The South Asia Institute provides a range of resources and activities to serve elementary and secondary schools and college teachers. As a National Resource Center, we organize a number of teacher training events annually, featuring faculty and advanced graduate students from Columbia and other area universities.

If you are an educator, and would like to receive email notification of upcoming teacher training activities, please send the following information to William Carrick at name, title, school affiliation, courses and grade levels of students taught. Non-teaching educators should include name, title, school affiliation, grade levels at your institution, and a brief description of your role within the institution. You may unsubscribe at any time by sending a request via email.

The South Asia Institute provides other outreach activities for business, media, and local community organizations. Most of the conferences and lectures, workshops, and other events listed on our Upcoming Events page are open to the public.

Fall 2012 Professional Development Course for Teachers

Muslim Societies:
Local Histories and Local Practices
in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia

Dates: Thursdays, October 25 to December 13, 2012 (except Nov. 22 and 29)
Time: 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Location: Knox Hall, Room 207, 606 West 122nd Street

Co-sponsored by the Institute of African Studies and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University

"Muslim Societies" features six scholars who will examine the cultures and histories of Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Mali, Pakistan, and Senegal from anthropological, historical, and political perspectives; and the variety of the everyday lives and religious practices of Muslims today and across history. Talks will cover the revolutionary events in Egypt of the past year and the growth of Shi'a political power in the past 100 years; the importance of Sufism and local religious practices in West Africa, and the issue of "Arabisation," in African societies; defining religious communities and identities on the Indian subcontinent in the colonial period, and secularism and gender practices in contemporary Bangladesh.

Thursday, Oct 25: "Explaining the Uprising in Egypt"
Mona El Ghobashy (Assistant Professor, Politics Department, Barnard College)
By the second day of the January 25th, 2011 Egyptian uprising, observers began forwarding explanations for why it happened. There are now several dozen such explanations, variously focusing on economic, political, or sociological factors. This talk surveys a handful of the most widely-invoked causes of the uprising, proposing an argument stressing its political roots.

Thursday, November 1: "An Introduction to Shi'ism and its Rise as a Global Political Force"
Najam Haider (Assistant Professor, Departments of History and Religion, Barnard College)
The class will include an introduction to the history and theological beliefs of the 12-er Shias who constitute a vast majority of the current Shi'i world population. It will then turn to the evolution of Shi'ism over the last hundred years and its emergence as a global political force.

Thursday, November 8 "Gender, Human Rights and Secularism in Bangladesh"
Dina Siddiqi (Visiting Professor, Women's Studies, Hunter College)

Thursday, November 15 "Sufi Orders in Senegal and their philosophies"
A talk by Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Professor, Department of French and Romance Philology; and Acting Director, Institute of African Studies)

Thursday, November 22 and 29 (no workshops)

Thursday, December 6: "Conversion to Islam in South Asia"
Teena Purohit (Assistant Professor, Department of Religion, Boston University)

Thursday, December 13:
"Islamisation of Africa or Africanisation of Islam? A History of Islam in West Africa"
Mamadou Diouf (Leitner Family Professor of African Studies and History and Director, Institute of African Studies)

Readings will include articles selected by each speaker and distributed via email and at workshops. Some readings will be taken from the following books to be distributed to participants:

Islam in South Asia. Edited by Barbara D. Metcalf (Princeton, 2009)
The Journey to Tahrir: Revolution, Protest and Social Change in Egypt. Edited by Jeannie Sowers and Chris Toensing (Verso, 2012)
Muslim Societies in African History. David Robinson (Cambridge, 2004)

REGISTRATION: Participants must be K-12 teachers, two-year college instructors or students enrolled in education degree programs. Attendees may register for all six meetings or register for individual sessions. If you would like to register, or have questions, please contact William Carrick at or at (212) 854-4565. To register, please include your name, school affiliation, level of students taught, and subjects taught. Students should include their school and degree program, anticipated graduation date, and a very brief statement of career goals.

There is no registration fee to attend the workshop. All books and materials will be provided to participants at no cost.

For additional information, please contact William Carrick at or by phone at (212) 854-4565.

