Features

Ethnicity, Citizenship and Human Rights in Burma: The History and Plight of the Rohingya

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Click http://illinois.edu/calendar/detail/779?eventId=24880044&calMin=201209&cal=20120925&skinId=2600 for more information.

 

Past Featured Items

2012 International Summer Institute: Global Protest Movements

Monday, June 18, 2012 - Friday, June 22, 2012

Click 2012 ISI for complete details.

Go to https://apps.atlas.illinois.edu/ATLASRegistration/single/?event=csames112 for registration.

 

Updated List of Language Programs

 

Click http://www.csames.illinois.edu/resources/middleeastern/ and http://www.csames.illinois.edu/resources/southasian/ to see the CSAMES updated list of language programs.

Symposium: Heritage, Community and Landscape Conservation in India, April 6, 2012.

The organizer of this symposium is Professor Amita Sinha (Landschape Architecture).

Work from the India studio at Orchha will be displayed in the Gallery of Temple Buell Hall, 600 Loredo Taft Drive, Champaign, beginning at 11:30 AM.

For complete list of program events, see flyer.

India Studies Lecture: "Backwards into the Future: Reflections on Conservation in India"

Rahul Mehrotra, Professor of Urban Design and Planning and Chair of the Department of Urban Planning and Design, Harvard University

 

April 6, 2012

7:00 PM

Plym Auditoirum, Temple Buell Hall, 611 Loredo Taft Drive, Champaign,

Sponsor India Studies Fund of the Center for South Asian & Middle Eastern Studies

 

Contact Angela Williams

 

MillerComm Lecture: Whither Syria?

 

Joshua Landis, Director, Center for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Oklahoma

 

March 29, 2012

4:00 pm  

Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum, 600 South Gregory, Urbana
Hosted by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, with support from the Center for Advanced Studies in conjuction with: Center for Global Studies; Center for Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security; Department of English; Department of French; Department of Geography; Department of History; Department of Linguistics; Department of Political Science; Department of Sociology; European Union Center; Global Crossroads Living and Learning Center; Institute of Communications Research; International Programs and Studies; Program in Jewish Culture and Society; School of Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics; Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory; Spurlock Museum.

Contact Angela Williams

 

Joshua Landis teaches modern Middle Eastern history and politics and writes on Syria and its surrounding countries. He writes 'Syria Comment,' a daily newsletter on Syrian politics that attracts some 3,000 readers a day. It is widely read by officials in Washington, Europe and Syria. Dr. Landis regularly travels to Washington DC to consult with the State Department and other government agencies. He is a frequent analyst on TV and radio.( See: Landis in the News) Most recently he has appeared on the Jim Lehrer News Hour, Charlie Rose Show, CNN, Fox News, and has been widely quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, LA Times, and comments frequently for NPR and BBC radio. He has spoken at the Brookings Institute, USIP, Middle East Institute, and Council on Foreign Relations. He was educated at Swarthmore (BA), Harvard (MA), and Princeton (PhD). He has lived over 14 years in the Middle East and received numerous grants to study in the region, three Fulbright grants and one from the Social Science Research Council. The organizer of this lecture is Professor Ken Cuno (History).

 

See flyer.

Fall 2011 Brown Bag Schedule

Published Date: September 1, 2011

The Fall 2011 schedule for CSAMES Brown Bag lectures is now complete! The Brown Bag lectures are held on Tuesdays at noon in the Lucy Ellis Lounge (room 1080, Foreign Language Building). Please join us in learning about CSAMES members' current research, pedagogical issues, recent research trips, and conference paper presentations. You are encouraged to print out this schedule and post it or forward it to any others who may be interested in attending the lectures.

For more information, please see the flyer, or view the schedule on the Brown Bag webpage.

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Years Later: Re-Imagining the War between Islam and the West

Deborah Baker Lecture

Published Date: September 1, 2011

Thursday, September 22, 2011 • 4:00pm

Deborah Baker is the author of the biography In Extremis: The Life of Laura Riding, which was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.  In 2008, Pengin published her book A Blue Hand: The Beats in India, a non-fiction narrative exploring the idea of India in the American literary imagination.  While a Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, she researched and wrote The Convert: A Tale of Exile and Extremism published in the US and India in the spring 2011.  The Convert tells the story of how Margaret Marcus of Larchmont became Maryam Jameelah of Lahore, one of the most trenchant and celebrated voices of Islam's argument with the West.

For more information, view the flyer.

Sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; Department of Religion


Gowri Ramnarayan Special Lecture

Published Date: August 18, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011 • 7:00pm

GOWRI RAMNARAYAN, grandniece of MS Subbulakshmi, is a writer and journalist.  She is the author of MS and Radha: Saga of Steadfast Devotion.  A triple gold medallist in her MA (English), she earned a doctorate in comparative aesthetics by researching the role of emotion in art.  A playwright and theatre director (Dark Horse, Rural Phantasy, Flame of the Forest, Water Lilies), she is the author of children's books (Abu's World, Abu's World Again), biographer (Past Forward: the Childhood of Six Artistes), translator of short stories (Kalki: Selected Stories), and plays (Vijay Tendulkar's Kanyadaan, Mitrachi Goshta).  Gowri was vocal accompanist to MS for 16 years.

For more information, view the flyer.

Sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies- India Studies Fund; Global Crossroads; Vice Chancellor for Research; Private Donors

 

 

Middle East Summer Institute

Published Date: April 15, 2011

2011 Middle East Summer Institute: "Political and Social Change in the Middle East and North Africa"

Friday, June 17- Saturday, June 18, 2011

This summer’s Institute will be focused on understanding social and political dynamics of the revolutions and revolts

of 2011, and exploring methods for teaching about current uprisings in the region. Presentations will be given by

University faculty and curriculum professionals.

While all are welcome to attend, material will be geared towards high school and community college educators. 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


Middle East Story Time: Refugees

Published Date: April 15, 2011

Saturday, April 16 • 2:00-3:00pm

Join the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for a Middle East Story Time with activities, music, and stories.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer, or

Sponsored by: Urbana Free Library and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Summer Language Institutes: SILMW and SASLI

Published Date: March 19, 2011

Summer Institute for Langauges of the Muslim World (SILMW)

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in collaboration with the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Center for African Studies, CIBER, Center for Global Studies, European Union Center and REEEC is pleased to host the 3rd Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World in summer 2011 (June 13 - August 6, 2011).

SILMW will offer intensive courses in a variety of Muslim world languages, including Arabic, Bamana/Bambara, Bosnian, Pashto, Persian, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu and Wolof.

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, picnics, conversation tables, cooking classes, music & dance performances, movie screenings, field trips, lectures and other cultural activities.

Deadline to apply: April 1, 2011. For more information, visit the SLIMW website.


South Asia Summer Language Institute (SASLI)

The 2011 South Asia Summer Language Institute will run from June 13 - August 5.

SASLI offers elementary and intermediate levels of modern South Asian languages (including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Marathi, Pali, Pashto, Punjabi, Sindhi, Sinhala, Tamil, Telugu, Tibetan, and Urdu) as well as Sanskrit. Pali will be offered only at the elementary level. SASLI prepares students for subsequent training domestically and abroad. SASLI is currently held on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Students may only register for one language per summer. This 8-week program offers the equivalent of two full semesters of academic study.

Deadline to apply: April 1, 2011. For more information, visit the SASLI website.


Joint Area Centers Symposium

Iran at Large: The Global Emergence of a Regional Power?

Published Date: March 2, 2011

April 1-2, 2011 • Plym Auditorium • Temple Buell Hall 134

The Joint Area Centers Symposium (JACS), is an annual event organized by the University’s international studies centers dedicated to exploring topics that concern all world areas. This year’s JACS focuses on Iran in the global arena and is being organized by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES), and the Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC), with supportive services from the Center for International Business and Education Research (CIBER) and International Programs and Studies (IPS). The aim of the conference is to examine the critical issues surrounding Iran’s interactions with various countries in different regions of the world. Because of its vast energy resources, strategic position in the Middle East, and the political stances of its government, Iran has become a significant player in the world arena. Over the past few decades, it has challenged the West, especially the United States, while developing new relations with many countries in the rest of the world. This strategy has been complex, entailing considerable tensions with some countries and economic and political alliances with some others. To analyze this strategy in depth and to understand how Iran’s relations with different countries interact with each other at the global level, leading scholars from various disciplines will explore the trends in Iran’s foreign relations and connect them with the developments inside and outside Iran. Collectively, the presentations will offer a broad picture of Iran’s foreign relations and their potential future directions as well as the implications for the countries involved.

View the symposium schedule or symposium poster.



Tanusree Shankar Dance Company Presents:

Indian Dance Creations

Published Date: March 2, 2011

As part of the campus’ Tagore Sesquicentennial Celebration, the Tanusree Shankar Dance Company will be performing at Foellinger Auditorium on March 13, 2011 at 6 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by the Channing Murray Foundation; Consulate General of India, Chicago; East Central Illinois Bengali Association; Office of the Chancellor; Office of the Vice Chancellor for Public Engagement; and the Office of the Associate Provost for International Affairs.

View the full-size poster.





Looking for a Spring 2011 Course on the Middle East or South Asia?

