The Quran is one of the most iconic objects in American debates about racial and religious tolerance. Is the Quran a “good book”? Is it like the Bible and other scriptures? Or is its message more violent, more misogynistic, more intolerant? Or is the danger in the power readers ascribe to the book? Tracking the Quran’s social life as an American culture-object, anthropologist Zareena Grewal provides a window into today’s culture wars and the racialization of Islam.
Zareena A. Grewal is an Associate Professor of American Studies, Religious Studies, Anthropology, and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University. Her first book, Islam is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority (NYU 2013), is a historical ethnography of transnational Muslim intellectual networks that link U.S. mosques to Islamic movements in post-colonial Middle East through debates about the reform of Islam, based on fieldwork in Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. She is currently working on a social life of the Quran as a racialized text-object at the center of the culture wars in the U.S. Her writing also appears in the Washington Post, The New York Times, and other such venues. She is also a documentary filmmaker with films including By the Dawn’s Early Light: Chris Jackson’s Journey to Islam and the forthcoming Muslims in America.
Grewal’s lecture will be followed by a Q&A with Tazeen Ali, Assistant Professor of Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis. There will also be time for questions from the audience.
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- Zareena Grewal
Tazeen M. Ali
Assistant Professor of Religion and Politics