MTSU professor leads readers on ‘Muslim Journeys’...

MTSU professor leads readers on ‘Muslim Journeys’

An MTSU professor is conducting a free public program this fall to familiarize the public with the history, faith and cultures of Muslims.

Dr. Kari Neely, assistant professor of Arabic and Middle East Studies at MTSU, will guide “Muslim Journeys: Points of View,” a five-part reading and discussion program sponsored by Humanities Tennessee.

Dr. Kari Neely

The program will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. every other Thursday from Sept. 12 to Nov. 7 at the Edmondson Pike Branch Library, located at 5501 Edmondson Pike in Nashville.

The series features literature by and/or about individuals of majority-Muslim nations, intending to show the diversity within the Muslim community. The books are:

  • “In the Country of Men” by Hisham Matar (Libya).
  • “Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood” by Marjane Satrapi (Iran).
  • “House of Stone” by Anthony Shadid (Lebanon).
  • “Broken Verses” by Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan).
  • “Dreams of Trespass” by Fatima Mernissi (Morocco).

“We hope that exploring various points of view will help promote a broader understanding of what it means to be Muslim and to humanize that experience beyond sound bites and news reports,” said Neely.

Neely said she hopes the ideas that spring forth from the books will promote discussion even among people who have not read them.

“Muslim Journeys: Points of View” is funded through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.

Humanities Tennessee is a nonprofit organization that helps Tennesseans examine and critically reflect upon the narratives, traditions, beliefs and ideas of multiple cultures, “as expressed through the arts and letters — that define us as individuals and participants in community life.”

Space to attend the program is limited. For more information or to reserve a space, call 615-880-3957, extension 227.

—Gina K. Logue (