SOC 496 • SOC 562 • LING 115 • TURK 490

Published Date: November 22, 2010

SOC 496: Middle Eastern Societies and Cultures, cross-listed with SAME 490, Dr. Asef Bayat: The course offers an overview of the contemporary Middle East from an interdisciplinary (political, economic and social) perspective. Focusing on the Muslim Middle East, the course is organized around the central question of why despite on-going social, economic and cultural changes in these societies, the state structure and governmental politics remain largely authoritarian. The question offers grounds to look at socio-cultural, economic, and political dynamics in the region in a more or less comparative fashion. What role does religion, Islam, play in these processes? What about the part played by globalization? Topics to be explored range from social structure, family dynamics, urban transformation, gender dynamics, political structure, religion and the new public sphere, and socio-religious movements.

SOC 562: Seminars in Transnational Studies: Urban Life in the Global South: Cities of Extremes, Dr. Asef Bayat: Urban life everywhere seems to be changing. But megacities in the Global South are transforming in a dramatic fashion. This course aims to discuss how the advent of neo-liberal policies in the countries of global South since the 1990s has coincided with new trends in urban life and space. We explore how in these 'cities of extremes', the opposite poles of urban fragments-the gated communities and the 'planet of slums'-- are being mediated increasingly through violence. How do urban inhabitants respond to such an environment? How do the poor assert the 'right to the city'? Focusing on how politics is articulated in these cities, we look at select cases from the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

LING 115: Language and Culture in India, Dr. Rajeshwari Pandharipande: Examines the dynamic relationship between language and culture in the multilingual and multicultural India. Introduces students to the structure and function of Indian languages in diverse contexts of Indian culture. | See flyer for more details.

TURK 490: Special Topics: Language, Culture, and Identity in Modern Turkey, Dr. Ercan Balci: Examines the culture of modern Turkey by focusing on the elements that make up the Turkish identity. Includes discussion of language reforms, migration to cities, and the use of music and dress as modes of expressing social, political, and religious identity. | See flyer for more details.


Middle East Story Time: Native Plants and Animals

Published Date: November 13, 2010

Saturday, November 20 • 2:00-3:00pm

Join the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for a Middle East Story Time with activities, music, and stories.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Urbana Free Library and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies










2010 India Studies Lecture: New Perspectives on the Indus Civilization: Recent Excavations in Pakistan and India"

Published Date: November 1, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010 • 4:00pm • Spurlock Museum, Knight Auditorium

Dr. Mark Kenoyer is Professor and Chair of Anthropology and Director of the Center for South Asia at UW-Madison. Dr. Kenoyer’s research interests include the archaeology of early urbanism and state level society, ethnoarchaeology, experimental archaeology, ancient technology and quantitative methods. His geographic areas of interest include South Asia (particularly India and Pakistan), West Asia, East and Southeast Asia.

For more information, see the India Studies flyer or website.

Sponsored by CSAMES-India Studies Fund and hosted by Spurlock Museum


CSAMES Masters Program

Published Date: October 13, 2010

The Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies administers a program of language and area training leading to an interdisciplinary Master of Arts degree. Students are able to specialize in either South Asian or Middle Eastern studies. This degree prepares student to continue in a Ph.D. program in a related field or to enter a career not requiring a doctorate. Applicants for admission must meet the minimum standards established by the Graduate College for graduate study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but final selection is determined by a committee of the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Applicants should apply online through the graduate application website. If necessary, paper applications may be requested from the department.

For more information, please see the MA program website.

Contact information: Dr. Ritu Saksena, Associate Director, CSAMES
Address: 221 International Studies Building, 910 South Fifth Street Champaign, IL 61820 (USA)
Email: csames@illinois.edu • Phone: 217-244-7331 • Fax: 217-265-6399


Conference on Iran's Economy

Published Date: October 10, 2010

October 15-17, 2010 • University of Chicago (UC)

The conference is organized by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at UC and the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES) and the Department of Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), with support from a number of academic units and community organizations and sponsors. The purpose of the conference is to provide a venue for the best current research on Iran’s economy and to generate information and encouragement for future high quality research in this subject.

The conference features a special session on Sunday October 17, consisting of presentations on economics research and methodology by eminent Chicago economists.

This conference follows two earlier ones on Iran’s economy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in December 2008 and at the University of Southern California (USC) in September 2009, where similar objectives were pursued. All three universities have played major roles in the past in promoting research on Iran and in training Iranian economists.

For registration and conference information, please visit the website.


