date: March 25, 2009

CSAMES, through the wonderful work and expertise of ATLAS, has redesigned our website.  We hope that the improvements will make our website easier for visitors to use.  An updated site layout should make the site more user-friendly and intuitive, so it is easier to find the content you are looking for, and we hope the new design is also well-received.  We have also added some new content, such as the South Asian curriculum materials.  Please take a look around our new website, and let us know what you think!  Please email the webmaster with any comments or suggestions.  Thank you for visiting!


CSAMES Members and Media

Published Date: March 23, 2009

Recent media interviews by our CSAMES members:

Rajmohan Gandhi, Research Professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, added his support to a petition for Indian-Pakistani diplomacy. Read the article, "Gandhi Kin asks India to Resume Talks with Pakistan," in Dawn from April 29, 2009.

Rajmohan Gandhi, Research Professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, wrote an editorial on India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan relations in Dawn. Read the article, "Time for South Asia to Act," from April 22, 2009.

Hadi Salehi Esfahani, Professor of Economics and Director of CSAMES, provides his take on the developing Iranian nuclear program. Watch the interview which aired April 7 2009 on WCIA.

Hadi Salehi Esfahani, Professor of Economics and Director of CSAMES, discussed the Global Economic Crisis, US-Iran relations, and the future of CSAMES. Watch the interview by Illinois International, which aired February 2009 on Channel 7.

Hadi Salehi Esfahani, Professor of Economics and Director of CSAMES, discussed the global economy and the stimulus package recently passed by congress. Read the article from Global Viewpoint.

Hadi Salehi Esfahani, Professor of Economics and Director of CSAMES, commented on the global economic crisis. Listen to his interview with WCIA TV Station in Champaign.

Valerie Hoffman, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Religion, was interviewed for a Turkish-American TV station on the topic of Sufism. Read the "Matters of Faith" website and watch Episodes 1 & 2 for Dr. Hoffman's insights from November 2008.

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Department of Sociology, was interviewed in UIUC's "A Minute With" feature. View the article "A Minute With Historian Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi," from February 2009.

Rajeshwari Pandharipande, Professor of Linguistics, Religious Studies, and Comparative Literature, was featured in LAS News after being named a Distinguished Teacher/Scholar. Read the article "Lifelong Scholar," from December 2008.

View all CSAMES Members' interviews and comments in the media on the "Members and Media" webpage.


Islam and Dissent in Postrevolutionary Iran by Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi

Published Date: February 17, 2009

Professor Ghamari-Tabrizi, CSAMES faculty member, was featured in UIUC's "A Minute With" piece. View the interview to learn more.

"Islam and Dissent in Postrevolutionary Iran" book reading and signing

Wednesday, March 4

4:30-5:30pm

Author's Corner, Illini Union Bookstore