Foundation to Islamic Studies and Muslim Societies

Register for Foundation to Islamic Studies and Muslim Societies.


Islamic Culture Studies GR5000
Kathryn Spellman Poots
Tues 10:10am-12:00pm
Knox 207


This seminar provides students with an introduction to key concepts, theories and debates in Islamic Studies, broadly conceived. Required for students in the Islamic Studies Master of Arts program, this course is also suitable for graduate students in other departments who study the Middle East, South Asia and Africa or are interested in Islam. With weekly guest visits by faculty, Foundation offers students a unique opportunity to learn directly from scholars from across disciplines and schools at Columbia. Qualified undergraduates may register with permission of Kathryn Spellman. 

Kathryn Spellman is Visiting Associate Professor at the Middle East Institute and the Academic Program Director of the Islamic Studies Master of Arts (ISMA) program at Columbia. She is Associate Professor at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies at the Aga Khan University. 

New Course Proposed by CSMS Faculty Members Funded by Columbia Global Scholars Program

Course title: Critical Texts and Practices in the Study of Muslim Societies: Orientalism and Its Others to be offered in 2019 with instruction at Columbia and in Tunis, Fez and Rabat.

GSP supports curricular development and innovation for undergraduate students. GSP was successfully launched, with generous support from the President’s Office, in 2012 as a pilot program by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute. Beginning in the summer of 2012, groups of undergraduate students, competitively chosen from across all Columbia schools and disciplines, have been led by Columbia faculty on multi-week, multi-country research workshops on themes of global importance. Unlike traditional study abroad programs, GSP allows students to conduct fieldwork in one area of the world and then test their findings in additional host countries that offer new sets of variables. GSP builds on the expertise, resources, and cross-regional networks offered by Columbia’s eight Global Centers. Its aim is to help undergraduates map the globe by exploring transnational issues and applying social science research skills in a range of challenging and diverse international contexts. In 2017, it transitioned to a joint initiative between the Office of Global Programs and Columbia Global Centers.

Marwa Elshakry, Lead Faculty Director of Critical Texts and Practices in the Study of Muslim Societies: Orientalism and Its Others (Tunis, Fez, and Rabat) is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Columbia University, where she specializes in the history of science, technology, and medicine in the modern Middle East.