Associate Professor, Director
Religious Studies, Holocaust, Genocide & Interfaith Education Center
P. H.D. University of South Africa, Religious Studies-2009
Naguib Mahfouz and Modern Islamic Identity examine the shift since the advent of Islam from Islamic models of social life toward post-colonial and modern conceptions of the Islamic Identity.
M.A. Syracuse University, New York. Religious Studies -1992
Post-Holocaust Studies & Islam
B.A. Syracuse University, New York. English & Religion -1990
RELS 110-Nature and Experience of Religion -Arches (spring ’11, fall ’12, spring’12, fall ’13)
This is a service-learning course based on the introductory course in Religious Studies, this class bridges the outreach efforts of the HGI Center and the requirements for Religious Studies. The Center has become a place for long term learning and service projects for my arches students. Students are expected to give 9-15 hours of service time and they attend cultural activities in the city. This is a new course for me and requires innovation and off campus projects.
RELS 300-Special Topics: Islam: Literature, Memory and Identity (fall ’11, fall ’14)
This class explores the literary dimensions of Islam through novels. Students are introduced to the history of Islam through literature. I choose novels that are set in two to three major Muslim cities and the students are asked to concentrate on one for their research. This is a new course for me and the College. This class inspired me to create a winter intersession class in the study abroad program (Jan ‘15) in Istanbul, Turkey.
RELS 300-Special Topics: Muslims in America (fall ’12, fall ’13)
This class examines the history of Muslims in America. Students study the various immigrant waves of Muslims settling in America beginning from slavery to the present. We look at the differences amongst Muslims in America both in terms of cultural and religious belief. Students learn about Islam and Muslim life in America. In addition, the students are asked to participate in on campus and off campus activities that include a project with the Muslim American community.
RELS 300-Special Topics: Religion and Holocaust (spring ’11, spring ’12, spring ’13)
We study the basic beliefs and history of Judaism and Christianity. I also introduce the students to the new and growing field of Muslims and the Holocaust. I give particular attention to post-holocaust theology and literature. In addition, students study the rise of the Nazis and the historical dimensions of such movements in relationship to religion. The Center has a Holocaust survivor’s speaking bureau which the students benefit from.
RELS 300-Special Topics: Religion and Genocide (spring ’14)
We study Genocides in the modern period that relate to issues of ethnicity, races and religion. Students analyze how religion can play a role to motivate or protect the rise of genocide. Students are introduced to modern examples of genocide such as; Armenia, Bosnia and Darfur. They are asked to create awareness on campus in memory of the victims of genocide through research and panels on campus.
RELS 400-Independent Study -The Cross and the Crescent: Coptic Christian-Muslim Relations in Egypt
You can create your own senior thesis. This year-long independent study resulted in a senior thesis for a Religious Studies major. The student analyzed Coptic-Muslim relations in Egypt. The methodology was based upon the conceptual frameworks of thinkers such as: Emile Durkheim, Clifford Geertz, Marshall Hodgson and Akbar Ahmed.
RELS 400-Independent Study-Women, Rape and the Holocaust
RELS 470-Women and Islam