The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) hosted its annual Workshop in Islamic Studies Pedagogy on Saturday, April 28, 2018. For the third year in a row, IIIT has brought early career scholars of Islam and tenured faculty mentors for a candid, substantive, and meaningful conversation on various professional and pedagogical aspects during their academic journeys. The workshop is co-organized and co-facilitated by Dr. Ermin Sinanovic, Director of Research at IIIT, and Dr. SherAli Tareen, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Franklin and Marshall College.
Seven fellows came from different universities across the United States and were mentored by Dr. Maria Dakake, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University, and Dr. Kelly Pemberton, Associate Professor of Religion and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies at George Washington University.
In addition to plenary sessions where the participants shared their academic and intellectual paths that led them to become Islamic Studies scholars, the fellows also received guidance on navigating multiple audiences as well as advice on effective and responsible pedagogy in smaller group meetings.
Some of the concerns raised included how to help students understand the diversity within Islamic tradition as well as the Muslim world, ways to manage the demands from the MSA and the local community, and establishing credibility for teaching Islamic Studies as a Muslim.
Overall, the workshop helped pre-tenure scholars of Islam in North American colleges and universities to negotiate the unique challenges they face and to build a supportive network that can continue to assist them beyond the daylong mentorship at the workshop.
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