What the Workshop in Islamic Studies Pedagogy Faculty Say about the Program

Michael Dann

Michael Dann (2017 Pre-Tenure Workshop Faculty Participant: Assistant Professor in Department of Religion at University of Illinois ) “The Workshop in Islamic Studies Pedagogy was a wonderful experience from top to bottom. It was an opportunity to meet junior and senior scholars from different corners of the field and benefit from the breadth and diversity of their experiences and expertise. In particular, conversations about strategies for navigating a wide variety of classroom situations and environments were very helpful. Learning more about the diverse institutional spaces that our colleagues occupy also provided a more rounded view of the field. Especially beneficial were the workshops where senior colleagues delved into the depths of their own research and described the unfolding of their track record of publications. I’m very grateful to IIIT and Sherali Tareen for facilitating this opportunity and would certainly recommend it to other junior faculty.”

Younus Mirza

Younus Mirza (2017 Pre-Tenure Workshop Faculty Participant: Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies at Allegheny College) “IIIT’s Workshop in Islamic Studies Pedagogy was great! The workshop allowed me to engage with colleagues and senior scholars regarding the opportunities and challenges of teaching Islamic studies within the academy. In particular, I learned how to create a research narrative and how to navigate difficult subjects within the classroom. I now feel much more confident about the tenure process.”

Asmahan Sallah

Asmahan Sallah (2017 Pre-Tenure Workshop Faculty Participant: Assistant Professor at the department of Languages and Literature at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater) “The Workshop in Islamic Studies Pedagogy is a unique and an invigorating opportunity for junior scholars of Islamic studies and related fields on many levels, but primarily for its visionary scope. The workshop created excellent venues for exchanging experiences with peer, junior faculty and with the expert faculty mentors. Issues discussed addressed, among others, pedagogy of Islamic Studies, navigation of academic and personal faith commitments on campus, the tenure process, and introductory seminars led by faculty mentors in their research specialty areas. Discussions were vigorous, interesting, and genuinely collegial whether in the breakout sessions with faculty mentors or during the regular workshop meetings. Organization, especially, was at top-notch level, enabling meaningful socialization and networking among the participants. My sincere thanks to the organizers and staff at IIIT for such a wonderful opportunity and worthwhile experience.”

Shobhana Xavier

Shobhana Xavier (2016 JFW Participant; Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Franklin & Marshall College) “IIIT’s Junior Faculty Workshop provided its participants with the much needed space to enter into honest and genuine conversations about junior scholars teaching and working in the field of Islamic Studies; conversations that rarely unfold in other academic contexts. The participants’ and mentors’ willingness to listen and share their respective experiences was very valuable. It is precisely this platform that quickly created deep bonds between fellow participants and mentors during and after the workshop. I left the workshop feeling more confident and energized, but also grateful to have had the opportunity to glean from such an esteemed group of mentors and participants. “

Katrin Jomaa

Katrin Jomaa, Ph.D. (2016 JFW Participant; Assistant Professor of Islam and Middle Eastern Politics, University of Rhode Island ) “The Junior Faculty Workshop triggered my motivation to resume working on research. Surrounded by faculty members who are on the same path and in the same field provided us with the space to share our concerns and discuss several issues that we don’t usually discuss in our working environment. The experienced contribution of the faculty mentors was priceless, it was informative, encouraging and very supportive. The workshop schedule was perfectly balanced in terms of organization of the sessions as well as socialization which created a very friendly and open environment for interaction and discussion. The workshop inspired me with enthusiasm that boosted my productivity for the whole summer. I highly recommend it for junior faculty, Thank you! “

Mashal Saif

Mashal Saif, Ph.D. (2016 JFW Participant; Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Clemson University) “The Junior Faculty Workshop provided its participants with a refreshingly honest and blunt lay of the academic landscape. The issues discussed ranged from navigating the tenure process to Islamophobia and the merits and pitfalls of being a public intellectual. The generosity of the faculty mentors in sharing their expertise and life stories was unprecedented. I would recommend the workshop to all junior faculty Islamic Studies faculty as a vital resource during the pre-tenure stage of the academic life.”

Ilyse R. Morgenstein Fuerst

Ilyse R. Morgenstein Fuerst, Ph.D. (2016 JFW Participant; Assistant Professor of Religion, University of Vermont) “The Junior Faculty Workshop who teach about Islam–in differing fields and disciplines–the opportunity to discuss issues of promotion and tenure, teaching complex and sensitive issues, and politics on (and in) campuses. This was valuable for a host of reasons, including building a network of similar colleagues, strategizing with senior colleagues, and thinking through best practices in our classrooms. Thanks, IIIT!”

Ali Altaf Mian

Ali Altaf Mian, Ph.D. (2016 JFW Participant; Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies, Seattle University) “This workshop provided a candid and rich space for discussing professional development issues for junior scholars of Islam. I benefited so much from the advice of the senior scholars present at the workshop, but also from colleagues teaching Islam at other universities who were facing similar issues. I came back to my life of teaching and researching equipped with newfound insight about the pedagogical and political challenges of teaching Islam in contemporary America.”

Jamillah Karim

Jamillah Karim, Ph.D. (2016 JFW Participant; Independent Scholar, formerly at Spelman College) “IIIT Junior Faculty Workshop gave me the opportunity to give to pre-tenure Professors of Islam the mentorship I received as a young scholar, but from an organization that supports African American scholars of religion. IIIT is a visionary for identifying and serving this need for young scholars of Islam. It was truly rewarding to give back.”