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How to Teach About the Middle East—and Get it Right! Islam Through Art

Various speakers
Thursday, May 20, 2021
5:00-6:30 PM
Registration link:

January 28: Islam Through Art
Christiane Gruber, University of Michigan
This webinar introduces participants to key issues and themes in Islamic art, including architectural interactions and the importance of ornament and Arabic-script calligraphy. This session also aims to dispel contemporary discourses about figural imagery, especially depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. Finally, we will discuss readings, pedagogical strategies, and online resources which can help teach Islam in a manner that aims to circumvent simplistic presuppositions and “otherizing” binaries.

February 25: Teaching Middle East History in World History
Allen Fromherz, Georgia State University
Relevant to high school curricula, we will explore ideas and strategies for using decisive moments in Middle East History to explore larger themes of World History including charisma, religious encounters, commerce, and geographical diversity.

March 18: Experiential Learning about the Middle East through the Senses
Barbara Petzen, education consultant on the Middle East and Islam
This webinar will explore and demonstrate a wide variety of sensory approaches to learning about the Middle East. We’ll look at new ways to understand the diversity of the historical and contemporary Middle East through images and film, sound, taste and smell, and tactile experiences.

April 22: Teaching about the Middle East through Underreported Stories
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
This session with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting will explore reporting on the MENA region and curricular resources that can be used to connect underreported news stories to the classroom. We will outline ways to engage students in global issues through journalism, develop media literacy, encourage critical thinking about the MENA region, and connect with a journalist for a conversation about their experience reporting from the Middle East.

May 20: Hip Hop and Women's Voices in the Middle East and North Africa
Angela Williams, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Through the work of rap artists from the MENA region, we will learn about the varied lived experiences of girls and women in this region. Their music and online expressions depict the challenges and pressures they face, as well as spaces for hope and a better future for women and girls.

This series offers five interactive sessions between January and May 2021, featuring resources and strategies for teaching about the Middle East relevant to both in-person and virtual teaching for Grades 6-12 and community colleges. Educators may register for any or all of the sessions. SCECHs from the Michigan Department of Education are available.

The program is a collaboration with the National Resource Center dedicated to Middle East Studies at Duke University-The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Link:
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: Arts of Islam, History, Middle East Studies, Virtual, Women's Studies, Workshop
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, International Institute
Upcoming Dates:
Thursday, May 20, 2021 5:00-6:30 PM  (Last)

International Institute Programming

The International Institute’s centers sponsor numerous conferences, lectures, exhibits, and cultural performances throughout the year. These events are designed to educate the university community and the public about global issues and inspire discussion and dialogue. 

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