Faculty Readers' Forum

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K-16 Educators and librarians are invited to participate in the bi-annual CERIS Faculty Readers' Forum.

NEXT MEETING: October 19, 2018 Seton Hill University, Greensburg Room, Administration Building
5 PM Dinner
6 PM Book Discussion

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

Winner of the California Book Award
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
Finalist for the National Book Award
“Beautiful and absorbing.”—New York Times

An Unnecessary Woman is a breathtaking portrait of one reclusive woman’s late-life crisis, which garnered a wave of rave reviews and love letters to Alameddine’s cranky yet charming septuagenarian protagonist, Aaliya, a character you “can’t help but love” (NPR). Aaliya’s insightful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and her volatile past. As she tries to overcome her aging body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left. Here, the gifted Rabih Alameddine has given us a nuanced rendering of one woman's life in the Middle East and an enduring ode to literature and its power to define who we are.

“A paean to the transformative power of reading, to the intellectual asylum from one’s circumstances found in the life of the mind.”—LA Review of Books

“[The novel] throbs with energy…[Aaliya’s] inventive way with words gives unfailing pleasure, no matter how dark the events she describes, how painful the emotions she reveals.”—Washington Post

Dr. Rachel Sternfeld is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will facilitate the discussion.

20 copies of the book are available. The book is also available online through the University of Pittsburgh library system, please check your library for access to online version.

To Register: https://goo.gl/forms/Qjk1uh4zWmaXixWD3

Our Faculty Readers' Forum provides cross-disciplinary reading materials – including books (fiction and nonfiction), articles, and papers related to Islamic studies – and a venue for discussion and exchange of ideas. Our long term goal is to broaden current course curriculum at member institutions to include Islamic studies content in ongoing courses and/or the creation of new courses.

Books read:
Hate Your Policies, Love Your Institutions by John Waterbury, in Foreign Affairs, January/February 2003
No God but God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam by Geneive Abdo
The Ornament of the World by Maria Rosa Menocal
Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations by Michael Anthony Sells
Orientalism by Edward Wadie Said
Following Muhammad: Rethinking Islam in the Contemporary World by Carl M. Ernst
Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas by Sylvian A. Diouf
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Islam Without Fear: Egypt and the New Islamists by Raymond William Baker
Islam and the Secular State, Negotiating the Future of Shari’a by Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im
City of Oranges, An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa by Adam LeBor
The Crisis of Islamic Civilization by Ali Allawi
The Long Journey, In Search of Justice and Peace in Jerusalem by James G. Paharik
Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam by Akbar Ahmed
House of Stone by Anthony Shadid
In the House of Men by Hisham Matar
The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
Paradise Beneath Her Feet, How Women Are Transforming the Middle East by Isobel Coleman
Revolution 2.0 by Wael Ghonim
Mornings In Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam, and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace by Paul Moses
Who is Allah, by Bruce B. Lawrence
A Sultan in Palermo: A Novel (The Islam Quintet), by Tariq Ali
Thomas Jefferson's Quran: Islam and the Founder by Denise A. Spellberg
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Beyond Timbuktu by Ousmane Oumar Kane
The Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine