NCA Inside & Out

NCA Grant Recipient Holds Muslims in Academia Symposium

NCA Grant Recipient Holds Muslims in Academia Symposium

May 6, 2019


In March, Lamiyah Bahrainwala, an NCA Advancing the Discipline grant recipient and Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Southwestern University in Texas, organized a Muslims in Academia Symposium. The one-day event drew more than 150 attendees to discuss anti-Muslim sentiment and the needs of underrepresented students and faculty. The event brought together not only Southwestern students and faculty, but also community activists and members of the Georgetown-Austin, Texas region to discuss campus climate, inclusion, and equity issues. 

University of Texas at Austin Professor of History Denise A. Spellberg, served as keynote speaker at the event. Spellberg is the author of Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders (Knopf, 2013) and Politics, Gender, and the Islamic Past (Columbia University Press, 1994). 

The symposium featured a student-led panel on Muslim voices, a faculty-led panel on how faculty can decolonize their curricula, and a panel representing marginalized voices. During the panel, Southwestern students and faculty joined civil-rights activists from the community in a frank discussion about the study of Islam, the costs of not having enough Muslim faculty to mentor Muslim students, and examples of Muslim exclusion in student life and campus policies.

For more information on this year’s Advancing the Discipline grant recipients, visit the NCA website.