The Dialectics of Orientalism in Early Modern Europe, 1492-1700

Published Date: October 10, 2010

Call for Papers Deadline: November 15, 2010

The conference will take place October 7-8, 2011 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The goal of this international and interdisciplinary conference is to explore the dialectical function of early modern Orientalism for the creation of different notions of a collective self: national, European, and/or imperial.

Proposals are invited for contributions that analyze the multiple uses of an imaginary Islam and Orient and compare at least two national orientalist discourses and/or the intersection of nation-building and the invention of Europeanness catalyzed through these discourses. Proposals for presentations of 20-25 min that address any of these or related questions will be evaluated by an interdisciplinary organizing committee. The conference language is English. Please see the Conference website for the Call for Papers and more information.

For further information, contact: Marcus Keller (Department of French): mkeller@illinois.edu or Javier Irigoyen-García (Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese): irigoyen@illinois.edu.

Sponsors of this conference are the Department of French and Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Cosponsors: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Program in Comparative and World Literature and Center for Translation Studies.


The Role of Non-Violence in Palestinian-Israeli Relations

A Conversation with Rajmohan Gandhi

Published Date: September 4, 2010

Sunday, September 19 • 2:30 pm • Champaign Public Library, Robeson Pavilion A and B

Rajmohan Gandhi is a human rights and peace activist, a Research Professor at the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and the President of Initiatives of Change International, an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Professor Gandhi is the author of several notable books, including a biography of Mahatma Gandhi, Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire. He is also the recipient of honorary doctorates from universities in Canada, Japan, and England. In 2004, he was awarded the International Humanitarian Award by the City of Champaign.

For more information, see the PDF flyer.

Sponsored by UC Peace Initiatives and CSAMES


Brown Bag Schedule Fall 2010

Published Date: September 4, 2010

The Fall 2010 schedule for CSAMES Brown Bag lectures is now complete! The Brown Bag lectures are held on Tuesdays at noon in the Lucy Ellis Lounge (room 1080, Foreign Language Building). Please join us in learning about CSAMES members' current research, pedagogical issues, recent research trips, and conference paper presentations. You are encouraged to print out this schedule and post it or forward it to any others who may be interested in attending the lectures.

For more information, see the PDF flyer or view the schedule on the Brown Bag webpage.








Middle East Story Time: Middle Eastern Cities

Published Date: September 4, 2010

Saturday, September 18 • 2:00-3:00pm

Join the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for a Middle East Story Time with activities, music, and stories.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Urbana Free Library and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies






New Course Offering: "Introduction to Arab Culture: Race, Ethnicity and Gender Issues"

Published Date: July 14, 2010

This course for the UIUC Spring 2011 semester may be offered via CourseShare, depending on interest. If you are interested in registering for the course, please contact Elizabeth Sartell (esartell@illinois.edu, 217.333.2258).

HOST: University of Michigan
TERM: Winter 2011 (January 5-April 28, 2011)
COURSE: Introduction to Arab Culture: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Issues
PROFESSOR: Raji M. Rammuny
CREDITS: 4

DESCRIPTION: The course is quite unique and explores Arab culture from a wide variety of perspectives. The course is two hours lecture plus an hour of small group/discussion section watching a video with an additional hour of discussion section following = 4hours total for 4 credits. This course will offer a general mosaic survey of the linguistic, geographical, historical, social, religious, cultural, and artistic aspects of the modern Arab world. Special attention will be given to the Arabic language, family, gender relations, the Arab experience in the U.S., Arab American relations, the role of the past and of social change, and Arab art and music. A good deal of the course is specifically intended to increase students' sensitivity to racial bias and sharpen awareness of multicultural issues. Ideally, the course is intended to increase tolerance and understanding by providing students with a realistic view of the cultural contours of the modern Arab World and the richness of the Arab cultural heritage. The course material will be explored through lectures and videos supported by listening and viewing guides in addition to discussions based upon the assigned readings and lectures. There will be emphasis on developing effective outlining, writing, and oral presentation skills, as well as the responsible use of resources, including Internet researching. Moreover, the course is accompanied by an interactive web-site utilizing the University of Michigan's Course Tools software. All resources will be web-based, and students will post some of their assignments to the web. Grades will be based upon class attendance and participation, weekly short essays, and a final paper.

MORE INFORMATION: Please see the course syllabus or contact Elizabeth Sartell (esartell@illinois.edu, 217.333.2258).


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



Middle East Story Time: Tunisia

Published Date: May 3, 2010

Saturday, May 15 • 2:00-3:00pm

Join the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for a Middle East Story Time with activities, music, and stories.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Urbana Free Library and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies



The Language of a Global Hip Hop Culture

Published Date: April 27, 2010

The Language of a Global Hip Hop Culture: Africa and the Middle East Region

Friday April 30 and Saturday May 1, 2010

This two-part workshop introduces Hip Hop as a social and artistic movement that conveys important contemporary art, culture, language, and societal information in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East. Specific linguistic and geographical examples may come from artists in North America, sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and the Middle East in Arabic, Swahili, Persian, Wolof, and Hebrew.

