Reading List

Collage of required reading book covers Collage of required reading book covers

Core Reading Selections

Three books, one audio book, and short selections from the onsite reading list will be assigned for participants to complete prior to arrival:

  1. Ruthven, Malise. Islam: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions). Oxford University Press, 2012. 200pp. In this accessible, compact, and reliable introduction to Islam, Ruthven traces the origins of the religion in the 7th century, tracks the proliferation of multiple and competing versions of Islam, and examines the central importance of Islamic law as well as customary ways of eating , dressing, and praying that regulate the lives of Muslims.
  2. Curtis, Edward E. Muslims of the Heartland: How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest. New York University Press. 2022. 265pp. Curtis, descendant of Syrian Midwesterners, paints a vivid portrait of Syrian immigrants who contributed to key American institutions like the assembly line, the family farm, the dance hall, and the public school. This story-driven narratives shows how the first two generations of Midwestern Syrians in the Midwest created a life that was at once Arab, Muslim, and American.
  3. Kahf, Mohja. Girl in a Tangerine Scarf. Public Affairs, 2006. 448 pp (YL) Kahf’s thoughtful narrative stands out from the typical American immigrant saga of devout parents struggling to maintain old-world ways while negotiating with their kids over the enticements of secular culture. Girl in a Tangerine Scarf complicates this simplistic formula by narrating identity formation in intersectional ways. Through the story of Khadra, a Syrian-American Muslim who grows up in Indiana in the 1970s and 80s, the novel shows the complexity of American Muslim identity development.
  4. X, Malcom and Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, narrated by Laurence Fishburne, Audible, 2020.  (Audible: 16 hours, 52 minutes). A powerful story of education amidst oppression and struggle, this classic helps highlight the experiences of Muslim-Americans who are of African-American or African diaspora cultural traditions.
  5. Wertheimer, Linda. Faith Ed: Teaching About Religion in an Age of Intolerance. Beacon Press, 2018. Paperback. 211 pp. Audible: 8 hours, 2 minutes. An experienced journalist’s powerful account of how religion and education have collided in U.S. schools, and how some schools are creating new curriculum for the rich religious diversity of the present era.

Detailed Onsite Reading List

Abraham, Danielle Widmann. “Food Practices: The Ethics Of Eating,” in The Practice of Islam in America: An Introduction. Edward E. Curtis, editor. New York: New York University Press, 2017. [electronic reserve]

Ali, Wajahat, The Domestic Crusaders: A Two-Act Play. McSweeney’s Books, 2010 [electronic reserve]

Bucar, Liz. “Dear Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats: A Hijab Is Not a Hat,” Religion News Service, 3 January  2019. [electronic reserve]

Curtis, Edward E. The Practice of Islam in America: An Introduction. New York University Press, 2017. [electronic reserve]

Dewey, John. “Freedom,” in The Collected Works of John Dewey, 1882-1953, ed by Jo Ann Boydston (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1967-1991), LW 2: 247. [electronic reserve]

Dewey, John. “Creative Democracy — The Task before us,” in The Collected Works of John Dewey, 1882-1953, ed by Jo Ann Boydston (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1967-1991), LW 14: 224.  [electronic reserve]

Mobin-Uddin, Asma, and Barbara Kiwak. My Name Is Bilal. 1st ed., Boyds Mills Press, 2005.

Mobin-Uddin, Asma, and Laura Jacobsen. The Best Eid Ever. 1st ed., Boyds Mills Press, 2007.

Mobin-Uddin, Asma, and Laura Jacobsen. A Party in Ramadan. 1st ed., Boyds Mills Press, 2009.

Peek, Lori. “Becoming Muslim: The Development of a Religious Identity.” Sociology of Religion, vol. 66, no. 3, 2005, pp. 215-242. [electronic reserve]

Pollitt, Katha. “Veil of Fears.” The Nation, 14 June 2010, https://www.thenation.com/article/archive/veil-fears/. Accessed 1 March 2021. [electronic reserve]

Rashid, Hussein. “Ramadan, Eid al-fitr, and Eid al-adha: Fasting And Feasting,” in The Practice of Islam in America: An Introduction. Edward E. Curtis, editor. New York: New York University Press, 2017. [electronic reserve]

Sarroub, Loukia K. All American Yemeni Girls: Being Muslim in a Public School. University of Pennsylvania, 2005. [electronic reserve]