After School Professional Development programs are funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Visit our webstite at

To unsubscribe from this listserv, contact William Carrick at

Speaker Biographies

Souleymane Bachir Diagne is Professor in the Department of French and Romance Philology, and the Acting Director of the Institute of African Studies. He received his academic training in France. From the École Normale Supérieure, he holds an agrégation in Philosophy (1978) and he earned his Doctorat d'État in philosophy at the Sorbonne (1988). His field of research includes history of logic, history of philosophy, Islamic philosophy, African philosophy and literature. Diagne's teaching interests include history of early modern philosophy, philosophy and Sufism in the Islamic world, African philosophy and literature, and twentieth century French philosophy. His most recent book, Bergson postcolonial. L'élan vital dans la pensée de Léopold Sédar Senghor et de Mohamed Iqbal, (2011) was awarded the Dagnan-Bouveret prize by the French Academy of Moral and Political Sciences in 2011. It was published in English as African Art as Philosophy: Senghor, Bergson and the Idea of Negritude (2012). Other recent publications in English include Islam and the Open Society: Fidelity and Movement in the Philosophy of Muhammad Iqbal (2011) and the edited volume The meanings of Timbuktu (with Shamil Jeppee, 2008).

Mamadou Diouf is the Leitner Family Professor of African Studies and the Director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. Before joining the faculty at Columbia, he was the Charles D. Moody Jr. Collegiate Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Michigan; Head of the Research, Information, and Documentation Department of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and faculty member at Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal. His research interests include urban, political, social and intellectual history in colonial and postcolonial Africa. Diouf's publications include: the upcoming edited volume Tolerance, Democracy, and Sufis in Senegal (2013); Rhythms of the Afro-Atlantic World: Rituals and Remembrances (with Ifeoma C.K. Nwankwo, 2010); New Perspectives on Islam in Senegal: Conversion, Migration, Wealth, and Power (with Mara A. Leichtman, 2009), La Construction de l'Etat au Sénégal (with M. C. Diop & D. Cruise O'Brien, 2002), and Histoire du Sénégal: Le Modèle Islamo-Wolof et ses Périphéries (2001).

Mona El Ghobashy is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Barnard College. She earned her PhD at Columbia University, and has taught at Columbia, Hunter and Brooklyn Colleges. In Fall 2006 her dissertation, titled "Taming Leviathan: Constitutional Contention in Contemporary Egypt," which examines institutional change in authoritarian regimes, received the Malcolm H. Kerr Award from the Middle Eastern Studies Association for being the best dissertation in the social sciences. Her interests include social movements and (de)democratization in the Middle East and North Africa. She has worked as a consultant for the International Crisis Group, and was a reporter for the weekly Cairo Times from 1999-2003.

Najam Haider is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Barnard College. Previously, he taught at Franklin & Marshall College, Georgetown University, New York University, and Princeton University. He completed his PhD at Princeton, and an M.Phil. at Oxford. At Barnard he teaches courses focusing on the modern and pre-modern Muslim world. His current research interests focus on identity formation in the pre-modern Muslim world, Shi'ism, and the role of Islamic Law in the modern Muslim world. Professor Haider has been the recipient of a Center for the Study of Religion dissertation grant and a Keasbey Fellowship to University of Oxford. He is the author of The Origins of the Shi'a: Identity, Ritual, and Sacred Space in Eighth-Century Kufa (2011) and co-edited the forthcoming Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought: Studies in Honor of Professor Hossein Modarressi (with Michael Cook, Asma Sayeed, and Intisar Rabb, 2011).

Teena Purohit joined the Department of Religion at Boston University in Fall 2009. She received her Ph.D in Religion at Columbia University in 2007. She has taught at Columbia University and the University of California, Irvine. Purohit's research and teaching interests focus on modern Islam South Asian religions, religion and colonialism, and South Asian history. Her book first book, The Aga Khan Case: Religion and Identity in Colonial India is forthcoming from Harvard University Press in 2012.

Dina Siddiqi is Visiting Associate Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Program at Hunter College, CUNY. Siddiqi is a cultural anthropologist with a interest in gender, human rights and transnational feminist politics, and particular expertise on gender and Islam in Bangladesh. Her research and publications concern globalization and human rights, non-state dispute resolution systems, and the cultural politics of Islam. She earned her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She has been a Visiting Professor at the Centre for Gender, Sexuality and HIV/AIDS, School of Public Health , BRAC University; Dhaka Senior Research Associate at the Alice Paul Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality at the University of Pennsylvania; and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka. Siddiqi has worked for leading human rights organizations in Bangladesh including Ain o Salish Kendra, and has been a consultant for UNDP, UNICEF and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka. She is part of the Core Advisory Group of the South Asian Network of Gender Activists and Trainers (SANGAT) and a member of the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in Muslim Societies (CSBR).

SAI Pod-Courses
from the archives of the After-School Professional Development Workshops

Photos above, left to right: Mohammad Ali Jinnah, Mohammad Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan, Mohammad Zia ul-Haq, and Benazir Bhutto.

