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in collaboration with The English Department, Hunter College, CUNY, 625 Park Ave, NYC

OCTOBER 22-25, 2015 at Hunter College, NYC
Individual Session Tickets: $15; $12 IAAC members/Hunter College Faculty & Students
- See Schedule below
Daily Pass (includes all daytime sessions on either the 24th or the 25th):
$50; $40 IAAC members/Hunter College Faculty & Students Buy Tickets
Festival Pass (includes all Lit Fest events and sessions)
$150; $120 IAAC members/Hunter College Faculty & Students Buy Tickets
October 25th, 2015
Session 1A : 10:45 - 11:45 am
Over-Exposed and Invisible: Writing the South Asian Muslim Experience
Authors: Kavitha Rajagopolan, Tanwi Nandini Islam, Moustafa Bayoumi
Moderator/Author: Marina Budhos

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Writing is an intimate act. But news about Islam, the war on terror, ISIS, and Muslims daily blares in the public sphere. How to bring to light an experience that is both over-exposed and invisible? As a writer creating literature about the South Asian Muslim experience, how does one manage the balance of private and public? Does one write to counter Islamophobia and stereotpyes? Or simply stay true to one’s own private vision? What are the particular challenges of creating a literature of the South Asian Muslim experience? Authors Marina Budhos, Tanwi Nandini Islam and Kavitha Rajgopolan will share their own experiences as authors writing fiction and nonfiction on the South Asian Muslim experience.
Kavitha RajagopalanKavitha Rajagopalan is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and at the World Policy Institute, where she specializes in global migration and diverse cities. She is the author of Muslims of Metropolis: The Stories of Three Immigrant Families in the West (Rutgers University Press 2008), which was the finalist for the Twelfth Asian American Literary Award in Nonfiction. She writes and comments widely on various issues related to migration and diversity, previously as an oped columnist for PBS and Newsday, as a contributor to various policy magazines and scholarly journals, as a reviewer for The Feminist Review and The LA Review of Books, and as a contributor to two books on education in pluralist societies. She is co-author of a book on educational assessment (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) and is at work on a literary nonfiction book about undocumented migration worldwide. More>
Muslims of MetropolisIn Muslims of Metropolis, Kavitha Rajagopalan takes a much-needed step in personalizing and humanizing our understanding of the Muslim diaspora. Tracing the stories of three very different families-a Palestinian family moving to London, a Kurdish family moving to Berlin, and a Bangladeshi family moving to New York-she reveals a level of complexity and nuance that is seldom considered. Through their voices and in their words, Rajagopalan describes what prompted these families to leave home, what challenges they faced in adjusting to their new lives, and how they came to view their place in society. Interviews with community leaders, social justice organizations, and with academics and political experts in each of the countries add additional layers of insight to how broad political issues, like nationalist conflict, immigration reform, and antiterrorism strategies affect the lives of Muslims who have migrated in search of economic stability and personal happiness.

Tanwi Nandini IslamTanwi Nandini Islam is a writer, multimedia artist, and founder of Hi Wildflower Botanica, a handcrafted natural perfume and skincare line. Her writing has appeared on Elle.com, Fashionista.com, and Billboard.com, and in the Feminist Wire, Open City, and Hyphen magazine. A graduate of Vassar College and Brooklyn College’s MFA program, she lives in Brooklyn. You can visit her website at www.tanwinandini.com.
Bright LinesBright Lines is a fresh, dynamic new voice in literary fiction, and she writes passionately about the complex political and cultural histories of her Bangladeshi-American characters. In this magnetic debut novel, Tanwi tells the powerful story of one family and three young women coming of age in Brooklyn and Bangladesh.

Inspired in part by Tanwi’s trips to Bangladesh to visit the village where her parents grew up and to research the Bangladesh Liberation War, Bright Lines’s vibrant narrative encompasses issues of immigration, feminism, gender, coming of age, botany, and fashion. Fans of Junot Díaz, Dinaw Mengestu, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, NoViolet Bulawayo, and Jhumpa Lahiri are sure to be captured by Tanwi’s energetic prose and her deep understanding of the ways in which different generations come to live in America.