Part of the workshop will be offered online at http://livevideo.harvard.edu! Watch "Contemporary and Popular Culture of Egypt" by Virginia Danielson, Richard F. French Librarian, Loeb Music Library, Harvard University, Saturday, May 1, 9-10am and "Arabic Hip Hop Music and 'Nation Language' in Egypt" by Angela Williams, Outreach Coordinator, Program in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Saturday, May 1, 10:15–11:45am.

Contact the Outreach Center at Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, or view the calendar item for more information.

Co-sponsors include the Outreach Center, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University; Committee on African Studies, Harvard University; the G.E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies, UCLA; the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and the Pluralism Project, Harvard University.


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



Middle East Story Time: Jordan

Published Date: March 29, 2010

Saturday, April 17 • 2:00-3:00pm

Join the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for a Middle East Story Time with activities, music, and stories.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Urbana Free Library and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies



Islam, Salvation, and the Fate of Others

Published Date: March 29, 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 (may or may not present in person), 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



Middle East Story Time: Yemen

Published Date: March 10, 2010

Saturday, March 20 • 2:00-3:00pm

Join the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for a Middle East Story Time with activities, music, and stories.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Urbana Free Library and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies



Girdhari Tikku Memorial Prize

Published Date: March 1, 2010

A memorial fund has been established in honor of Professor Girdhari Tikku to encourage work in the areas of his abiding interests. From this fund, a prize of $500 will be awarded for a student essay on Persian or Indian culture, especially in comparison to Western culture or to each other, on any topic in the humanities including areas such as literature, linguistics, religion, history, philosophy, art and music.

Deadline: April 15, 2010

For information on how to apply, see the webpage or PDF announcement.


"The Glass House" film screening

Published Date: February 26, 2010

"The Glass House" film screening and discussion

Saturday, February 27 • 7:00pm • Spurlock Museum Knight Auditorium

The Glass House follows four girls striving to pull themselves out of the margins by attending a one-of-kind rehabilitation center in uptown Tehran. Following the film screening, a panel discussion will be led by Profs. Noreen Sugrue, Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, & Dr. Ritu Saksena, and chaired by Prof. Hadi Salehi Esfahani.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Spurlock Museum, Program for Women and Gender in Global Perspectives, Persian Cultural Association (UIUC), and Parkland Reads (Parkland College)




Middle East Story Time: Oman

Published Date: February 15, 2010

Saturday, February 20 • 2:00-3:00pm

Join the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for a Middle East Story Time with activities, music, and stories.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Urbana Free Library and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies



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

Published Date: February 10, 2010; Updated: March 10 & 29, 2010

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

Monday, March 1 • 7pm • Foellinger Auditorium

Update: Watch Dr. Yunus' lecture online.

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

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.


Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World (SILMW-II)

Published Date: January 14, 2010

SILMW-II: June 14 - August 5, 2010

The second Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World (SILMW-II) will offer intensive courses in a variety of Muslim World languages, including Turkish, Persian, Arabic, Swahili, Urdu, Wolof and Indonesian. 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-II 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-II 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.

For more information, please visit the SILMW-II website. The online application is due April 30, 2010.

Sponsored by: the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, 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 Story Time: Saudi Arabia

Published Date: December 10, 2009

Saturday, December 19 • 2:00-3:00pm

Join the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for a Middle East Story Time with activities, music, and stories.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Urbana Free Library and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


FLAS Fellowships

Published Date: November 16, 2009

FLAS Fellowships for Graduate Students

FLAS academic year fellowships cover tuition plus a stipend of $15,000, and summer fellowships cover full tuition and fees for an intensive language program, plus a stipend of $2,500.

Workshop for graduate students: January 29, 2010 • 3:00-4:00pm • 101 International Studies Building
The workshop for will feature information on FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowships with presentations by the Area and International Centers FLAS coordinators: tips on how to write a successful application; what supporting documents you need; who is appropriate for a recommendation.

For more information on FLAS fellowships, eligibility, and requirements, see our FLAS webpage.


FLAS Scholarships

Published Date: November 16, 2009

FLAS Scholarships for Undergraduate Students

FLAS academic year scholarships cover $10,000 towards tuition plus a stipend of $5,000, and summer scholarships cover full tuition and fees for an intensive language program, plus a stipend of $2,500.

Workshop for undergraduate students: January 29, 2010 • 3:00-4:00pm • 101 International Studies Building
The workshop will feature information on FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) Fellowships with presentations by the Area and International Centers FLAS coordinators: tips on how to write a successful application; what supporting documents you need; who is appropriate for a recommendation.

For more information on FLAS fellowships, eligibility, and requirements, see our FLAS webpage.


Jalal Zolfonoon setar performance

Published Date: October 29, 2009

Master Jalal Zolfonoon & the Silk Road Ensemble

Friday, November 13 • 7:30pm • Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum
Join us for a setar performance by Master Jalal Zolfonoon & the Silk Road Ensemble.

Jalal Zolfonoon received his earliest musical training from his father, Habib Zolfonoon, and his older brother, Mahmoud Zolfonoon, on the tar. At the age of 13, Zolfonoon enrolled in the National School for Iranian Music to study musical theory, composition and technique under Ruhollah Khalegi and Musa Khan Maroufi. While he immediately fell in love with setar, the instrument was not taken seriously in those times. He instead decided to study the tar, while also learning the violin from his brother, Mahmoud Zolfonoon.

In 1967, Zolfonoon was accepted into the faculty of the fine arts department of Tehran University where he would further study the setar with Master Noor Ali Boroumand and Daryoush Saffat. From then on, he dedicated himself to the delicate instrument, and began combining the techniques of the older masters of setar with his own ingenuity and mystic sensitivity. For the first time, Zolfonoon introduced an ensemble of only setar players, creating the best selling album of traditional Persian music, “Golehsadbarg” (meaning "100 petal flower").

Zolfonoon also composed for the setar, and would prove one of the most expressive and technically virtuosic players of the instrument. Perhaps most notable of his contributions to this music is that he demonstrated for the first time the power and versatility of the setar as both an ensemble and solo instrument that could fully express the nuances of traditional Persian music in any setting. In fact, since the success of “Golehsadbarg,” the setar has evolved from the least to the most popular instrument in Iran.

Following the success of “Golehsadbarg,” Zolfonoon continues to record a number of other albums on which he is featured as lead soloist, composer and/or ensemble player with a number of well-known singers and musicians with whom he has also toured worldwide. Zolfonoon has also written a seminal book on "Setar Playing / Teaching Method." He lives in Iran, but tours in Europe, the US, Canada and Japan with his son, Soheil, and other musicians.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Robert E. Brown Center for World Music, Spurlock Museum, Persian Cultural Association, and Center for Global Studies


Islamic World Lecture Series

Published Date: October 22, 2009

Violence and Globalization: Women Seeking Freedom in the War Zone
A Talk and Musical Performance by Evelyne Accad

Evelyne Accad is a renowned teacher, author, musician and activist. She was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. Since 1974 she has taught a broad range of subjects at the University of Illinois that reflect her intense curiosity and varied areas of expertise: French, Comparative Literature, African Studies, Women Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies. Accad is the author of several books, including a memoir about her experiences facing cancer. She is also a musician and composer and has performed in both the United States and abroad.

Saturday, November 14 • 2:30pm • Lewis Auditorium of the Urbana Free Library

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Urbana Free Library, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program


Dr. Stephen P. Cohen

Published Date: October 12, 2009

Dr. Stephen P. Cohen, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, will present a series of talks to the university and local community on Thursday, October 15th and Friday, October 16th, 2009.

Cohen, a former professor of Political Science and History at the University of Illinois, is an expert on security, politics, and nuclear proliferation issues in South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan. He is the author, co-author or editor of over twelve books, the most recent being "Four Crises and a Peace Process: American Engagement in South Asia" (2007) and "The Idea of Pakistan" (2004). In 2004, the World Affairs Councils of America named him one of America's five hundred most influential people in the area of foreign policy.

Thursday, October 15, 10am: Focus 580, WILL-AM 580, 10:00 - 11:00 am "Current Developments in Afghanistan and Pakistan"
Thursday, October 15, 12pm: ACDIS Special Seminar, 12:00 - 1:00pm, Illini Union General Lounge (room 210) "The Irrelevance of India's Rise as a Military Power"
Friday, October 16, 12pm: University YMCA Friday Forum, 12:00 - 1:30pm, University YMCA Latzer Hall "The Importance of Being Pakistan, and What Should the US (and India) Do About It?"

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Dr. Cohen's talks are free and open to the public. They are co-sponsored by the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS), the University YMCA, and the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.


The Sacred Stones of Kabi Sacred Grove:
The Politicization of Identity and Sacred Landscapes in Sikkim

Published Date: October 7, 2009

Dr. Vibha Arora, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi

Tuesday, October 13 • 12:00pm

Dr. Vibha Arora, Assistant Professor in Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, will present a lecture entitled, "The Sacred Stones of Kabi Sacred Grove: The Politicization of Identity and Sacred Landscapes in Sikkim."

