Islam in Asia


An Asian Studies Development Program – East-West Center & the University of Hawai’i

Faculty Development Workshop, hosted by the Department of History and the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences, Georgia Southern University at the Coastal Georgia Center of Savannah on September 27-29, 2007

The Workshop Program

The workshop program is interdisciplinary in content and approach, linking history and culture to the practice and social-political phenomena of Islam in contemporary Asia.  The workshop will discuss the introduction of Islam into Asia and its social and religious development into the 21st century.  Contemporary Islamic fundamentalism and a few extremists have politicized what is otherwise the peaceful religion of hundreds of millions of Asians.  Indeed, Islam has rich cultural traditions with much to offer to the global community.

It is impossible to discuss the political future of Asia without recognizing Islam as a driving force.  The current tensions involving radical Islam are of critical importance to the future security of the region and the world.  U.S. academics and their students need to understand Islam’s current and future role in Asia and within an international context.  The workshop’s goal is to enhance the knowledge of post-secondary faculty so they might better infuse Asian Islam into their current curriculum.  The workshop is funded by the Freeman Foundation and Georgia Southern University.

Workshop Schedule

Thursday, September 27

Registration:  4 pm to 7 pm, lobby of the Marriott Courtyard Savannah Historic District, 415 West Liberty Street, Savannah, GA 31401.  Airline reservations should be made for the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport which services the following airlines: Delta, Northwest, Continental, US Airways, Air Tran, United, and American.

Keynote Address: 7:00 - 9:15 p.m.

            Auditorium of the Coastal Georgia Center – approximately one block
            from the hotel across Martin Luther King Blvd. (maps will be provided at

Welcome Address:

            Jane Rhodes-Hudak, Dean, College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
            Georgia Southern University

Keynote Address:

            Professor Morris Rossabi, City University of New York
            From Silk to Oil Roads: The Rise of Islam in Asia

Friday, September 28

8:45 – 9:00       Coffee & Danish at Coastal Georgia Center     

9:00 – 12:00     Overview of Islam and its Arrival in Southeast Asia .
                          Professor Howard Federspiel, Professor of Political Science
                          and Islamic Studies, Ohio State University

12:00 – 1:30     Lunch – catered and served at the Coastal Georgia Center.

1:30 – 3:00       Islam in China and Central Asia , Professor Morris Rossabi,
                         City University of New York

3:30 – 4:30       Islam in a World Perspective: The Writing of a Textbook
                         Professor Vernon Egger, Georgia Southern University.

4:30 – 5:00       The Asian Studies Development Program and future

                          Elizabeth Buck, ASDP Co-Director, East-West Center.

5:00 – 8:00       Dinner on own – suggested restaurant list and location
                           maps will be provided

8:00 – 9:30       Movie – “ Osama ” (2003) (Afghanistan) winner of the 2004
                          “Best Foreign Language Film” Golden Globe.  Inspired by a true
                          story, this is first film made in Afghanistan after the fall of the
                          Taliban.  “After the brutal Taliban regime bans women from
                          working and forbids them to leave their homes without a male
                          escort, a 12-year old girl and her mother find themselves on the
                          brink of starvation.  With nowhere left to turn, the mother
                          disguises her daughter as a boy.  Now called “Osama,” the
                          young girl embarks on a terrifying and confusing journey, as
                          she tries to keep the Taliban from discovering her true identity.”

                          Film shown in conference room, Marriott Courtyard Savanna
                          Historic District Hotel

Saturday, September 29

8:45 – 9:00        Coffee & Danish at Coastal Georgia Center

9:00 – 12:00      Beyond the Veil: Gender and Social Change in South Asia ,
                          Professor Farhat Haq, Monmouth College

12:00 – 1:30      Catered Lunch

1:30 – 2:30        Presenters’ Summary Panel

                           Paul A. Rodell, Moderator
                           Morris Rossabi
                           Howard Federspiel
                           Vernon Egger
                           Farhat Haq

2:30                    Concluding Remarks – Elizabeth Buck, Co-Director, Asian
                           Studies Development Program, East-West Center/University of

Workshop Arrangements

The workshop program starts Thursday evening, September 27.

Participants need to check in at:

Marriott Courtyard Historic District Hotel
415 West Liberty Street
Savannah, GA 31401
Telephone: (912) 790-8287

Guest rooms cost $149 (+ taxes) per night and reservations should be made as soon as possible.  When phoning in your reservation, use the code “ASDO.”  The hotel has this event identified as the Asian Studies Development Program and not the program title “Islam in Asia” or Georgia Southern University. 

At 7 pm on September 27, the workshop program will begin with a keynote address, “ From Silk to Oil Roads: The Rise of Islam in Asia ,” by the distinguished professor of Islamic and Central Asian history, Morris Rossabi.  Unlike the remainder of the workshop, this lecture will be open to the general public.  The workshop program will encompass all of Friday including an evening movie and will end on Saturday afternoon about 3:00 pm.

