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The Center for Southeast Asian Studies organizes and sponsors a number of events such as lectures, film screening, workshops, symposia, conferences, exhibits, and performances throughout the year.  Several of these events are in collaboration with other U-M units, and are often free and open to the public. To see what we have planned for this semester, please visit our 2020 Lecture Series page.

CSEAS Lecture Series. History in Ruins: Keramat and Stories of Singapore Islam

Teren Sevea, Harvard Divinity School
Friday, March 24, 2023
12:00-1:00 PM
110 Weiser Hall Map
This paper studies oral and textual traditions concerning select Islamic miracle workers ( keramat) of Singapore. Materials about keramat are richly informative about charismatic religious authority, the materiality of miracles, and the saintly mediation of societies, trade, and politics. The history of Singapore’s keramat and devotional communities is one interwoven with histories of the Indian Ocean, maritime Sufism, capitalism, colonialism, and post-colonial bureaucracy. The story of keramat and Islamic pasts and presents, moreover, is one learned from sacred places and ruins as well as from the caretakers, storytellers, and historians from within devotional communities. Biographies and miracle stories of keramat also illuminate the networks of storytellers and scholars involved in compiling chapters of Singapore’s Islamic history, who affirmed the oceanic reach of keramat as pivots of widespread networks connecting the eastern and western Islamic world. Keramat were abundant in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Singapore; this paper will focus on some of God’s "friends” in the port city.

Speaker Bio
Teren Sevea is the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Harvard Divinity School. He is a scholar of Islam and Muslim societies in South and Southeast Asia and the author of Miracles and Material Life: Rice, Ore, Traps and Guns in Islamic Malaya. He is also the co-editor of a volume entitled Islamic Connections: Muslim Societies in South and Southeast Asia, and author of numerous articles on Islamic textual traditions, Sufism, oceanic networks, and spirituality. He is currently working on a forthcoming book entitled Singapore Islam: The Prophet's Port and Sufism across the Oceans.

Register here:
If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Area Studies, center for southeast asian studies, Cseas Lecture Series, History, Lecture, Religious Studies, Southeast Asia
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Southeast Asian Studies, International Institute, Global Islamic Studies Center, Asian Languages and Cultures