Moustafa BayoumiMoustafa Bayoumi is the author of the critically acclaimed How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America (Penguin), which won an American Book Award and the Arab American Book Award for Non-Fiction, and This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The Guardian, The National, CNN.com, The London Review of Books, The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education,The Progressive, and other places. His essay “Disco Inferno” was included in the collection Best Music Writing of 2006 (Da Capo). Bayoumi is also the co-editor of The Edward Said Reader (Vintage) and editor of Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: the Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict (O/R Books & Haymarket Books). With Lizzy Ratner, he also co-edited a special issue of The Nation magazine on Islamophobia (July 2-9, 2012). More>
This Muslim Life AmericaThis Muslim Life America - Over the last few years, Moustafa Bayoumi has been an extra in Sex and the City 2 playing a generic Arab, a terrorist suspect (or at least his namesake “Mustafa Bayoumi” was) in a detective novel, the subject of a trumped-up controversy because a book he had written was seen by right-wing media as pushing an “anti-American, pro-Islam” agenda, and was asked by a U.S. citizenship officer to drop his middle name of Mohamed. More>

Marina BudhosMarina Budhos is an author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction, for both adults and young adults. Her latest book, Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom & Science, co-authored with her husband Marc Aronson, was a 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist, a finalist for the YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction, and was cited by The New York Times as exemplary nonfiction for children. Budhos will next publish two books: Watched (Wendy Lamb/Random House), a follow-up novel to her award-winning Ask Me No Questions, about surveillance of Muslim communities in our post 9/11 era. More>
October 25th, 2015
Session 4A : 3:30 4:30 pm
Treading on Eggshells:The Muslim "Invasion"
Authors: Mahmood Mamdani, Akeel Bilgrami
Moderator/Author:  J.J.Robinson

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A discussion on the global & political ramifications of Muslims today - their secular identity, nationhood and identity in a crisis moment; as well as a world view of refugees, racism, terrorism…..
Akeel BilgramiAkeel Bilgrami got his first degree in English Literature at Elphinstone College, Bombay and then went to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar for another Bachelor's degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. He has a Ph.D in Philosophy from the University of Chicago. He is the Sidney Morgenbesser Chair of Philosophy at Columbia University, as well as a Professor in the Committee on Global Thought as well as the Director of the South Asian Institute there. His publications include Belief and Meaning (Wiley, 1992), Self-Knowledge and Resentment (Harvard, 2006), Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment (Harvard, 2014).
Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment - Bringing clarity to a subject clouded by polemic, Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment is a rigorous exploration of how secularism and identity emerged as concepts in different parts of the modern world. At a time when secularist and religious worldviews appear irreconcilable, Akeel Bilgrami strikes out on a path distinctly his own, criticizing secularist proponents and detractors, liberal universalists and multicultural relativists alike.

Mahmood MamdaniMahmood Mamdani has been the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government in the Departments of Anthropology and International Affairs, and Director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1974 and specializes in the study of African history and politics. His works explore the intersection between politics and culture, a comparative study of colonialism since 1452, the history of civil war and genocide in Africa, the Cold War and the War on Terror, and the history and theory of human rights. His books include Citizen and Subject, When Victims Become Killers and Good Muslim Bad Muslim: America, The Cold War, and the Roots of Terror.
Good Muslim Bad MuslimGood Muslim Bad Muslim - In this brilliant look at the rise of political Islam, the distinguished political scientist and anthropologist Mahmood Mamdani brings his expertise and insight to bear on a question many Americans have been asking since 9/11: how did this happen? Good Muslim, Bad Muslim is a provocative and important book that will profoundly change our understanding both of Islamist politics and the way America is perceived in the world today.

JJ RobinsonJJ Robinson has worked as a journalist for 10 years, including four as editor of the Maldives’ first independent English-language news outlet. He covered crooked elections, political riots, Islamic extremism, human trafficking, grand corruption of the judiciary and was among the only foreign witnesses to the 2012 coup d'état that toppled the country’s first democratically-elected government. He was the Maldives' Reuters correspondent and its Reporters Without Borders representative, and has appeared on the BBC, Radio Australia, Al Jazeera and others as a Maldives expert. He has guest-lectured on journalism and the Maldives at universities in Australia and Sweden, and appeared on regional freedom of expression advisory panels for the UN. Prior to the Maldives he worked for a family-run newspaper in the Australian outback town of Narrabri, and a business/technology magazine in London. More>
The MaldivesThe Maldives - It closely examines the downfall of the Maldivian democracy experiment, in particular the former dictatorship's exploitation of Islamic nationalism. The introduction of freedom of expression by the democracy movement proved a double-edged sword as it allowed a new and imported fundamentalist interpretation of Islam to very quickly destroy the country's traditional relaxed practice. The regime embraced extremism to topple the fledgling liberal democracy, and now the Maldives contributes more fighters to Islamic state per capita than any other country not directly involved in the armed conflict. It is at the same time trying to maintain its reputation as the top romantic honeymoon resort destination for hedonistic Westerners.
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