Upcoming Events: Jason Mohaghegh and Devin Stewart

The MEHAT workshop and the Shi’ism Discussion Group are pleased to present two guest speakers this week,Dr. Jason Mohaghegh (New Jersey City University) and Dr. Devin Stewart (Emory University). Please see below for details.

Thursday, May 5, 4:00–5:30, Foster 305

Jason Mohaghegh—Inflictions: The Writing of Violence, East/West

A joint meeting with the Literature and Philosophy Workshop. Paper pre-circulated on the MEHAT email list. Small reception to follow at 5:30 (same room).

Friday, May 6, 4:00–5:30, Pick 016

Jason Mohaghegh—The Chaotic Imagination: Cruelty, Fatality, and the Shadow-Becoming in New Middle Eastern Literature

A joint meeting with the Literature and Philosophy Workshop, sponsored by the Middle East Studies Students’ Association. Reception to follow at 5:30 in the Pick Lounge.

Friday, May 6, 4:00–5:30, Pick 218

Devin Stewart—Of Books and Bodies: The Hagiography of the Shiite Scholar-Martyr Zayn al-Din al-Amili

Presented by the Shi’ism Discussion Group. Reception at 5:30 in the Pick Lounge.

Please note that, due to very restricted options, we had to schedule both Prof. Mohaghegh and Prof. Stewart at 4:00 on Friday. We sincerely apologize for this and we would have avoided it if we could. If you are dying to meet both of our guests, we recommend that you come to our Thursday workshop with Prof. Mohaghegh and then see Prof. Stewart on Friday.

If you would like a copy of Thursday’s paper, or you are in need of any special assistance, please email the organizers Cam Cross at mehat2011@gmail.com or Alex Muller at aafmuller [ at ] uchicago.edu.

Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh is an Assistant Professor of World Literature at New Jersey City University, and has taught at Columbia University, The New School University, and Sarah Lawrence College. His work specializes in ascendant literary and philosophical movements of the Middle East and the West and their existential impact for questions of chaos, illusion, rage, and the inhuman. He is the author of The Chaotic Imagination: New Literature and Philosophy of the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan 2010) and Inflictions: The Writing of Violence in Contemporary Middle Eastern Literature (Continuum, forthcoming Fall 2011). He is also the co-founder and director of the Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World and the co-editor of a books series on Contemporary Middle Eastern Thought with Continuum Books titled Suspensions.

Devin Stewart is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Emory University. Here is an introduction to his talk: 

Zayn al-Din al-Amili, a sixteenth-century Shiite jurist from what is now southern Lebanon, was executed by Ottoman authorities in 1558 and became known in the Shiite tradition as “the Second Martyr” (al-Shahid al-Thani). Historical investigation of his later career and martyrdom, important for understanding the status of Shiites under Ottoman rule, the history of Shiite legal scholarship, and Shiite martyrology, is difficult primarily because two-thirds of the most detailed account of his life, his student Ibn al-Awdi’s Bughyat al-murid, have been lost. Careful examination of the extant portion of the work together with other extant documents makes it possible to determine what was entailed in some of the missing portions, to identify key rhetorical strategies Ibn al-Awdi and others used to establish the legacy of the Second Martyr, and to understand their concept of sainthood.

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