Connecticut College has been awarded a $100,000 planning grant by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a new program in global Islamic studies.
"We are very excited about this grant," said Sufia Uddin, associate professor of religious studies, who will oversee the project. "The new pilot program will give students an interdisciplinary focus on Muslim communities worldwide. The curriculum will challenge assumptions about the role of Islam in contemporary politics and explore how these assumptions have shaped our understanding of Islam and Muslims in a global context."
"This initiative will move Connecticut College closer to formalizing a major or minor track in this area," said Dean of the Faculty Roger Brooks. "It will strengthen the College's already notable reputation in international education at a time when international programming is a growing campus priority."
Initial steps include plans for a group of faculty to visit Turkey to develop expertise for a new gateway course.
"These faculty will experience first-hand the customs, politics and cultures of Turkey, which will inform teaching, research and discussions with other Connecticut College faculty and students," said Uddin.
Incorporating global Islamic studies across disciplines at the College, including classes outside of international and foreign language studies, is also planned.