Duke-UNC Graduate Middle East and Islamic Studies Conference

The 15th Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Middle East and Islamic Studies Conference on “Map, Territory,​ and​ Boundary​” was held last week on Feb. 9-10 at Duke University, with participation from graduate students and faculty from both institutions. The conference explored geography and territoriality as not only the subjects of ongoing contestation, but also compelling paradigms to engage with broader interrelated questions pertaining to the modern makeup of the Middle East. Participants discussed the myriad of ways the themes of map, territory, and boundary open up new possibilities of insight in the contexts of the Middle East, Muslim communities, and their connected geographies. Congratulations to the conference organizers and participants on a successful conference!



Religious Studies Majors Annual Dinner

The annual dinner for Religious Studies majors was held last night, Monday, Feb. 5, and it was a huge success! Students and faculty had the chance to chat over a delicious dinner organized by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Jessica Boon, and the Undergraduate Studies Committee. The meal was followed by inspiring words from RELI graduates Robbie Jessup ‘08 (Law ’11), and Mark Rothrock ‘10, introduced by Professor Randall Styers. Thank you all for joining us!



Dr. Shahla Talebi at the McLester Colloquium

On Wednesday, January 31, Dr. Shahla Talebi joined us for the first of our McLester Colloquia for the Spring semester. Dr. Talebi is Associate Professor of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University.

In a lecture entitled “Traversing Religiopolitical Metaphors in Contemporary Iran,” Dr. Talebi discussed the significant metaphor of the event of Karbala in the history of Iranian Shi`i tradition. The lecture was thought-provoking and generated questions and responses from the faculty and graduate students present. As usual, the lecture was followed by casual conversation over refreshments.

Looking forward to the next McLester Colloquium!