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Department of Landscape Architecture






Middle East Story Time: Algeria

Published Date: October 1, 2009

Middle East Story Time: Algeria

Saturday, October 17 • 2:00-3:00pm

Join Angela Williams of the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for a Middle East Story Time with activities, music, and stories.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Urbana Free Library and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies







Iranian Studies Symposium

Published Date: September 16, 2009

Iran's Politics & Policies: Presidential Election of 2009 and Iran's Nuclear Policies

October 2, 2009: Lucy Ellis Lounge (room 1080 FLB)
Panel 1: Iran's Nuclear Policies and the International Response
Panal 2: Iran's Presidential Election of 2009: What Happened?
Panel 3: Future Trends in Social and Political Change

Speakers include:

Asef Bayat, Leiden University
Kaveh Ehsani, DePaul University
Hadi Salehi Esfahani, University of Illinois U-C
Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, University of Illinois U-C
Norma Moruzzi, University of Illinois at Chicago
Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy
Muhammad Sahimi, University of Southern California
Clifford Singer, University of Illinois U-C

To see the schedule and learn more about the event, please visit our Iranian Studies Symposium webpage.

The Iranian Studies Symposium is organized and hosted by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Co-sponsors include: the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security (ACDIS); the Center for Global Studies (CGS); the Department of History; the Department of Political Science; the Department of Sociology; the European Union Center (EUC); the Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies (I-NIMS); and Parkland Reads Program (Parkland College).


The Cyprus Problem

Published Date: September 2, 2009

"The Cyprus Problem" lectures by Prof. Van Coufoudakis

Sept. 9, 6pm: "The Destruction of Cypriot Cultural Heritage"
Location: Krannert Art Museum Auditorium (500 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign)
Description: In light of the most recent (April 2009) report on this issue by the Legal Service of the US Congress, Prof. Coufoudakis will give a talk on the destruction of Cypriot cultural heritage. Further to being an advisor to the Cypriot government regarding UN negotiations for the Annan plan, Prof. Coufoudakis has dealt with the need to protect and preserve Cypriot cultural heritage in his publications and was involved in the Kanakaria mosaics case at the Federal Court in Indianapolis in the 1990's. Please see event flyer for more details.

Sept. 10, 6pm: "The EU and the European Convention of Human Rights"
Location: room 269 Everitt Hall (1406 W. Green St. Urbana)
Description: The talk is regarding the Cyprus problem in light of international and European conventions on human rights. Please see the event flyer for more details.

Sponsored by: Hellenic Students Association, the European Union Center; the Modern Greek Studies Program; the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES); the Russian, East-European, and Eurasian Center (REEEC); the Center for Global Studies (CGS); the Department of Political Science; the Cline Center for Democracy


Study Abroad during Winter Break

Published Date: August 26, 2009

Deadline to Apply to Study Abroad During Winter Break: September 18, 2009!

Study in Jordan, Israel, or India

Irbid, Jordan: Explore issues related to environment and sustainability through a comparative analysis of U.S. and Middle East centered approaches to resolving water and energy concerns. Examine how cultural and economic constraints impact policy in the two regions, with focus on Jordan as the case study. Learn more and apply!

Jerusalem, Israel: Discover the cultural diversity of Israel and how it is managed within educational, social, and government sectors. Learn about immigration flows into Israel and engage with community leaders and NGOs to understand the policies and practices that support immigrants' local integration. Learn more and apply!

New Delhi and Ranchi, India: Experience the impacts of globalization on India, with special focus on its diverse languages and cultures, in both urban and rural contexts. Examine the challenges that transnational cultural integration brings to the Indian identity through debates on maintenance and shift of the local traditions. Learn more and apply!


Rhythm and Raag

Published Date: August 24, 2009

An Institute for Indian Performing Arts

Rhythm and Raag, an Institute for Indian Performing Arts, is now open! This is hosted at the Channing-Murray Foundation, and they are excited to start offering classes in Classical Indian Music and Dance. Besides providing a venue for music and dance instruction, they also provide an outreach service to the greater Champaign Urbana Public Schools. They provide a resource for interactive workshops, lecture demonstrations and instruction to support teachers in the K-12 schools. This provides cross cultural exchange opportunities for all children attending public schools as well as to the larger C-U community.

Fall 2009 Classes:
Rythm and Raag offers Classical Odissi Dance, Folk Dance, Classical Hindustani Vocal, Bhajan Vocal, Tagore Songs, Nazrul Geeti, Semi-Classical Vocal, Classical Sitar, Raga (violin, guitar), Classical Tabla, and Indian Rhythm.

