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Write About Asia – Islam Across Asia: Art Practices/Cultural Politics


Write About Asia Seattle UThe Write about Asia workshop series is facilitated by Mary Barber Roberts and is offered in conjunction with the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas Saturday University Lecture Series. Additional funding for this series comes from the South Asia Center and the Southeast Asia Center and in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington.

The current series is titled “Islam Across Asia: Art Practices/Cultural Politics” and is inspired by the fact that a majority of the world’s Muslim population lives in Asia. “This is an opportune time to explore diversity among their communities. Our series provides historical, cultural, and contemporary perspectives on Islam and the arts, from Central Asia to Indonesia” (description excerpted from the Gardner Center Website).

Each Saturday, educators will attend the public lecture from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. and then meet for a writing workshop from 11:30 a.m – 2:00 p.m.  During the workshop, time is given to solitary writing on the Seattle University Campus in response to the morning lecture. The group then reconvenes to share working drafts. The workshop nurtures educators as writers through self-reflection and group discussion.

Winter 2017 lecture topics

January 28
Aesthetics, Ethics, and Politics in Muslim South Asia: The Saga of Artist MF Husain
Bruce Lawrence, Duke University

February 4
Islam after the Mongols: Saints, Shrines, and the Stars
Azfar Moin, University of Texas

February 11
Images and Emotions: Society and Art Practices in the Islamic World
Jamal Elias, University of Pennsylvania

February 18
What We Left Unfinished: Afghan Filmmakers and the Afghan Left
Mariam Ghani, artist and filmmaker
location change to Student Center  (limited ticketing)

February 25
No lecture or meeting

March 4
Being Grateful for Difference: Islam and Religious Plurality in Indonesia
Muhamad Ali, University of California, Riverside
location change to Student Center (limited ticketing)

March 11
Living with Paintings: Spiritual Notes from a Muslim Artist in Indonesia
Kenneth George, Australian National University

March 18
Canvassing the Book
Sharmini Pereira
Independent international curator and art publisher

March 25
The Art and Culture of Heart Afghanistan in the Late 15th Century: Master of Calligraphers Sultan Ali Mashhadi
David Roxburgh
Harvard University

April 1
Artist Naiza Khan in dialogue with Ali Mian, Seattle University

For information about the topics and speakers, visit the Gardner Center website.

Workshop details

Saturdays from January 28 to April 1 (no lecture or meeting on Feb 25)
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Seattle University, Pigott Auditorium (except where noted)


Free admission to the lecture and four free clock hours are available for each workshop. Educators can earn up to 36 clock hours by attending all of the workshop sessions.

Apply here