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Muslim Women's Voices at Wesleyan

During the 2014-2015 academic year, Muslim Women’s Voices at Wesleyan expanded awareness, knowledge, and understanding of Muslim cultures through the lens of performance. We explored the work of extraordinary artists from around the globe: each one bringing a distinct set of personal experiences and embedded in a particular place, society, and cultural tradition. Through this journey, we invited audiences to celebrate the complexity of Muslim women today, and the historical and cultural context from which they have emerged.



Click here to download a pdf of Muslim Women’s Voices at Wesleyan: Understanding Muslim Cultures Through The Lens of Performance by Patricia M. Rodriguez Mosquera, Department of Psychology, Wesleyan University.

Muslim Women’s Voices at Wesleyan was part of the Creative Campus Initiative of the Center for the Arts, and was made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters: Building Bridges: Campus Community Engagement Grants Program, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Co-sponsored by the Hartford Seminary, the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, and the Pakistani American Association of Connecticut.

For Muslim Women’s Voices at Wesleyan, the Center for the Arts partnered with Wesleyan’s Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life; Center for Community Partnerships; College of Letters; Dance Department; Department of Romance Languages and Literatures; Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; French Studies; Green Street Arts Center; Middle Eastern Studies Certificate Program; Music Department; Muslim Students' Association; Office of Academic Affairs; Office of Equity and Inclusion; Office of Religious and Spiritual Life; Psychology Department Culture and Emotion Lab; R.A.W. (Rap Assembly at Wesleyan); Religion Department; the Thomas and Catharine McMahon Fund; South Asia Studies; Theater Department; and Turath House.

Media Sponsor: WESU 88.1FM.

Past Events


2015
May April March February
2014
December November October September

2015

May

Closing Reception: Beyond the Veil - A Photography Exhibition
Closing Reception: Beyond the Veil - A Photography Exhibition
Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 4:00pm
Green Street Teaching and Learning Center, 51 Green Street, Middletown
The Muslim Coalition of Connecticut coordinates an exhibition of photography focused on Muslim women in America.

Full Description

April

In/Between: Pieces in Progress
In/Between: Pieces in Progress
Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 8:00pm
World Music Hall
Lebanese American writer, performer, and teaching artist Leila Buck '99 presents In/Between, a work-in-progress sharing of a collaborative theatrical work.
Full Description
In/Between: Pieces in Progress
In/Between: Pieces in Progress
Friday, April 17, 2015 at 8:00pm
World Music Hall
Lebanese American writer, performer, and teaching artist Leila Buck '99 presents In/Between, a work-in-progress sharing of a collaborative theatrical work.
Full Description
Opening Reception: Beyond the Veil - A Photography Exhibition
Opening Reception: Beyond the Veil - A Photography Exhibition
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at 4:30pm
Green Street Teaching and Learning Center, 51 Green Street, Middletown
The Muslim Coalition of Connecticut coordinates an exhibition of photography focused on Muslim women in America.
Full Description

March

The Long Way "Home": Art, Change, and Imagination
The Long Way "Home": Art, Change, and Imagination
Monday, March 30, 2015 at 4:15pm
Romance Languages and Literatures Lounge, 300 High Street
An artist talk by Sundus Abdul Hadi about re-claiming identity, overcoming struggle, and using art as a vehicle for social change.
Full Description
Omnia Hegazy
Omnia Hegazy
Friday, March 27, 2015 at 8:00pm
Crowell Concert Hall

Singer-songwriter Omnia Hegazy combines guitar-driven American pop/rock and Arabic folk. At Wesleyan, Ms. Hegazy will be accompanied for the first time outside of New York City by drummer Max Maples, bassist Carl Limbacher, electric guitarist Coyote Anderson, and Natalia Perlaza on Arabic percussion and tabla.

