ZOOM lecture with Rachel Schine POSTPONED UNTIL FALL 2023

Professor Rachel Schine, Assistant Professor at the School of Languages, Literatures and Culture at the University of Maryland, will deliver a zoom lecture on the topic, 'Reading Race in Medieval Arab-Islamic Cultures' that has been postponed until Fall 2023, and is sponsored by Middle Eastern Studies.

How might we pursue comparative, critical study of premodern processes of racialization? This talk will cover the main methods, meanings, and sources that Professor Schine will engage in examining radicalization in the Islamic Middle Ages, as well as some past and present problematics of doing so within the Euro-American academy. She primarily considers Arab literature's corpus of popular epics (sitar sha'biyya) and their several Black heroes. These works of mass appeal were collectively composed beginning in the 12th century and were geographically and temporally diffuse. Professor Schine argues that epics use their Black characters to proffer aspirational histories of Islam: the Islamic world community, or umma, is depicted in triumphant narratives as always already adept at growing and assimilating difference, and thus it can continue to do so. An interdisciplinary approach drawing on religious studies, Black studies, histories of science, and Arab philology, among others, illuminates the multiple racial resonance of these sources and their didactic visions.

Here is the zoom link: https://dartmouth.zoom.us/j/91609998559?pwd=dEZHbVFzeWNEWE00aHpRYnJCU0lBdz09

Rachel Schine is an Assistant Professor of Arabic and Religious Studies at the University of Maryland. She holds a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago, and was previously a Postdoctoral Associate and instructor of Arabic Literature and culture at CU, Boulder and a Humanities Research Fellow at NYU Abu Dhabi. Her work focuses on pre-modern Muslim literatures and social history, with interests in orality and storytelling practices, gender/sexuality and race/race-making in pre-modern works such as popular narrative, poetry, and prophetological literature. Her current book project assesses the racialization of Black protagonists in the popular sīrahs, a body of medieval legendary conquest literature. She has published on a range of related topics in Arabophone premodernity.