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Schedule & Readings

The institute’s approach is a broad one, introducing the richness and diversity of Muslim cultures. We will offer a survey of the role of the word—written, spoken, sung, and illuminated across many societies, rather than a detailed study of any one culture in which Islam is the dominant religion.

Week One

The first week we will focus on poetry and the written word. We will begin with an exploration of City Lore’s Poetic Voices of the Muslim World digital exhibit and resources, and then focus on classical and contemporary poetry in Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu along with close readings and translation exercises. We will also introduce Summer Scholars to City Lore’s arts education pedagogical tools, such interviewing community guests and creating artwork based on personal narratives. We will also attend performances by Muslim-identifying artists for whom faith and culture feature in their work and engage in conversation with them. The week will conclude with a visit to the Indo-Persian inspired gardens of Untermyer Park, followed by a workshop on garden design. 


Throughout Week One, teachers will have ample time to begin working on their final projects and to meet with the Project Directors to discuss their ideas.

Week Two

The second week will focus on music and visual arts. We’ll explore a variety of musical forms and cultures, ranging from Arab maqam traditions to sung poetry of Central Asia to Algerian popular music and dance.  We’ll also investigage the connection between American blues music and the Muslim call to prayer. The week includes a virtual curator-led tour of the Islamic collection at the Metropolitan Museum, followed by a hands-on workshop with the Met’s Educators. We will have the opportunity to view the work of and speak with two artists: Sierra Leonian finah and filmmaker Kewulay Kamara and Indo-Canadian singer/songwriter Kiran Ahluwalia. During the secod week, Summer scholar will be introduced to another City Lore pedagogical tool--object analysis--the use of personal object as part of studying a culture. 


Participants will continue to attend independent project meetings with the Institute Co-Directors and to work on their final projects during Week 2. Projects will be due by the last day of the Institute. We understand that Summer Scholars may wish to continue to refine their lesson plans beyond the Institute; however, a final draft for our purposes is due at the end of the Institute.

Overview of Institute

Full Institue Schedule

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Institute Readings

Prepatory readings for the institute: Key readings for the institute include short articles and poems selected by the faculty and made available to accepted Summer Scholars through our password-protected participant portal:

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