Category Archives: News

New Publications from K. Soraya Batmanghelichi, Post-Doctoral Research Scholar

In addition to the incredible events that Dr. Batmanghelichi has helped organize this year, such as Surveillance and the Mosque and Intimacies Days I&III, Soraya has also published two new pieces of scholarship.

First, as part of a book symposium, A Letter to Foucault: Selectively Narrating the Stories of Secular Iranian Feminists“, she published a review of Behrooz Ghamar-Tabrizi’s Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment.

Second is an article published in partnership with Leila Mouri, a scholar and activist she holds a MPhil in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University and second Master’s degree in Women’s History from the University of London, Royal Holloway. The article, titled “Cyberfeminism, Iranian Style: Online Feminism in Post-2009 Iran“, was published in Feminist Media Histories, Vol 3. No. 1, Winter 2017.

Soraya also continues to work on her upcoming book about sexuality in contemporary Iran, which she plans to have published by the end of the year.


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New Publications from Visiting Scholar, Sami Al-Daghistani

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Sami Al-Daghistani, a Visiting scholar at Columbia University and a Double-PhD candidate in Islamic Studies at Leiden University and WWU Münster, has recently published two book translations from Arabic into Slovene – Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy ibn Yaqzan and Ibn Battuta’s Rihla. His two most recent articles on the “Semiotics of Islamic Law, Maṣlaḥa, and Islamic Economic Thought”, and “Polyvalent European identity and the Islamic intellectual history”, can be found below. Sami’s monograph on al-Ghazali’s economic philosophy is forthcoming in 2017.


Ibn Tufayl


Ibn Battuta


Semiotics of Islamic Law, Maṣlaḥa, and Islamic Economic Thought


The polyvalent  European identity and the Islamic intellectual history

Conference: Making Alliances, Breaking Taboos, Transforming Religions


“Making Alliances, Breaking Taboos, Transforming Religions”

A Feminist Studies in Religion Visioning Conference

June 18 – 21, 2017

Drew University, Madison, NJ

Making Alliances, Breaking Taboos, Transforming Religions is a conference that aims to build on the longstanding work of feminist studies in religion around the globe by facilitating alliances and sharing, developing, and nourishing the work already taking place.

The conference will be international in scope and is intended to bring together a broad range of scholars, emerging and established, representing various religious traditions and a wide-range of fields, expertise, and areas of study. Participants will actively and collaboratively take on challenging questions and issues in order to continue building on and advancing the work of feminist studies in religion and its concern for justice and social change. This work is even more important in light of recent international trends of increasing misogyny, religious fundamentalism, right wing populism and ethnocentric nationalism.

The conference content will be organized around the three overarching themes in the title: Making Alliances, Breaking Taboos, Transforming Religions. These themes will be explored in panel discussions, plenary group discussions and small group conversations in which participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the conference themes through the lens of their own work. Participants will also have the opportunity to organize interest groups that focus on practical strategies for change.

IRCPL Announces Grantees of 2016 Search for Project and Working Group Proposals


The Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life at Columbia University supports academic scholarship on the study of religion, broadly defined.  We are proud of the interdisciplinary breadth of our work and are particularly excited to announce the results of our 2016 call for project and working group proposals. The awardees, from across Columbia’s campus and beyond, working in fields including architecture, literature, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and political science, exemplify our desire to create spaces which facilitate connections, conversations, and collaborations across disciplinary lines. We look forward to the seminars, conferences, research, writing, and curricular innovation which will come from these groups beginning this spring, and continuing over the next year.

Our congratulations – and thanks – go out to:

Entheogens and Psychoactive Religion
David Kittay (Religion)

A History of Difference: Piety and Space in Early Modern West Asia
Manan Ahmed (History)
Katharina Ivanyi (Religion)

Medieval and Early Modern Struggles toward Humility, Virtue, and Truth
Bachir Diagne (French)
Pierre Force (French)
Christia Mercer (Philosophy)
Alan Stewart (English / Comp Lit)

Sites of Religious Memory in an Age of Exodus
Seth Kimmel (LAIC)
Naor Ben-Yehoyada (Anthropology

Religion and Revolution
Jean L Cohen (Political Science)
Andrew Arato (Sociology, The New School)

Palestinian Jerusalem: Religion Under Occupation
Nadia Abu El-Haj (Anthropology)
Lila Abu-Lughod (Anthropology)
Nora Akawi (Architecture)
Brian Boyd (Archaeology)
Nathalie Handal (CSER)
Rashid Khalidi (History)
Brinkley Messick (Anthropology)
Salim Tamari (MEI)

Information on some of these events is already available at; further details will be posted as they become available. Write to with questions.

Information on how you can apply for IRCPL support for future working groups and other proposals can be found here.





Katherine Pratt Ewing Honored with Faculty Distinction


IRCPL Director Katherine Pratt Ewing was honored recently with Faculty Distinction after having been awarded the Luce/ACLS Program in Religion, Journalism, and International Affairs Grant.  Professor Ewing, along with Alexander Stille, San Paolo Professor of International Journalism, is among the first grantees in this new program aimed at work that connects scholarship on religion to journalism training and practice.

A number of faculty from the Department of Religion were also honored, including Gil Anidjar, Clémence Boulouque, Josef Sorett, Robert Thurman, and Zhaohua Yang.  More information about the 2016 Faculty Distinction winners is available here.  The IRCPL congratulates all of the 2016 honorees.

Watch “Religion and the Vote”


On October 17, 2016, IRCPL and the Department of Political Science convened a panel of experts to discuss the role of religion in the 2016 elections.  Participants included:

More information about the event can be found here.

A video recording of the event is now available here.

Video of “The Origins of Neoliberalism” Now Available


On October 13, Dotan Leshem, a senior lecturer in the School of Political Science at the University of Haifa, spoke about his recent book, The Origins of Neoliberalism: Modeling The Economy from Jesus to Foucault (Columbia University Press).  He was joined by Daniel Colucciello Barbe, Pace University and Stathis Gourgouris, Columbia University. Gil Anidjar, Columbia University, moderator.  More information about the panel can be found here.

A video recording of the event is now available here.