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Islam and Modernity: Re-thinking Tradition, Cosmopolitanism and Democracy

Semester and Year SP 2017
Course Number ELEC-GG2717
Section 001
Instructor Ali Mirsepassi
Days T
Time 4:55 PM - 7:35 PM
Units 4
Level G


Same as MEIS-GA 1807. Open to advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor (


This graduate seminar will focus upon the broad question of how societies, predominantly influenced by Islamic traditions, might find a home in the modern world on their own terms. We will discuss the possibility of a critical re-thinking of certain modern conventional modes of thinking about modernity, secularism, and democracy. The class will examine notions of citizenship, religion, and globalization in societies that have been historically influenced by Islamic tradition and institutions. This will be done by way of interrogating the works of contemporary scholars of Islamic modernity, including Mohammed Arkoun, Abdullahi An-Na'im, Fatima Mernissi, Talal Asad, Saba Mahmood, and Aziz Al-Azmeh. We will explore questions that cut across the disciplines of history, anthropology, sociology, and law.


All Syllabi

Course Type

Graduate Electives (ELEC-GG)