Full Description
The Craft of Story: Narrative Strategies in Film and Writing
The Craft of Story: Narrative Strategies in Film and Writing
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 8:00pm
The Russell House
In this literary talk, Sadia Shepard ’97 will discuss narrative strategies in writing and film.
Full Description
The Other Half of Tomorrow with Sadia Shepard ’97
The Other Half of Tomorrow with Sadia Shepard ’97
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 4:15pm
Center for Film Studies, 301 Washington Terrace
Sadia Shepard ’97 presents her documentary film The Other Half of Tomorrow, which looks at contemporary Pakistan through the perspective of dynamic female change-makers: artists, activists, educators, politicians, and athletes.
Full Description

February

Tari Aceh! Music and Dance from Northern Sumatra
Tari Aceh! Music and Dance from Northern Sumatra
Friday, February 27, 2015 at 8:00pm
Crowell Concert Hall
Connecticut premiere by nine female traditional Acehnese dancers featuring songs and body percussion from the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Full Description
Workshop: Dance from Northern Sumatra
Workshop: Dance from Northern Sumatra
Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 6:30pm
Fayerweather Beckham Hall, 55 Wyllys Avenue
A dance workshop open to all experience levels with members of Tari Aceh! Participants will learn Saman, a popular dance form from Indonesia that combines text, poetry, and movement.
Full Description
Panel Discussion: Expressing and Contesting Indonesia-Islam Encounters in Performing Arts - Dance and Music in Aceh
Panel Discussion: Expressing and Contesting Indonesia-Islam Encounters in Performing Arts - Dance and Music in Aceh
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 4:15pm
CFA Hall
Organized and moderated by University Professor of Music Sumarsam, this panel will discuss performing art as a space for expressing Indonesia-Islam encounters.
Full Description
Muslim Women: Drawing From the Past to Move Forward in the Future
Muslim Women: Drawing From the Past to Move Forward in the Future
Monday, February 9, 2015 at 4:30pm
The Russell House
Dr. Feryal Salem will talk about the need for the female voice in Islamic scholarship and give an outline of some contemporary Muslim women's contributions to classical Islamic scholarship
Full Description

2014

December

Veronica Doubleday Concert with John Baily: Women’s Traditional Songs from Afghanistan
Veronica Doubleday Concert with John Baily: Women’s Traditional Songs from Afghanistan
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 7:00pm
CFA Hall
London vocalist Veronica Doubleday accompanies her singing of Persian-language texts on daireh frame drum, and John Baily joins her on the two-stringed dutar lute.
Full Description
Veronica Doubleday Talk: Emotional Expression in Women’s Music-Making in Afghanistan
Veronica Doubleday Talk: Emotional Expression in Women’s Music-Making in Afghanistan
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 4:15pm
CFA Hall
Veronica Doubleday, Visiting Fellow at Goldsmiths, London University, considers the emotional impact of songs and dance from the western Afghan city of Herat.
Full Description

November

Artist Talk: Ghada Amer
Artist Talk: Ghada Amer
Monday, November 24, 2014 at 4:15pm
Romance Languages and Literatures Lounge, 300 High Street
Egyptian artist Ghada Amer will discuss how her paintings explore female desire and its representation(s) using female figures sewn onto canvas and partially hidden behind threads and paint.
Full Description
Riffat Sultana and Party
Riffat Sultana and Party
Friday, November 7, 2014 at 8:00pm
Crowell Concert Hall
The New England debut of Sufi fusion singer Riffat Sultana and Party. Her divinely soulful voice evokes her musical ancestry, blending Indian and Pakistani influences with guitar, tabla, dhol, bansuri, and harmonium.
Full Description
Tell Your Story: A Conversation with Riffat Sultana and Party
Tell Your Story: A Conversation with Riffat Sultana and Party
Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 7:00pm
CFA Hall

Hear from Sufi singer Riffat Sultana and Party about her experiences as a Muslim woman artist both in America and abroad in Pakistan and India.

Full Description
Colloquium: Professor Mohd Anis Md Nor
Colloquium: Professor Mohd Anis Md Nor
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 4:15pm
Daltry Room (Music Rehearsal Hall 003)

Mohd Anis Md Nor, Professor of Ethnochoreology and Ethnomusicology at the Cultural Centre (School of Performing Arts), University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, will discuss Islam, music, and dance in Southeast Asia.

