Alwaleed Bin Talal Seminar in Islamic Studies

The Alwaleed Bin Talal Seminar in Islamic Studies brings experts from an array of fields within the field of Islamic studies to Harvard. These seminars are meant to bolster intellectual engagement within the field of Islamic studies more broadly on the Harvard campus, and to allow students to engage with cutting-edge insights and scholarship on Islam and Islamic studies. The seminar series serves as educational opportunity for students, researchers, and faculty to interact and learn in a seminar-style setting from world class experts on topics ranging from Islamic philosophy, Islamic history, Islamic law, Sufism, Arabic and Qur'anic studies and modern Islamic thought.

Fall 2021 Seminar Poster

Fall 2021

Reflections on Plantation Slavery in the Sokoto Caliphate 
Thursday, September 30, 2021 | 4-5:30pm | RSVP Here
Mohammed Bashir Salau, Professor of History, University of Mississippi
Co-sponsor: Department of African and African American Studies
 
Mimesis and Mythos in Aristotelian Arabic Poetics
Thursday, October 21, 2021 | 4-5:30pm | RSVP Here
Lara Harb, Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
Co-sponsor: Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations 
 
Being and Becoming Islamic: Traditions from the Islamic East
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 | 4-5:30pm | RSVP Here
Teren Sevea, Alwaleed bin Talal Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Harvard Divinity School
Co-sponsor: Harvard Asia Center
 
A Song Too Serious to Sing: Islam and the Licit Musics of the Arabian Peninsula 
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 | 4-5:30pm | RSVP Here
Bradford Garvey, Visiting Assistant Professor of Music, Brandeis University
Co-sponsors: Department of Music and CMES Arabian Peninsula Studies Lecture Series
 

Spring 2021

Thursday, March 11, 2021 | 4-5:30pm
Chiara Formichi, Associate Professor in Southeast Asian Studies, Cornell University
Co-sponsor: Harvard University Asia Center
 
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 | 4-5:30pm
Omid Safi, Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Duke University
Co-sponsors: Mahindra Humanities Center Medieval Studies Seminar, Mahindra Humanities Center Persian and Persianate Studies Seminar, and Aga Khan Fund for Iranian Studies
 
Thursday, April 29, 2021 | 4-5:30pm
Carl Sharif El-Tobgui, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Brandeis University
Co-sponsor: Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
 

 

Fall 2020

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 | 4-5:30pm 
Garrett Davidson, Assistant Professor of Arabic and Muslim World Studies, College of Charleston
Co-sponsor: Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School
 
Thursday, October 22, 2020 | 4-5:30pm 
Christiane Gruber, Professor and Chair in the History of Art, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
Co-sponsors: Department of History of Art and Architecture and Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
 
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 | 4-5:30pm 
Ahmed al-Rahim, Associate Professor and Director of Islamic Studies, University of Virginia
Co-sponsor: Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies
 
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 | 3-4:30pm 
Amira Bennison, Professor in the History and Culture of the Maghrib, University of Cambridge
Co-sponsors: Mahindra Humanities Center Medieval Studies Seminar, Department of History, and Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School

 

Spring 2020 

Wonderfull Edirne: A Marvelous Ottoman Town
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 | 12-1:30pm | CGIS South, Room S030 (Lee Gathering Room)
Amy Singer, Hassenfeld Chair in Islamic Studies and Professor of History, Brandeis University
Co-sponsor: Department of History
 
Thursday, April 30, 2020 | 3-4:30pm | via Zoom
Nükhet Varlık, Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University - Newark and the University of South Carolina

 

Fall 2019

Gender and Curriculum in the Islamic Studies Classroom
Thursday, September 26th | 4-5:30pm | William James Hall, 1550 
Kecia Ali, Professor of Religion, Boston University 
Co-sponsors: Studies in Women, Gender and Sexuality 

Anglo-Persian Texts and the Colonial Understanding of Religion 
Thursday, October 24th | 4-5:30pm | William James Hall, 1550 
Carl Ernst, William R. Keenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Co-sponsors: The Aga Khan Fund for Iranian Studies 

Early Shiite Law and the Construction of the Shari'a
Monday, November 25th | 1-2:30pm | Wasserstein Hall 3016
Robert Gleave, Professor of Arabic Studies, University of Exeter 
Co-sponsors: The Law and Religion Lecture Series (The Committee on Study of Religion, The Center for Middle Eastern Studies, The Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish & Israeli Law at Harvard Law school, Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World at Harvard Law School) and Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School
 

Spring 2019 

The Quran in the American Imagination
Zareena Grewal, Associate Professor of American Studies and Religious Studies
Yale University
February 25, 2019
12:00-1:30pm
William James Hall 601

City and Countryside as Understood in Medieval Arabic-Persian Dictionaries
Roy Mottahedeh, Professor Emeritus of History
Harvard University
March 28, 2019
3:00-4:30pm 

Al-Ghazālī and the Epistemology of Legal Analogy (Qiyās): How Greek Logic Ascertains Islamic Law
Felicitas Opwis, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies
Georgetown University
Thursday, April 11, 2019
2:00-3:30pm

Race, Religion, and Revolution in Islamic West Africa since 1770
Rudolph Ware, Associate Professor of History
University of California - Santa Barbara
Thursday, May 2, 2019
1:00-2:30pm