The distinction between public and private is one of society's most crucial and contested issues. Islam, the world's most populous religion, is also, at least in the West, perhaps the most misunderstood. This conference explores the diversity of Islamic societies worldwide, probing their varying conceptions of privacy as a way of illuminating how these societies resemble and differ from each other and our own, at a time when this understanding is of critical importance.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5th
Session 1: Keynote Address
6:00 - 7:30 p.m Understandings of public and private in Islamic societies Speaker: Abdolkarim Soroush
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6th
Session 2: Islamic Law: Boundaries and Rights: Case Studies
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. How are questions of boundaries and rights negotiated in states governed by Sharia? How do these negotiations compare with those in predominantly Muslim states governed by civil law, or possibly Islamic communities in the diaspora?
Speakers: Baber Johansen, Brinkley Messick, Roy Mottahedeh, Frank Vogel
Moderator: Talal Asad
Session 3: Individual, Family, Community and State: Case Studies 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. What is the concept of the individual? How are distinctions between public and private articulated within and across the boundaries of individual, family, community and state?
Speakers: Juan Cole, Nilufer Gole, Mehrangiz Kar, Saba Mahmood
Moderator: Leila Ahmed
Session 4: Media and Information: Case Studies
6:00 - 8:30 p.m. Who determines what and how information is made public? What is the role of the media in civil society and its impact on privacy?
Speakers: Geneive Abdo, Jon Anderson, Hafez al-Mirazi, Hassan Mneimneh
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7th
Session 5: Representations of Privacy in Literature and Film: Case Studies 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. How are the concepts of privacy and the private sphere interpreted and represented in literature and film?
Speakers: Hamid Dabashi, Assia Djebar, Azar Nafisi, Orhan Pamuk
Moderator: Farhad Kazemi
Session 6: Film Screening and Discussion
2:00p.m. - 4:00 p.m. WAITING (Iran, 1975), A film by Amir Naderi. The film will be followed by a discussion between Amir Naderi and Hamid Dabashi focusing on how privacy is represented in this and other of his films.
Moderator: Hamid Dabashi
Admission to this conference is $30 or $7 for each individual session. Full-time students with a valid ID are admitted free.
For more information or to register for the conference please see our website.
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