Full Description

October

Hkeelee (Talk to Me)
Hkeelee (Talk to Me)
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 7:00pm
CFA Hall
A solo performance by Lebanese American writer, actress, and teaching artist Leila Buck ’99 that explores family, memory, and politics.
Full Description
Fall Faculty Dance Concert: To Not Forget Crimea - Uncertain Quiet of Indigenous Crimean Tatars
Fall Faculty Dance Concert: To Not Forget Crimea - Uncertain Quiet of Indigenous Crimean Tatars
Friday, October 24, 2014 at 8:00pm
Memorial Chapel
The premiere performance of To Not Forget Crimea: Uncertain Quiet of Indigenous Crimean Tatars by Associate Professor of Dance Katja Kolcio in response to recent political changes in Crimea.
Full Description
Panel Discussion: Indigenous Ukrainian Perspectives of Crimea Post Russian-Invasion
Panel Discussion: Indigenous Ukrainian Perspectives of Crimea Post Russian-Invasion
Friday, October 24, 2014 at 6:00pm
Fayerweather Beckham Hall
Panelists will include Arsen Zhumadilov, Ayla Bakkalli, Greta Uehling, and Alim Aliyev.
Full Description
Studio Performance: Fleur D'Orange—Hind Benali, Artistic Director
Studio Performance: Fleur D'Orange—Hind Benali, Artistic Director
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 4:30pm
Cross Street Dance Studio
Moroccan choreographer/dancer Hind Benali presents a studio showing and talks about her dramatic movement work exploring culture and religion.
Full Description
Big Data Investigative Journalism: How Public Documents and the Internet Helped Map the Islamophobia Industry
Big Data Investigative Journalism: How Public Documents and the Internet Helped Map the Islamophobia Industry
Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 4:15pm
Public Affairs Center, Room 002

Eli Clifton, co-author of the Center for American Progress' groundbreaking report Fear, Inc., will describe the investigative tools he used to help reveal the nexus of politicians, professional Islamophobes, and big money special interests who have fueled the spike in Islamophobia in the United States.

Full Description

September

Planet Hip Hop Festival Concert
Planet Hip Hop Festival Concert
Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 9:00pm
Fayerweather Beckham Hall
Afternoon workshops and evening performances by international Muslim women in hip hop, including the U.S. debut of Montreal-based Algerian singer-songwriter and rapper Meryem Saci (pictured) as a solo artist, the New England debut of Washington, D.C.-based and Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter, poet, and emcee Maimouna Youssef a.k.a. Mumu Fresh as a solo artist, and Tavasha Shannon a.k.a. Miss Undastood of Queens, New York. The evening concert will be hosted by Boston's Mr. Lif, and will also feature the Nomadic Wax Collective, a live backing band that will include bass, drums, keys, guitar, and a DJ.

Full Description
Miss Undastood Workshop: The Art of Rhyme - Exploring Islam and Hip Hop through Verse Writing
Miss Undastood Workshop: The Art of Rhyme - Exploring Islam and Hip Hop through Verse Writing
Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 3:30pm
World Music Hall
In this workshop, Miss Undastood will explore the topic of Islam and hip hop using poetry and verse writing, supported by a live DJ.
Full Description
Maimouna Youssef Workshop: Freestyling through the History of American Music - Improvisation 101
Maimouna Youssef Workshop: Freestyling through the History of American Music - Improvisation 101
Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 1:45pm
World Music Hall

A hip hop workshop with Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter, poet, and emcee Maimouna Youssef a.k.a. Mumu Fresh, based in Washington, D.C.

Full Description
Meryem Saci Workshop: Music Is Medicine—Hip Hop Therapy for the Bifurcated Soul
Meryem Saci Workshop: Music Is Medicine—Hip Hop Therapy for the Bifurcated Soul
Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 11:00am
World Music Hall
In this workshop, Meryem Saci will explore her experiences as a refugee, an artist, and a Muslim woman. She will unpack the therapeutic and spiritual benefits that music can provide, pulling examples and lessons from her own history and life story.
Full Description
Panel Discussion: Gender, Islam, and the 'Muslim Problem'
Panel Discussion: Gender, Islam, and the 'Muslim Problem'
Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 7:00pm
CFA Hall
Organized and moderated by Professor of Religion Peter Gottschalk, this panel will include Associate Professor of French and Letters Typhaine Leservot, Lebanese American writer, performer, and teaching artist Leila Buck ’99 (pictured), Dr. M. Saud Anwar, mayor of South Windsor, Connecticut, and Aida Mansoor, president of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut.
Full Description
Women’s Voices, Verbal Ability, and Symbolic Power: The Case of Moroccan Shikhat
Women’s Voices, Verbal Ability, and Symbolic Power: The Case of Moroccan Shikhat
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 4:15pm
Daltry Room (Music Rehearsal Hall 003)
Alessandra Ciucci analyzes a wedding celebration in Morocco to determine the role(s) of the shikhat, a class of professional female singer-dancers.
Full Description

A World of Arts in the Heart of Connecticut