A Short History of Pakistan
by S. Akbar Zaidi

"A Short History of Pakistan" was recorded in January-February 2011. It features five lectures by Visiting Professor S. Akbar Zaidi. Each lecture is about two hours long, and includes some discussion with the teacher-participants. Some of the materials distributed during the course are appended to the respective lectures, where available. (Additional materials may be posted at a later date, due to pending permissions).

Dr. S. Akbar Zaidi is a Visiting Professor at Columbia University, with a joint appointment at the School of International and Public Affairs, and the Graduate School of Arts & Science Department of Middle East, South Asia, and African Studies through May 2012. Zaidi holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge. He taught at Karachi University for thirteen years, and was a visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins University in 2004-05. He is one of Pakistan's best known and most prolific political economists. Apart from his interest in political economy, he has research interests in development, the social sciences, and history. His most recent of twelve books is Political Economy and Development in Pakistan, published in 2010. His other books include The New Development Paradigm: Papers on Institutions, NGOs, Gender and Local Government (1999), and Issues in Pakistan's Economy (2005).

Lecture one: Muslim Separatism and the idea of Pakistan
     + Listen to a Podcast of Part 1
     + Listen to a Podcast of Part 2
Maps referred to in Lecture One (Powerpoint format)
Article: South Asia? West Asia? Pakistan: Location, Identity by S. Akbar Zaidi

Lecture two: Independence and the Two Partitions (1947 and 1971)
     + Listen to a Podcast of Part 1
     + Listen to a Podcast of Part 2
Timeline of events in the history of Pakistan to 1971

Lecture three: Politics, Democracy, and the Military
     + Listen to a Podcast of Part 1
     + Listen to a Podcast of Part 2
State, Miltary and Social Transition: Improbable Future of Democracy in Pakistan by S. Akbar Zaidi

Lecture four: Conflicts within and around Pakistan
     + Listen to a Podcast

Lecture five: Pakistan today and tomorrow
     + Listen to a Podcast
Timeline charting key Political and Economic Events in Pakistan's history /
Patterns of Civilian and Military Rule, 1947-2009

Article: Pakistan among top 10 in terms of Human Development Improvement
Article: Social and Structural Transformations in Pakistan by S. Akbar Zaidi

Suggested readings:
  • Nawaz, Shuja. Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army, and the Wars Within, Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2008.
  • Sayeed, Khalid B. and George Cunningham. Pakistan- the Formative Phase 1857--1948. Second Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, New York, 1991. Pages 3-12.
  • Talbot, Ian. "Picking Up the Pieces, Pakistan 1947-49." Pakistan: A Modern History. Second edition. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010. Pages 95-147.
  • Waseem, Mohammad. "Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan." In Pakistan in Regional and Global Politic. Rajshree Jetty, editor. New Delhi: Routledge, 2009. Pages 181-211.
  • Zaidi, S. Akbar. Issues in Pakistan's Economy. Second Edition. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Ziring, Lawrence. "The Agony of Partition." Pakistan in the Twentieth Century: A Political History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Non-Pakistan reading mentioned in Lecture Three (on democracy in the Middle East):
  • Diamond, Larry. "Why are there no Arab Democracies? Journal of Democracy. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Volume 21, Number 1, January 2010.
For additional information or comments, please contact William Carrick at

Web Resources for Teachers:

A weblinks directory to South Asian history, cultures and literatures from Frances Pritchett's website on South Asia, compiled by Professor Frances Pritchett, Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures. It features links to general resources; timelines; maps of South Asia: historical, political, topographic, demographic; art and architecture; Islam in general and Islam in South Asia; South Asian literature; Hindi and Urdu language and literature; calligraphy, and the life of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

Portal Site for the National Resource Center for Language, Area, and International and Area Studies portal site: 125 National Resource Centers (NRCs) throughout the United States have been established at colleges and universities with funding from the U.S. Department of Education to establish, strengthen, and operate language and area or international studies centers that will be national resources for teaching any modern foreign language. Find an NRC near you, upcoming K-12 teacher training workshops, and resources for the classroom.

Portal Site for Outreach world: a comprehensive resource for teaching international and area studies and foreign languages in the precollegiate classroom (all world regions including South Asia, Africa, Middle East, East Asia, etc).

Aamir Mufti
Teach-In on Thirty Years of Indian and Pakistani History: A Tryst with Destiny; from the Midnight's Children Humanities Festival.

Gyan Pandey
Teach-In on Thirty Years of Indian and Pakistani History: A Tryst with Destiny; from the Midnight’s Children Humanities Festival.

Gowher Rizvi and Tariq Banuri
Teach-In on Thirty Years of Indian and Pakistani History: Bangladesh; from the Midnight’s Children Humanities Festival

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