Middle East Studies Program

Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys


There will be lots of chances to talk at the library this year. San Jose State University’s, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library is one of 125 libraries across the country to receive a prestigious grant from the National Endowment of the Humanities/American Library Association. The Muslim Journey’s, “Let’s Talk About It!” series is a year-long project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities to encourage and support public and university library programming around the “Muslim Journey’s Bookshelf”—a selection of 25 books given to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library last year as part of the NEH/ALA initiative to promote dialogues and discussions about Muslim culture and society. This project offers a window into the rich history, culture, and storytelling traditions of the Middle East and the Muslim world, and highlights the diverse cultures, perspectives, faiths of the Islamic world, and its contributions to world civilization.

Under direction of Project Director and Middle East Studies Librarian, Peggy Cabrera, and Project Scholar, Dr. Persis Karim, SJSU Professor in English and Comparative Literature, SJSU Coordinator of the Middle East Studies Consortium, and Director of the Persian Studies Program, the Muslim Journeys, “Let’s Talk About It!” programs will include a series of public lectures and programs that invite SJSU and the larger community to participate in discussions around five select titles in the thematic conversation, “Literary Reflections.” The books in this year-long discussion series, The Arabian Nights translated by Husain Haddawy; Dreams of Trespass by Fatima Mernissi; Conference of the Birds by Farid Ud-Attar; Snow by Orhan Parmuk and Minaret by Leila Aboulela, are designed to promote discussion of these five textual examples from the Muslim context. Held once a month, each discussion will include a short presentation by the invited scholar, to answer questions, and facilitate a group discussion of the reading.  

The Fall 2013 discussion series includes:

  • The Arabian Nights reading/discussion led by Dr. Persis Karim, Thursday, Sept. 17th, 7-8:30 pm
  • Dreams of Trespass reading/discussion by Dr. Shahin Gerami, Tuesday, Oct. 29th, 5:30-7:00 pm
  • Conference of the Birds reading/discussion by Sholeh Wolpe, Poet & Literary Translator, Thursday, Nov. 7th, 7-8:30 pm

All programs will be held in rm. 255/257 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, 150 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA 95192. http://www.sjlibrary.org/

For more information, to register for an upcoming discussion, or to obtain copies of program materials, please contact contact Peggy Cabrera, 408-808-2034 and/or Peggy.Cabrera@sjsu.edu or http://libguides.sjsu.edu/muslim_journeys