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Humanities Course
Course CodeISLM
Years of Operation2006-2008
Sites OfferedCAR, JHU, LOU, SAR
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Latin I
Goodwives and Witches: Women in Colonial America
Freaks and Geeks in Popular Media
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Advanced Robotics
Playing God: The Ethics of Human Subjects Research
Theory of Computation

Course Description

From the CTY Course Catalog (2006):

Since September 11, 2001, Islam has figured more prominently in American popular consciousness than ever before. Despite the attention it has received in the media and its predominance in discussions of domestic and foreign policy, Islam remains poorly understood. Sound bites and news clips inadequately portray a religion and culture that span the globe and have a rich, diverse history.

Students in this course begin their examination of Islam by learning core doctrines, such as the Five Pillars of Islam. Students explore Islam's historical roots, examining Mohammed's role in establishing the religion, the development of the religion into its varied historical divisions, and the spread of Islam across the world. Students also consider Islam's connections to Judaism and Christianity and its influence on the arts, sciences, and cultures of the world. They use this knowledge to deconstruct popular portrayals of Islam, such as the view of women in popular and news media. They end with a close look at the intersections of Islam and American society, past and present. For example, they consider Malcolm Little's conversion to Malcolm X in the 1940s and Muhammad Ali's faith-based objections to the Vietnam war in the 1960s, along with the influence of Islam in contemporary political discourse.

Through readings, discussions, and essay assignments, students develop a more nuanced understanding of Islam and its place in the current cultural and political landscape of the US and the world.