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The Past and Future of American-Muslim Relations

Seminar Crosley Lecture Series

Anouar Majid

Anouar Majid

Director, Center for Global Humanities, University of New England

Professor Anouar Majid will walk us through the history of American-Muslim relations, outline what unites and divides the two cultures, reflect on the most sensitive issues in the complex relationship between the United States and the Muslim world, and suggest ways for both civilizations to build a better future.


Anouar Majid is the Founding Director of the Center for Global Humanities and Associate Provost for Global Initiatives at the University of New England. He is the author of several critically acclaimed books, including Unveiling Traditions: Postcolonial Islam in a Polycentric World, published by Duke University Press in 2000, and recommended by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) as a book for understanding the context of 9/11; Freedom and Orthodoxy: Islam and Difference in the Post-Andalusian Age, published by Stanford University Press in 2004; A Call for Heresy: Why Dissent is Vital to Islam and America, published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2007; We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades Against Muslims and Other Minorities, also by Minnesota in 2009, and earlier this year, Islam and America: Building a Future Without Prejudice from Rowman and Littlefield.

Reviewing Islam and America, Publishers Weekly called the book an “important work,” and added: “Majid’s message is critical in today’s political climate, and this work is a worthwhile contribution to an ongoing dialogue.” Booklist also praised the book and wrote: “Forthright and fair, Majid’s analysis will not satisfy everyone. But that’s exactly the point. [As Majid states,] “‘Conversations humanize us; unyielding certitudes turn us into warring tribes and killing machines.’”

Majid has lectured and given keynote addresses at major universities and cultural institutions in the United States and around the world; he also contributed opinion pieces to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post, and other media outlets. Several of his articles have been reprinted in different publications.

Majid is also author of the novel Si Yussef (1992, 2005). In late 2003, he co-founded and started editing Tingis, the first Moroccan-American magazine of ideas and culture. The magazine is now published under the new title of TingisRedux. Majid also hosts a related blog titled Tingitana.

Majid has been described by Cornel West in his book Democracy Matters as one of a few "towering Islamic intellectuals." His work and life have been profiled by Bill Moyers in the PBS program Bill Moyers Journal and by Al Jazeera's Date in Exile series. In a new film titled Islam Unknown, released by Icarus Films, he is one of eight leading global scholars interviewed by the Dutch philosopher Fons Elders on Islam and the West.

Majid represented Morocco in a summit with American evangelicals (the first of its kind) and has addressed Western and Muslim audiences about the need for heresy and critical thinking in their societies.

Assigned Reading

Anouar Majid, Islam and America: Building a Future Without Prejudice (Rowman and Littlefield, 2012)


A reception will be held at 5pm at the UNE Art Gallery


Center for Global Humanities


(207) 221-4335

6:00 PM
WCHP Lecture Hall

Portland Campus

Free and open to the public