The session run from August 25 to November 15, 2009. Registration for classes is currently underway.

Please visit the Rhythm and Raag website for more information.

Sponsored by: Channing-Murray Foudation, and the Governor's International Exchange Program at the Illinois Arts Council


Middle East Story Time: Pakistan

Published Date: August 4, 2009

Middle East Story Time: Pakistan

Saturday, August 15 • 2:00-3:00pm

Join Angela Williams of the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies for a Middle East Story Time with activities, music, and stories.

For more information, please see the pdf flyer.

Sponsored by: Urbana Free Library and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies







CSAMES Masters Program: South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Published Date: July 31, 2009

Master of Arts in Asian Studies with Specializations in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

CSAMES administers the South Asian and Middle Eastern specialization of the MA in Asian Studies. The MA program provides basic preparation in language and area training for students intending either to continue in a Ph.D. program in a related field or to enter a career not requiring a doctorate. For admissions, program, and funding information, please visit our MA webpage.


Muslim Societies Film Series

Published Date: July 2, 2009

 

film screening: "ARUSI: Persian Wedding"

Saturday, July 11 5:00pm

A compelling examination of US-Iranian relations through the personal journey of Alex and his fiancée Heather’s trip to Iran to hold a traditional Persian wedding

Dr. Hadi Salehi Esfahani, Professor of Economics & Director of CSAMES, and Kumars Salehi, Cinema Studies student, will offer commentary and answer questions about the film.

film screening: "Linda & Ali: Two Worlds Within Four Walls"

Saturday, July 25 5:00pm

Linda was brought up Catholic in Arizona and met Ali, a Shiite Muslim from Qatar, at college. The film shows how Linda and Ali struggle to surmount their cultural differences while raising their seven children in a lively, loving home in Qatar.

Dr. Valerie Hoffman, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, will offer commentary and answer questions about the film.

Please see the event flyer for more information.

Sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Global Studies, and Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies


Wrapped Up in Ancient Egypt

Published Date: July 2, 2009

Wrapped Up in Ancient Egypt:
a hands-on program exploring Ancient Egypt for kids ages 8–13

Sunday, August 2 • 1:00–4:00 • arrive any time

Kids can wrap up like a mummy, make Egyptian-style jewelry, handle actual mummy-making materials, and prepare a tomb for the afterlife!

Pre-registration is required and limited to 75 participants. Contact the phone number below. Each participant must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Program materials and activities are prepared only for registered participants. Cost: $3 per participant.

To register or for more information, contact Kim Sheahan at 244-3355 or ksheahan@illinois.edu. View the pdf flyer for more information.

Sponsored by: Spurlock Museum and Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Middle East Summer Institute

Published Date: June 9, 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.

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

Sponsored by: Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies


Conference on Iranian Economy

Published Date: May 8, 2009

Iranian Economy at a Crossroads: Domestic and Global Challenges

The conference is organized by the Department of Economics and the School of International Relations at the University of Southern California (USC). This Conference will be held on September 18-19, 2009 at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. The Conference focuses on the changing role of Iran in the Middle East and the global economy, and considers the evolution of the Iranian economy, the development of its various product and factor markets and the institutional framework within which these operate. In particular, it explores the interrelated issues of domestic economic development, trade, capital and labor movements, financial asset position, and the country’s opportunities and constraints to both the domestic and international levels. A wide range of issues will be covered, ranging from social policy and welfare, causes and consequences of rising inflation and unemployment, political economy of policy making and economic reforms, developments and problems in the agricultural, industrial, energy (oil, gas and nuclear) and services sectors, the role of formal and informal economic institutions (including the bazaar and bonyads), the growing trade, service and other links between Iran and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, especially Dubai, the relevance of WTO membership, the vagaries of international oil markets, economic sanctions and their effects. It also will discuss actual and suggested alternative mechanisms for resolving international tensions among the major economic and political players in Iran and the West.

Deadline for paper submissions: June 1, 2009

For more information, please view the conference website.

Sponsored by: Center on Public Diplomacy, University of Southern California; Center for International Business Education and Research, University of Southern California; Center for International Studies, University of Southern California; Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign; Department of Economics, University of Southern California; Institute for Economic Policy Research, University of Southern California; The Quarterly Review of Economic and Finance; School of International Relations, University of Southern California


Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World

Published Date: April 8, 2009

Summer Institute for the Languages of the Muslim World: June 15 - August 7

SILMW will offer intensive courses in a variety of Muslim World languages, including Arabic, Persian, Swahili, and Turkish, 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.

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


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