The workshop has a regular $75 registration fee which covers the catered lunches, coffee and snacks at breaks, facilities costs, etc.  In addition, undergraduate and graduate students may participate at a reduced rate of $30.

Attendance is designed for teaching faculty at institutions of higher education (community colleges, universities and liberal arts colleges) who are interested in Islam and who will integrate the content of the workshop into their undergraduate courses.

Registration may be sent by email or mail.  We will confirm your registration upon receipt of your check for $75 made out to Georgia Southern University.  The deadline to register is September 14, 2007 .  Please use the registration form at the end of this letter.

Please send inquiries and registration forms to:

Dr. Paul A. Rodell
Department of History
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA 30460
912-681-5693 (tel.) 912-681-0377 (fax)


Professor Morris Rossabi is Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History at City University of New York and author of Khubilai Khan (1988), Voyager from Xanadu (1992), and China and Inner Asia (1975).  He has contributed to The Legacy of Genghis Khan , an exhibition of Ilkhanid Iranian art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and has also published Modern Mongolia: From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005).  In the same year, he was one of the principle writers/editors for the curriculum guide From Silk to Oil: Cross-Cultural Connections Along the Silk Roads , developed by the China Institute. 

Professor Howard Federspiel teaches Political Science at the Ohio State University at Newark, OH.  He is a noted authority of Islam in Indonesia and has published numerous scholarly articles and book chapters while his authored books include:  Indonesian Muslim Intellectuals of the Twentieth Century (2006), Islam and Ideology in the Emerging Indonesian State: The Persatuan Islam (Persis) 1923 to 1957 (2001), and Popular Indonesian Literature of the Qur’an (1994).  He also served as chief editor of the Anthology of Islamic Studies (1997).  His most recent book Sultans, Shamans, and Saints: Islam and Muslims in Southeast Asia was published this summer by the University of Hawai’i Press.

Professor Vernon Egger is Professor of History at Georgia Southern University where he teaches World History and the modern Middle East.  He is the author of a two-volume textbook A History of the Muslim World published by Prentice Hall.  The first volume The Making of a Civilization, to 1405 appeared in 2004, while the second volume, A Global Community, 1260 – Present, will be published in August 2007.

Professor Farhat Haq is Professor of Politics at Monmouth College in Illinois.  She moved to the United States from Pakistan when she was eighteen years old.  She earned her BA from SUNY Fredonia and her MA and Ph.D. from Cornell University.  Currently, she is Professor and Chairperson of the Politics Department of Monmouth College.  Dr. Haq’s publications include examinations of Islam and human rights, ethnic politics, and politics and gender in Pakistan.

Dr. Elizabeth Buck is the East-West Center Co-Director of the Asian Studies Development Program and has been with the program since its founding in 1990.  She served as Director of Education at the East-West Center and is currently Special Assistant to the President for Education.  Her Ph.D. is in Political Science from the University of Hawai’i.

Paul A. Rodell, workshop coordinator, is Associate Professor of History at Georgia Southern University where he teaches Southeast and East Asian history.  He served in the Philippines with the US Peace Corps, did MA work at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines, and received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  His book Culture and Customs of the Philippines (2002) won the Cecile B. Currey award of the Association of Third World Studies. He has over twenty scholarly articles and book chapters on Philippine religion and nationalism, contemporary Philippine politics, and Muslim separatist movements in the southern Philippines.

Sponsoring Entities

The Department of History at Georgia Southern University and the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences actively supports scholarly activities about Asia.  Georgia Southern University was founded in 1906 and is located in Statesboro approximately 50 miles from Savannah.  Georgia Southern University is a comprehensive regional research university of the Georgia state university system and is organized into six colleges.  The university offers 130 undergraduate and graduate degrees to its 17,000 students.

The East-West Center and the University of Hawai’i established the Asian Studies Development Program in 1990 to promote teaching about Asia at colleges and universities.  It offers residential institutes in Hawai’i, field studies in Asia and workshops on the U.S. mainland for faculty who teach at the undergraduate level.  To assist in its outreach programs on the mainland, the ASDP has created regional centers and for this program.  We would like to acknowledge the assistance of David Jones of the ASDP regional center at Kennesaw State University.


Registration for the Workshop – Islam in Asia

Faculty Registration: $75

Student Rate: $30

For further information please contact:  Paul A. Rodell, or 912-681-5693

Please fill out the form below and return it with your check payable to Georgia Southern University to: Department of History, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460

(Please Print)

Name _________________________________

Institution ______________________________________

Department _______________________________

Mailing Address ________________________________________________________________________


Phone ____________________________

E-Mail _____________________________________________

Meals (Please check one): _____ Regular (no pork) _____Vegetarian _____ Other Dietary Restrictions

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