Category Archives: Media

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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Video: “Religion and the Vote: The Role of Faith in Modern American Elections”

Religion and the Vote: The Role of Faith in Modern American Elections
Monday, October 17, 2016
More information about this event is available here.


Video: “The Origins of Neoliberalism”

The Origins of Neoliberalism – A Panel Conversation
Thursday, October 13, 2016
More information about this event is available here.


Dotan Leshem is a historian of systems of economic and political thought and a senior lecturer in the School of Political Science at the University of Haifa. Leshem’s book The Origins of Neoliberalism: Modeling The Economy from Jesus to Foucault was published by Columbia University Press in June 2016.

Daniel Colucciello Barber is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Pace University. He is the author of Deleuze and the Naming of God and On Diaspora, and his current research addresses the idea of conversion.

Stathis Gourgouris is Professor of Classics, English, and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of Dream Nation and Does Literature Think?, and editor of Freud and Fundamentalism.

Gil Anidjar (moderator) is Professor in the Departments of Religion; the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS); and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS).  He is the author of, among other works, The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy; Semites: Race, Religion, Literature; and Blood: a Critique of Christianity.

Video: “Faith, Secularism, and Humanitarian Engagement”

Faith, Secularism, and Humanitarian Engagement
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

More information on this event is available here.


Alastair Ager is Director of the Institute for Global Health and Development at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and Professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

George Rupp is Columbia University President Emeritus and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion, International Affairs, and Public Health.

Introduced by Katherine Pratt Ewing, Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life; and Wayne Proudfoot, Professor of Religion at Columbia University.

Pakistan at the Crossroads: Domestic Dynamics and External Pressures


Edited by Christophe Jaffrelot
Published April 2016

In Pakistan at the Crossroads, top international scholars assess Pakistan’s politics and economics and the challenges faced by its civil and military leaders domestically and diplomatically. Contributors examine the state’s handling of internal threats, tensions between civilians and the military, strategies of political parties, police and law enforcement reform, trends in judicial activism, the rise of border conflicts, economic challenges, financial entanglements with foreign powers, and diplomatic relations with India, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and the United States.

In addition to ethnic strife in Baluchistan and Karachi, terrorist violence in Pakistan in response to the American-led military intervention in Afghanistan and in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas by means of drones, as well as to Pakistani army operations in the Pashtun area, has reached an unprecedented level. There is a growing consensus among state leaders that the nation’s main security threats may come not from India but from its spiraling internal conflicts, though this realization may not sufficiently dissuade the Pakistani army from targeting the country’s largest neighbor. This volume is therefore critical to grasping the sophisticated interplay of internal and external forces complicating the country’s recent trajectory.

Christophe Jaffrelot is research director at the Centre de recherches internationales (CERI) and Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). He teaches South Asian politics at Sciences Po (Paris) and King’s College (London). His books on Pakistan include Pakistan: Nationalism Without a Nation? (2002), A History of Pakistan and Its Origins (2004), and The Pakistan Paradox: Instability and Resilience (2015).

More information is available at

Beyond the Secular West


Edited by Akeel Bilgrami
Published March 2016

What is the character of secularism in countries that were not pervaded by Christianity, such as China, India, and the nations of the Middle East? To what extent is the secular an imposition of colonial rule? How does secularism comport with local religious cultures in Africa, and how does it work with local forms of power and governance in Latin America? Has modern secularism evolved organically, or is it even necessary, and has it always meant progress?

A vital extension of Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age, in which he exhaustively chronicled the emergence of secularism in Latin Christendom, this anthology applies Taylor’s findings to secularism’s global migration. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im, Rajeev Bhargava, Akeel Bilgrami, Souleymane Bachir Diagne, Sudipta Kaviraj, Claudio Lomnitz, Alfred Stepan, Charles Taylor, and Peter van der Veer each explore the transformation of Western secularism beyond Europe, and the collection closes with Taylor’s response to each essay. What began as a modern reaction to—as well as a stubborn extension of—Latin Christendom has become a complex export shaped by the world’s religious and political systems. Brilliantly alternating between intellectual and methodological approaches, this volume fosters a greater engagement with the phenomenon across disciplines.

Akeel Bilgrami is the Sidney Morgenbesser Chair of Philosophy and the Director of the South Asian Institute at Columbia University. The contributors to the volume include Irfan Habib, Amiya Kumar Bagchi, Utsa Patnaik, Charles Taylor, Prabhat Patnaik, Aijaz Ahmad, and Partha Chatterjee, among others.

More information is available at

Race and Secularism in America

race and secularism in america

Edited by Jonathon S. Kahn and Vincent W. Lloyd
Published March 2016

This anthology draws bold comparisons between secularist strategies to contain, privatize, and discipline religion and the treatment of racialized subjects by the American state. Specializing in history, literature, anthropology, theology, religious studies, and political theory, contributors expose secularism’s prohibitive practices in all facets of American society and suggest opportunities for change.

“A tremendous volume. Its originality and interdisciplinary breadth will attract a range of scholars in the humanities and social sciences. It will shift conversations within and facilitate new discussions across the fields of race, religion, literature, and theology.”

– James Manigault-Bryant, Williams College

“Jonathon S. Kahn and Vincent W. Lloyd have pulled together a deeply original set of essays on race and secularism in the United States that effectively challenges intellectualist, European-derived accounts of secularist discourse. Focusing on the fundamental whiteness of American secularism, the collection highlights the ways in which the specificities of both race and religion have been managed―and obscured―through the ideals and practices of secular statecraft. It is an impressive and necessary critique of the widespread neglect of race and racialization in contemporary secular studies.”

– Leigh Eric Schmidt, Washington University in St. Louis

“This well-conceived and well-crafted collection provides another account of secularism by interrogating those processes by which not only are religion and religious discourse regulated or excluded but also race and religion are entwined, managed, or resisted. Methodologically and theoretically, these essays substantially deepen and complicate our understanding of secularism, religion, and race.”

– M. Shawn Copeland, Boston College

Jonathon S. Kahn is associate professor of religion at Vassar College. He is the author of Divine Discontent: The Religious Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois.

Vincent W. Lloyd is assistant professor of religion at Syracuse University. His books include The Problem with Grace: Reconfiguring Political Theology and the edited volume Race and Political Theology.

More information is available at