We’d like to invite you to join our National Endowment for the Humanities “Let’s Talk About It” reading and discussion group that is sponsored in collaboration with Yale University PIER Program and Yale Art Gallery. It’s a unique opportunity to read from the Literary Reflections collection from our NEH/ALA Muslim Journeys grant and participate in five scholar led discussions. We have roughly set the dates on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. as follows:
Gateway Community College, GCC Library & Learning Commons, New Haven, CT
Read more about the Literary Reflections theme
From formal poetry and the oral tradition of public storytelling to the more contemporary forms of memoir and the novel, many Muslim authors have posed questions about Muslim piety and identity. What does it mean to be a good Muslim? What does Islam require of women and men? How should a good Muslim behave within society? Does Islam promote specific political norms or practices?
The readings for this theme can be seen as literary reflections on questions such as these. Islam has long provided a source of inspiration through which Muslims experience, understand, and guide their everyday lives. In the works featured here, answers to these questions differ from one reading to the other, as each reflects the society in which it is written. Together they reveal how Muslims living at different times and in different places have interpreted Islamic traditions to meet their distinctive cultural realities and spiritual needs.
Still there are common threads that tie the readings together. The Arabian Nights, for example, is a cultural touchstone, serving in many subsequent literary works of the Muslim world as a source of inspiration for navigating between tradition and modernity, as the sanctuary of an idealized past in troubled times, or as a foil for exploring tensions between a secular establishment and the cultural revival of the Islamic faith in a globalized world. And, as each of these books considers various, contrasting, pathways toward transcendent faith and worldly identity, the mystical overtones of Muslim Sufi philosophy serve to complement formal religious requirements and local conditions.
Susan Chenard, Clara Ogbaa & Renee Gaines
The interactive education sessions will be in Arts of Islam, African Art, and Indo Pacific Collection, Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven, CT 06510
To participate, please fill out the registration form above. For any questions, please contact Prof. Susan Chenard 203-285-2045, firstname.lastname@example.org