Summer Programme “Expressions of Diversity: An Introduction to Muslim Cultures”, Vancouver (Canada), 16-17/07/2014 — LIMITE : 30/05/2014

Venue : Simon Fraser University Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures Vancouver, Canada

Summer Programme – Expressions of Diversity: An Introduction to Muslim Cultures

Mysticism and Popular Culture in Muslim Contexts

The 2014 AKU-ISMC and the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies & Culture (SFU) International Summer Programme will take place from June16-27 at Simon Fraser University campus in Vancouver.  This year’s theme focuses on mysticism and popular cultures in Muslim societies and cultures.
General Overview 
Expressions of Diversity: An Introduction to Muslim Cultures provides a window into the rich historical and contemporary diversities within Muslim societies and cultures.  Major international scholars will be brought together on the Vancouver campus of Simon Fraser University to provide instructional modules addressing various facets of the history, culture, and contemporary challenges of Muslims. In this stimulating environment, participants will be equipped with the resources and skills to understand the heritages, evolving experiences, contributions to world history, and contemporary relevance of Muslim peoples.
Now in its seventh year, the internationally renowned programme is co-sponsored by the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures at Simon Fraser University and the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations. It will provide a critical-historical understanding of Muslims within larger frameworks that recognise the importance of interdisciplinary and comparative approaches across regions, without reducing this understanding to issues solely related to the religion of Islam.
This year the second week will provide a balanced and informative introduction to mysticism and popular culture in Muslim contexts, with a particular concern for intellectual, social, and cultural interpretations.  While the public is exposed to Islamic fundamentalism on an almost daily basis, the critical importance of mystical interpretations within plural Muslim societies and cultures has been rarely discussed.
The Programme is designed by academics in Muslim Studies as a comprehensive and unbiased introduction to the various facets of the heritage and contemporary experiences of Muslim peoples.  It will be of benefit to a range of individuals, including professionals from intermediate and higher education, government, business, medical, NGO, and other sectors. Instructional modules are taught in small classroom settings by internationally renowned experts and augmented by a range of cultural activities such as film screenings, concerts and tours.  The location of the Summer Programme at Simon Fraser University will provide the participants with the opportunity to experience Vancouver’s vibrant multi-ethnic atmosphere.
This Programme will be offered from Monday June 16 to Friday June 27, 2014, and is open to all participants over the age of eighteen. A Certificate of Completion will be awarded participants at the end of the Programme.

Week One – Foundational

• Orientalism, Islam, and Muslim Societies and Cultures
• Pre-Muslim Contexts: Change and Continuity
• The Formation and Development of Islamicate Civilization
• Thinking of Scripture: Text and Context in the Qur’an
• Exemplary Persons: Prophets, Mystics, and Messiahs
• Classical and Contemporary Perspectives of Islamic Law
• Cosmopolitan and Local Contexts of Muslim Sexuality
and Gender
• Muslim Empires and States:
Early Modern and Modern Trajectories
• Islamic Reform: Patterns and Transmissions
• The Arab Spring and Its Implications
Week Two – Mysticism and Popular Culture in Muslim Contexts
• Mysticism and the Mystical in Islam
• The Emergence and Development of Mystical Ideas and Orders
• Reasoning with Mysticism: Ideas and Poetics
• Mysticism in the Modern Age
• Pluralism, Cultures, and Identities
• Non-Sufi forms of the Mystical
• Popular Culture, Power, and Rebellion: Cinema
• Pluralism, Mysticism, and Culture in the Diaspora
• (Re)imagining Rumi across Cultures
• Mysticism, Classicism, and Music in Iran
Learning Outcomes
At a time when there is a heightened demand for information and interpretation about Muslims and their heritage, this International Summer Programme provides an ideal opportunity to explore relevant subjects through the rigorous and unbiased approach of major academics from a variety of disciplines.
Develop a critical-historical understanding of Muslim societies and cultures.
Appreciate the contested nature of concepts, interpretations, and practices.
Understand the formative context of Muslim civilization and its influences.
Explore plural expressions of the history and religion of Muslims.
Deliberate the range of interpretations concerning scripture and prophecy.
Reflect on questions of authority and interpretation in religion, society, and gender.
Appreciate the panoply of artistic and literary expressions of Muslims.
Obtain timely skills related to contemporary debates concerning identity.
Consider complexity and diversity in issues of diaspora across disciplines.
Comprehend the diverse aspects of gender in Muslim contexts.
Ponder the contemporary challenges and future prospects of Muslims.
Understand the important role of mystical expressions of Islam in the past and present.
Duration & Programme
Expressions of Diversity is an annual programme held for two weeks every summer since 2008. The location of this programme alternates yearly between the campuses of the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures (Simon Fraser University) and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (Aga Khan University).
The 2014 Summer Programme will be hosted by the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies at Simon Fraser University at its downtown Vancouver campus, located at the foot of the majestic coastal mountains of British Columbia, only minutes from Georgia Strait.
Who Should Attend?
Academics, teachers, graduate students, journalists, lawyers, NGO professionals, administrators, business persons, doctors, politicians, and those who work in multicultural settings or have an interest in exploring the full range of Muslim cultures. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older at the time of the Programme
Tuition Fees
The full tuition for the 2014 ISP is C$1200, with a concessionary rate for students and seniors of C$700.  Past participants can register for the second week only for C$700.
The tuition fee includes all modules, extra-curricular activities, refreshments, and a formal dinner.
Participants are responsible for their own accommodation, travel to and from the venue, health insurance, visa costs, textbooks, and meals.
Complete the Online Application Form:​ ​
Applications Deadline for the 2014 Programme: 30 May, 2014. Applicants requiring a VISA are encouraged to apply by 1 March, 2014.
Spaces are limited and you are encouraged to apply early.
Certificate of Completion
Participants will be awarded a Certificate of Completion jointly by the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations.
Please feel free to contact the Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures (SFU) or the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU) for more information, or visit our websites to learn more about the Expressions of Diversity organisers, faculty, and our past programmes, as well as to view the photos and comments of participants.

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