Next in our series of Interim/Spring 2020 course previews: one of Dr. Amy Poppinga’s signature classes.

HIS/REL212U History of Islam

Days/Times: MWF 8:00-8:50am in Spring 2020

Prerequisite: GES 130 Christianity and Western Culture or GES244 Humanities III

Counts for:

American Muslim women praying in Dearborn, Michigan

Major option: History (Global category or elective); Social Studies Education (content area elective); Digital Humanities (Humanities core elective); International Relations (history elective); TEFL or TESL (area elective)

Minor option: History, Religious Studies

• General Education: World Cultures (U) course

Complete the sentence: Students should consider taking History of Islam if they __________.

…want to learn more about the 2nd largest religious group in the world.

…want to study parts of the world they may not be familiar with.

…want to hear stories of those who have often been overlooked or marginalized.

What’s a big question that you’re asking in this course?

What is the responsibility of Christians regarding others of different faith systems? How do we develop appreciative knowledge from studying the history of another people group and a narrative imagination from trying to put ourselves in the shoes of the Other?

What’s a favorite source you teach in this course?

Historically, students have really enjoyed watching the documentary, Fordson: Faith, Fasting, Football, which follows a majority Muslim high school football team through a difficult season. My favorite is An American Mosque — it’s the last film we watch and the shortest in length, but I find it leaves a powerful imprint and it always results in a rich class discussion.

Which historical individual or group are you most excited for students to meet in this course?

Muslim immigrants (primarily from the crumbling Ottoman Empire) to the US in the late 19th and early 20th century. Powerful, yet simple stories that work against the idea that Islam is new to our country.

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