Teach-In at Cornell: Combating Islamophobia through education

In response to the recent Executive Order barring U.S. entry to citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries, Cornell’s Department of Near Eastern Studies will hold a teach-in Feb. 17 in the Groos Family Atrium in Klarman Hall from 10 a.m. to noon. The event is free and the public is welcome.

“This is an extension of our educational mission and our ethical obligation to our students, colleagues, friends, and family members affected by the ban,” said Deborah Starr, associate professor of Near Eastern studies.  “We are committed to combatting Islamophobia through education.”

Starr noted that the Executive Order will have a harmful impact on tens of thousands of innocent people, including dozens of graduate and undergraduate students, staff, and faculty at Cornell.

The Near Eastern studies department is partnering with the Clarke Initiative for Law and Development in the Middle East and North Africa, Comparative Muslim Societies, the Jewish Studies Program, and the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Initiative to create this public learning opportunity about Islam and the cultures and histories of the people and countries targeted by the ban.

“The teach-in serves both as a form of public protest against the travel ban, and as a means of fulfilling our educational mission to our students, as well as to the wider Cornell and Ithaca communities,” said Starr.

The Teach-In will include talks by experts on topics related to Islamophobia, the Middle East, and its relationship with America. In addition, there will be readings of literary works by writers whose home countries are affected by the travel ban.

Topics and speakers will include:

  • “Islam and History of Immigration to US,” Salah Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor, History of Art and Africana Studies. Director, Institute of Comparative Modernities
  • “The Diversity of Islam,” Eric Tagliacozzo, Professor, History Department; Director, Comparative Muslim Societies
  • “Syrian Refugees,” Elyse Semerdjian, Visiting Fellow, Society for the Humanities
  • “Muslim Identity and the National Security State,” Aziz Rana, Professor of Law
  • “The Middle East and American Wars,” Kyle Anderson, Ph.D. Candidate in Modern Middle Eastern History, Department of Near Eastern Studies
  • “Theater and Revolution: the View from Tahrir,” Rebekah Maggor, Assistant Professor, Performance and Media Arts
  • “Ask a Middle East Specialist,” Ziad Fahmy, Associate Professor, Department of Near Eastern Studies
  • “Banned Literary Voices,” Deborah Starr, Associate Professor, Department of Near Eastern Studies

For more information, see https://neareasternstudies.cornell.edu/news/teach-islam-middle-east-and-america.

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