Tech history series to look at Muslims in America

Sep 16, 2013 | General News, Liberal Arts

The Muslim experience in America will be the topic when Louisiana Tech’s department of history launches “Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys,” a five-week series of readings and discussions.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1 and continuing every Tuesday evening until Oct. 29, all meetings will take place in University Hall, Room 121.  Parking is available in Keeny Circle and in the Old Columns lot behind Prescott Library on Railroad Avenue.
Admission is free and all interested members of the public are invited.
Dr. Ahmad Nazir Atassi, a Tech assistant professor of history, will serve as facilitator and discussion leader.
“Islam is the world’s second largest religion, so when it goes through a period of internal revision it affects more than just its own adherents,” he said.
Atassi said that the program will be divided into five sessions, each scheduled for a Tuesday evening during October. Accompanied by appropriate readings, session topics will include women and gender in American Islam, American Muslims from the 18th Century to World War I, American Muslims since World War I, cultural encounters and cultural integration, and American Muslim politics between identity and 9/11.
Atassi noted the importance of understanding other cultures in a shrinking world.
“Although the Muslim experience in America did not come to the forefront until recently, it has deep roots in the nation’s past and it is an integral part of our history, just like all the other immigration waves that have enriched the American experience,” he said.
A member of the Louisiana Tech faculty since 2007, Atassi holds a Ph.D. in history and religious studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He teaches courses on Middle East history, the history of Islam and the history of U.S.-Middle East relations.
Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association, “Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys” is part of the Readings in Literature and Culture (RELIC) program of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Louisiana Tech is one of 840 educational and cultural institutions selected nationally to present the series.
Books scheduled for discussion are available for loan to discussion participants and must be returned at the conclusion of the series.
Space and books are limited so advance registration is strongly encouraged.
For more information, to register, or to borrow book sets, interested persons should contact the department of history at 318-257-2872 or send an email to