Event: From Ms. Marvel to the Smithsonian: A Conversation on Teaching Religious Literacy through Arts and Popular Culture
In this conversation, Dr. Rashid will discuss his work and its uses in the classroom, with a particular focus on the Children’s Museum of Manhattan exhibit “America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far?”
Dr. Hussein Rashid is the new Assistant Dean for Religion and Public Life and comes to RPL with a wealth of experience as an educator in public and classroom settings. He has particular expertise in integrating the arts into the study of religion.
From work with museums to film, documentary, and comics, Rashid has long engaged the power of images and art to highlight complexity and captivate learners when teaching religious literacy. Among other projects Dr. Rashid executive produced the Times Op-Doc “The Secret History of Muslims in the US” and co-edited a volume on Ms. Marvel, the first Muslim to have her own comic series with Marvel Comics.
More information here.
Discover how films can bring people together, spark conversations, and inspire positive change. From exploring the role of documentaries in raising awareness about social issues to discussing the influence of fictional films in shaping our perceptions, this event offers a unique opportunity to delve into the world of community building through cinema. This conversation explores the transformative power of movies!
On Wednesday, September 20th, the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign held a conversation about the power of film as a tool to support community healing, process experiences of violence, and engage new communities in the important ongoing work of building a pluralistic and inclusive country. This conversation featured Pardeep S. Kaleka, co-director of Not in Our Town, Aber Kawas, a community organizer featured in An Act of Worship, and Dr. Hussein Rashid, a professor and scholar of religion specializing in Muslims and American Popular Culture.
Since 1988, The New School has recognized outstanding teachers with the Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2014, the university established an Award for Outstanding Achievements in Social Justice Teaching to recognize members of the faculty who significantly advance social justice through their teaching and research. Listed below are individuals who have been recognized for their outstanding commitment to teaching.
2023 Distinguished University Teaching Awards
- Anjali Khosla, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Design, Eugene Lang College
- Kenneth Millington, Part-Time Assistant Professor, Parsons First Year, Parsons School of Design
- Hussein Rashid, Part-Time Lecturer, Religious Studies, Eugene Lang College
From The New School
The practice of teaching Islam in the American context has a particular intellectual pedigree. At this point, the critique of the Study of Religion as emerging out of a normative Christian framework is well-established in the field. Edward Said’s argument for the ways in which Islam is constructed to meet American political interests, rather than an engagement with Muslims and their religion, is nearly forty years old. These power dynamics mean that students, through popular discourse, understand Wahhabi Islam as Sunni Islam, which they consider the “true Islam” against which other Islams are judged. I propose a model of looking at how Muslims define their religion through contestation and relation which allows students to understand the dynamic nature of their traditions. What I outline as an approach gives a greater sense of covering the breadth of material represented by a global religious community, with over a millennium of history.
In their co-edited volume, Ms. Marvel’s America: No Normal (University Press of Mississippi, 2020), Jessica Baldanzi and Hussein Rashid focus on the superhero Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan. The first Muslim superhero to headline her own series, the teenager Kamala Khan is also a second-generation Pakistani immigrant who lives in New Jersey. Her complex identities and storyline in the comic world of Marvel welcomes a multifaceted exploration, one that exists at the nexus of religion, gender, culture, race, and much more. By bringing together scholars from a range of disciplines including literature, cultural studies, religious studies, pedagogy, and communications, the edited volume engages in a fascinating conversation around the character of Ms. Marvel. The book contains accessibly written essays from and about diverse voices on an array of topics, such as fashion, immigration, history, race, and fandom. The volume also includes an exclusive interview with Ms. Marvel author and cocreator G. Willow Wilson by gender studies scholar Dr. Shabana Mir. This text is a fantastic classroom resource that can work in numerous courses on Islam, such as those that focus gender or American Islam to broad courses on religion, such as religion and popular culture. The text is also useful text for educators, such as those in primary and secondary school, who may want to incorporate Ms. Marvel in their own curriculum.