After anthropologist Zahra Jamal presented her doctoral research to the Islam in the West research workshop last November, one of her peers, sociology student Pete Dewan, admitted he had not fully followed her analysis. At first perplexed, they soon realized their fields employ different definitions for a term. After comparing terminology, Jamal laughed and said, “This is why interdisciplinary discussions are so valuable.”
Participants in the Islam in the West graduate research workshop: (from left) Ali Asani, professor of the practice of Indo-Muslim languages and cultures; Zahra Jamal, PhD candidate in Anthropology and Middle Eastern Studies; Daniel Glade, a Divinity School student; and Jocelyne Cesari, research associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and a visiting professor at the Divinity School. Photograph taken by Susan Gilbert, GSAS Publications and Alumni Relations
The Islam in the West (IITW) research workshop draws graduate students from departments throughout GSAS and across the University. Students from a range of disciplines, including government, Islamic studies, languages, and law, who have a shared interest in Islam meet once every month to present and discuss relevant research. The workshop, made possible by gifts to the Graduate School Fund, is part of a broad IITW program in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The initiative aims to increase knowledge of Muslim minorities in Western societies, develop cross disciplinary exchanges, and advance an increasingly important area of research.