Northwestern University

Feb
8
Thu 12:30 PM

Kathleen Marie Foody: Islamophilia - Imagining Islam through Public Diplomacy

When: Thursday, February 8, 2018
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM  

Where: Scott Hall, 212, 601 University Place, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Gina Giliberti  

Group: Global Politics and Religion Research Group (Buffett Institute)

Category: Academic

Description:

Professor Foody's current research explores the historical and lingering effects of US government involvement in defining Islam as public and foreign policy. She draws particular attention to the “Committee to Honor the Fourteenth Centennial of Islam” (ICF) and its activities under Presidents Carter and Reagan. President Carter instigated the creation of the ICF in 1979 in order to manage America’s image in the Middle East Over the course of the 1980s it produced not only a nationally-touring museum exhibit on the “Heritage of Islam” and a nationally-broadcast PBS series, but also culminated in one of the first academic centers in the United States devoted explicitly to the study of Islam. While the ICF’s activities ostensibly provided a counter-narrative to rising Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment, the discourses that swirled around them—including their own press reports, outside conspiracy theories, and academic analyses— often foreshadowed post-Cold War culture talk (Mamdani 2004) as well more contemporary xenophobic politics.

Professor Foody specializes in the study of Islam. Her research deals with modern Muslim definitions of religion, Islamic politics, and secularity. Other areas of interest include how global actors define and benefit from varied understandings of religious violence.

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