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Monday, October 1, 2018

DISC Lecture: Idols and Figural Images in Islam - A Dive into a Perennial Debate

Monday, October 15, 2018
3:00-4:30 p.m.
Jones 35

As part of the Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum (DISC) lecture series, which is integrated with BTAA CourseShare, the following lecture will be streamed via web conferencing to the University of Minnesota audience.

University of Michigan Professor Christiane Gruber will explore some of the questions and debates concerning idolatry and figural representation form the beginning of Islam until today. This presentation will focus in particular on the specific terminology used in the Qur’an and Hadith—in particular the terms tamathil (figural likenesses), asnam (idols), and ansab (sacred stones or betyls)—in order to distinguish the semantic and conceptual categories that were used by Muslim writers to classify various forms of art-making along with their associated practices. Such terms were further finessed within historical and jurisprudential writings, in which the Solomonic, Abrahamic, and Mosaic paradigms concerning statuary and idols served to both legitimize figural statuary while simultaneously castigating three-dimensional and even pendant imagery as potentially subject to devotional worship. In the majority of texts, images were not understood as prohibited per se. Rather, their modalities of display and use proved of paramount significance within the perennial debates concerned with image-making, as is the case in all global religious cultures. Skirting the “broad swath” method, this talk thus aims to pinpoint some the finer issues raised by the textual corpus as it intersects with artworks and paintings in order to demonstrate that practices of figural representation in Islamic traditions most often were (and still are) guided by cultural and political expediency rather than religious or legal principle.

Christiane Gruber is Professor of Islamic Art and Associate Chair in the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research interests span medieval Islamic art to contemporary visual culture. She has authored two books on Islamic texts and images of the Prophet Muhammad’s ascension and has edited about a dozen volumes on Islamic book arts, ascension texts and images, and visual and material culture. Her third book, entitled The Praiseworthy One: The Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Texts and Images, will appear in print in January 2019.

Sponsored by the Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum and Michigan State University Muslim Studies Program.

Jones 135 to Reopen on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 with Free Coffee

The Language Center is pleased to announce that the walk-in multimedia lab, Jones 135, is scheduled to reopen on Tuesday this week. The unexpected closure was due to a critical painting project. To celebrate the reopening of the lab, coffee will be served in the lab October 2-8, 2018.

Monday, September 24, 2018

DiLL Server Update on October 2, 2018

On October 2, 2018 the DiLL server is scheduled to have an OS update and will not be available for class use. The DiLL website will also be unavailable during this time. Instructors who wish to review student recordings should plan around this date.

CEI: Advancing Engagement & Course Design in Spring 2019

You’ve taught an online or hybrid course in the past and have experience creating activities and interacting with students in those environments. Now what? If you’re interested in building your online teaching skills with a supportive group of colleagues, this seminar is for you.

The modules in the online seminar will address teacher-tested strategies for online discussion that move beyond “line up and answer”; practical ideas about creating online assignments, feedback, and evaluation options that engage learners; and effective practices teachers have developed to support team-based learning in online spaces.

You’ll engage this four-module seminar via Canvas to gain a sense of the student experience. In addition to exploring the topics mentioned above, you’ll have an opportunity to develop and present a new or revised teaching strategy that you plan to pilot in a future version of your course.

On successful completion of the seminar - active participation in the modules and presenting a teaching strategy - you will be awarded $200 in professional development funds.

Register your interest to receive a message when the application opens for this seminar.

CEI Online Seminar: Developing Effective Online Learning Spaces

Apply by September 28, 2018
Seminar runs October 11 to November 16, 2018.
Canvas site opens October 4, 2018

The Center for Educational Innovation is pleased to announce the Fall 2018 Online Participatory Seminar: Designing Online Courses. This seminar will take place from October 15 until November 16, 2018 via Canvas. This guided experience will familiarize instructors with key ideas and principles for designing and teaching online courses. Applicants should plan for 15-20 hours of engagement from start to finish (approximately three hours per week).

Participants who are active in all online discussion forums, who regularly participate in WebEx sessions, and who share a presentation will be awarded $200 in professional development funds.

This five-week online seminar for University of Minnesota instructors is set up in Canvas to explore, experience, analyse, and try out pedagogical practices that you might incorporate as you (re)design your online or hybrid courses. In this way, you will experience Canvas as would a student.

Throughout the seminar, you will explore ways of applying course design principles with support from CEI consultants, experienced in online teaching and course design, who lead four synchronous WebEx practice-oriented conversations, and who will join you in discussion forums throughout the seminar. The discussion forums provide opportunities to interact with readings and peers as you thoughtfully develop your ideas about creating online experiences that are fulfilling for you and compelling for your students.

The seminar closes with each participant sharing a recorded presentation capturing their ideas about the “something new” they will implement in an upcoming course.

You must apply to participate in the seminar by September 28, 2018.