World Shia Forum

Identity, Equality, Unity

Announcement : Contemporary Social Movements and the Karbala Paradigm: From South Asia to Iran

When: Monday, February 25th, 7:45pm-9:45pm
Where: 501 Schermerhorn, Columbia University, 116th Street & Broadway, New York, NY
To RSVP, email:
Department of  Anthropology-Columbia University
Department of Asian and Middle  Eastern Cultures- Barnard College
Middle East Institute
Middle East  Law Students Association-Columbia
Organization of Pakistani Students-Columbia
Columbia University Muslim Students Association
Columbia  Students for Justice in Palestine
The martyrdom of Husayn – the grandson of Prophet Muhammad – in the  Battle of Karbala on the tenth of Muharram (Ashura) 680 AD has been seen as a defining moment in the history of Islam, particularly within the  Shi’i community. Contemporary Social Movements and the Karbala Paradigm  is an event that will discuss the impact that Karbala has had on modern  societies, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.  This event is often considered  unique to the Shi’i community, and, as such, only important to a minority of the world’s population. This event will  explain the far reach it has had, and how it has been uniquely  reinterpreted by different groups in order to fit their political and  social movements. Our panelists are the foremost scholars on this topic, and engage this concept directly in academia. They, therefore, feel a  vested interest in this panel, and are excited to make better known how  the example of Karbala is lived today. Panelists:   Professor Akbar Hyder is HUF’s Associate Director for Urdu and an  Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.  Hyder’s research interests center on Indo-Muslim  culture, history, literature, and language. His book, Reliving Karbala:  Martyrdom in South Asian Memory, underscores the complexity that  religious symbols carry in varying contexts. Hyder reveals multiple, and often conflicting interpretations of the Karbala story, and he  investigates the varying ways in which the story is used for personal  and communal identity in South Asia. Professor Tahera  Qutbuddin is an Associate Professor of Arabic Literature and the Chair  of the Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities at the University of  Chicago. Her special interests include Classical Arabic poetry and  prose, Fatimid/Ismaili history and literature, Islamic preaching, and  Arabic in India. She is the author of Al-Mu’ayyad al-Shirazi and Fatimid Da’wa Poetry: A Case of Commitment in Classical Arabic Literature. Professor Babak Rahimi is an Associate Professor of Communication,  Culture and Religion at the Department of Literature, Program for the  Study of Religion at the University of California San Diego. He has  written numerous articles on culture, religion and politics and  regularly writes on contemporary Iraqi and Iranian politics. His book,  Theater-State and Formation of the Early Modern Public Sphere in Iran:  Studies on Safavid Muharram Rituals, 1590-16t41 C.E., examines the  relationship between ritual, social space and state power in early  modern Iran. Rahimi has been an expert guest on various media programs  like The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, BBC  and CNN, in addition to NPR and On the Media. Rahimi’s current research project is on the relationship  between digital culture, politics and religion. Moderator: Professor Najam Haider  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of  Religion at Barnard College, where he teaches courses in Islamic studies and history. He completed his PhD at Princeton University, M.Phil. at  Oxford University, and BA at Dartmouth College, and has published  articles focusing on Islamic historiography and the emergence of  sectarian identity. His research interests include Islamic law, Shī‘ism, and the impact of colonization on modern Islamic political and  religious discourse. His book entitled The Origins of the Shī‘a:  Identity, Ritual, and Sacred Space in 8th century Kūfa was published by  Cambridge University Press in 2011.

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This entry was posted on February 16, 2013 by in WSF and tagged , .
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