REL 176 Nostalgic Islam Fall 2018
What can we learn about Islam and Muslims by observing closely significant contents of collective Muslim memory and heritage? What shared memories are “deeply present” and have persisted and endured across space (various Muslim populations on the globe) and time (i.e., history), and why? What have Muslims persistently remembered and commemorated? What do they consider critical to their religious heritage and worth preserving and transmitting to next generations, and why? What eras, places and worlds Muslims long for, and why? Our probing of these questions will force us to taking stock of the annals of Muslim memory and heritage, and in turn offers us a panoramic view of the “Islamic Tradition”. (“Tradition” itself is a critical term in our study.) We will also observe those vestiges that are honored as heritage, are felt lost, are mourned, and for whom Muslims long (i.e., nostalgia). While mostly about the contents of Muslim memory and heritage, our journey inevitably involves humanistic inquiry into Muslim view of ‘memory’, ‘history’, ‘heritage’ and ‘nostalgia’. All studies (aka classes) with me involve conscientious reading of texts, and entail speaking from within the text, speaking with it, and speaking to/about it as well.