Something Supernatural: Tales from Around the World

This webinar series explores a variety of supernatural phenomena worldwide. Blending academic discussion with story telling, we delve into specific cultural expressions of the supernatural as well as shared elements among various societies. Are such stories evidence of our shared humanity? Do they speak more to cultural specificity? Or are we dealing with something as inexplicable as the supernatural itself? Join us for such probing questions and chilling tales.

Webinar: Tales of the Jinn

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Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022 at 2 p.m.

Across time and space, there are references to the existence of beings referred to as jinns. Ali A. Olomi, assistant professor of history at Loyola Marymount University, will discuss the origins of the jinn and different cultural and religious conceptions of these creatures. Throughout he will also share tales featuring jinns and their interactions with humans across the globe. Farida Jalalzai will moderate.

Olomi is a historian of the Middle East and Islam researching, writing, and publishing on medieval and modern Muslim thought. He studies how Muslims imagined the “Islamic world” at the intersection of religion, science, and empire. He works on how Muslims in the premodern and modern world deployed the concept of homeland to etch the borders of empire, construct collective identity, and imagine the other.  Olomi's research examines the Muslim imagination of the monstrous through the djinn/jinn, the early history of astronomy and its role in empire-building, and Islamic apocalypticism and cosmology. He has an interest in the deep roots of nationalism, the histories of science and rationality, Islamism, gender and sexuality, and the tension between global religious community and local identity. He has additional research and teaching interests in world history, critical theory, the global south, historiography, folklore, and mysticism.

Webinar: Substantive Representation of Women in Asian Parliaments

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Friday, Nov. 4, 2022 at 9 a.m.

This webinar discusses a new edited collection by Devin K. Joshi and Christian Echle (2022, Routledge) that assesses the progress women have made in pursuing legislative office throughout Asia, but, more crucially, how women and men parliamentarians advance women’s well-being and gender equality. Panelists are authors of various chapters, including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, and will also feature parliamentarians from Indonesia and Malaysia. Farida Jalalzai will moderate.

This webinar is made possible in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Singapore and Asian Democratic Leaders' Alliance.