Humanitarianism, Activism, Media, Religion: A Public Panel and Media Project

The SSRC (Social Science Research Council), in conjunction with the Center for Study of Democracy, is going to be holding a panel discussion on the distinctions and similarities between religious and secular medias. Panelists will include Birgit Meyer (VU University Amsterdam), Charles Hirschkind (University of California, Berkeley) and Peter Redfield (University of North Carolina). In particular, I am curious about Hirschkind’s talk on The Ethical Soundscape: Cassette Sermons and Islamic Counterpublics (2006), in where he will explore how a popular form of Muslim media [i.e., the cassette sermon], has profoundly transformed the political geography of the Middle East over the last three decades. While Hirschkind’s work looks primarily at the Middle East, I think it would be equally pertinent in both Salafi and Sufi circles in the States [I continue to witness the prevalence of the cassette sermon here in Philadelphia amongst the Blackamerican community].

If you have a chance to attend, it will be Thursday, October 23, from 6-8pm in the library at Columbia University’s Casa Italiana, located at 1161 Amsterdam Avenue. For more info, see the SSRC’s web site and blog. Let me know if you have notes from the event [I am teaching that evening and cannot attend].