CIS News - November 2023

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Center for Islamic Studies

CIS News for November 2023

Congratulations to Yusuf Mullick on completing his MA in Islamic Studies with Honors. His capstone is titled, Shukr as a Case Study in the Qur’an Glossary of al-Rāghib al-Iṣfahānī. Yusuf is currently a GTU PhD Presidential Scholar in the Department of Sacred Texts and Their Interpretation, with a focus on Qur’anic lexicography and the philosophy of language.

The Center for Islamic Studies is delighted to share that the following students, alums and faculty will be presenting papers, chairing panels, and hosting meetings at the AAR/SBL annual conference in San Antonio, TX, Nov 18-21, 2023. Please refer to the program handbook for more details. Congratulations to all on these extraordinary accomplishments and best wishes at the conference!

Raya Hazini, GTU MA student in Interreligious Studies, with a focus on Islam and Bahá’í Studies

  • Presentation at the Women’s Caucus
  • Presiding on a panel, Emerging Scholars
  • “Feminist Martyrs” on the panel, Key Texts and Figures in Early Baha’i History

Zeinab Vessal, GTU Presidential Scholar, PhD student, Historical and Cultural Studies of Religion

Dr. David Coolidge, BA Brown, MA Princeton, PhD GTU 2023.

  • “Islām and Vaikuṇṭha: Muslim Theological Exploration of Prakṛti/Puruṣa,” Comparative Theology and the Islamic Traditions: Muslim and Christian Perspectives.
  • “Islām Meets Kṛṣṇa, Again: Contours of a New Interreligious Discourse,” Advancing Interreligious Studies: Interactive Workshop

Dr. Mahjabeen Dhala, GTU Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of the Madrasa-Midrasha Program

  • “The Work of Constructive Muslim Theology in the 21stCentury,” exploring the issue of Muslim female scholars’ access to the development of Islamic theology and exegesis in classical and contemporary Islamic studies.
  • Congratulations to Dr. Dhala on her publication, “Muslim Feminist Exegetes, Not “Handmaidens of Empire”.” Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 39, no. 2 (2023): 83-85.

Congratulations to Carol Bier, CIS/GTU Research Scholar, on her recent research trip Central Asia - her seventh - this time visiting Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in addition to Uzbekistan. CIS gratefully acknowledges Carol’s service on the Academic Committee associated with the San Diego Museum of Art for the development of an exhibition of Islamic art, “Wonders of Creation,” scheduled to open in September 2024.

The CIS gratefully acknowledges Dr. Eby Shabudin, CIS/GTU visiting scholar, for offering a public engagement course from Oct-Dec on Values Based Leadership, and for his ongoing leadership and mentorship bridging diverse communities, cultures and faiths.

The CIS gratefully acknowledges Sr. Marianne Farina, CSC, Interim President and Professor of Philosophy & Theology at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology, GTU Core Doctoral Faculty and Faculty at the Center for Islamic Studies, for her presentation on Catholics and Islam, hosted by the Catholic Community at Stanford University CC@S. We are also grateful to Bianca Bermudez, MPA, Director of Student Services & Recruitment at DSPT for arranging the event.

Congratulations to the Rev. Dr. Dorsey Odell Blake for being named the 2023 GTU Distinguished Faculty Lecturer. Dr. Blake will give his keynote address on Nov 7. The CIS gratefully acknowledges Dr. Blake for his extraordinary leadership, mentorship and teaching, and for his care, commitment and dedication to the work of the CIS since its founding. For event info, please see:

The CIS is delighted to share that as part of the IDCL Grounded Knowledge grant project on Muslims in the Bay Area: Leading, Bridging and Belonging, a student-led group will be attending the SF Opera’s opening performance of “Omar” on Sun, Nov 5. A series of ongoing CIS discussions about the opera and the life and legacy of Omar Ibn Said will continue throughout the year. For more information, please contact:

Opera info:

Show info: