Marian Miner Cook
Athenaeum

A distinctive
feature of social and
cultural life at CMC

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017 - Lunch Program
The Post-Election Politics of Identity
Zachary Courser '99

Defying all political expectations and conventional norms, Trump's vulgar pronouncements on race and gender and his signature lack of decorum did little to arrest his progress to the White House. CMC professor of government Zachary Courser '99 will analyze how an emerging white racial identity group—combined with a coarsening of political rhetoric—helped elect Trump, and how the new politics of white identity shape his agenda.

Zachary Courser '99 is the research director of the Dreier Roundtable and a visiting assistant professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. He has published articles on the emergence of the Tea Party movement, and is a contributor and editor of the forthcoming volume Parchment Barriers: Political Polarization and the Limits of Constitutional Order. Courser has taught political science courses at a number of institutions, including the University of Virginia, Claremont McKenna College, Boston College, and Washington and Lee University. In fall 2016, Courser established CMC's Policy Lab, an innovative new undergraduate course focused on public policy analysis of real world problems in coordination with a Washington DC think tank. He also has taught and researched internationally at Sciences Po Lyon in France, and worked as a senior program director and fellow for the Legatum Institute in London. He has experience working in Washington, DC, both on Capitol Hill and as the interim director of Claremont McKenna College’s Washington Program. He is a regular political commentator on NPR affiliate KPCC's AirTalk program in Los Angeles, and frequently gives talks on American politics.

 

Monday, October 23, 2017 - Evening Program
Hymns of Wisdom: The Ismaili Ginans of South Asia
Ali Asani

Ali Asani, professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard University, will introduce the ginans, hymns of wisdom of the South Asia’s Ismaili communities, and their most important themes, including their ritual and performative contexts and the manner these have been impacted by a variety of political, social, and religious influences in colonial and postcolonial South Asia.

Ali Asani is professor of Indo-Muslim and Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard University where he was both an undergraduate and graduate student. A specialist of Islam in South Asia, Asani's research focuses on Shia and Sufi devotional literature and traditions in the region.

Asani served as the director of Harvard’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Islamic Studies Program from 2010-2016. He serves on the faculty of the departments of South Asian Studies and African and African-American Studies. He teaches a range of courses covering South Asian and African languages and literatures as well as courses on various aspects of the Islamic tradition including “Understanding Islam and Contemporary Muslim Societies” and “Religion, Literature, and the Arts in Muslim Cultures,” among others. He also teaches about Muslim communities in the West.

Asani is recipient of the Harvard Foundation medal for his outstanding contributions to improving intercultural and race relations. He is also the recipient of Harvard's Petra C. Shattuck prize for excellence in teaching.

Professor Asani's Athenaeum presentation is part of the "Devotion in South Asia" series co-sponsored by a curricular development grant from the Dean of Faculty's Office at CMC.

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