Scholar of Islam to speak at Grinnell College on Tuesday, April 11

Khurram Hussain of Lehigh University will discuss 'Can the Muslim Speak?'

GRINNELL, Iowa — Khurram Hussain, assistant professor in the Department of Religion Studies at Lehigh University, will give a lecture titled "Can the Muslim Speak?" at Grinnell College on Tuesday, April 11.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will start at 7:30 p.m. in room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, 1115 Eighth Ave., Grinnell. The college's Center for the Humanities is sponsoring the event.

In this talk, Hussain will highlight the ways in which contemporary conversations about Islam in the West restrain and limit the prospects of Muslim participation in mainstream debates about the common good in societies around the world. He will argue that Muslims can offer critical perspectives on pressing issues that could help non-Muslims rethink some established ideas in Western societies.

A native of Pakistan, Hussain has lived, worked and studied in the United States for the last 19 years. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in religion and physics from Bowdoin College in 1997 and spent the next few years working first in corporate America, and then with a small nonprofit publishing house specializing in Buddhist texts in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He went on to graduate school, earning a Master of Arts in religion from Yale Divinity School. He received his doctorate from the Department of Religious Studies. Hussain's doctoral dissertation was an examination of the work of the 19th-century Muslim reformer Sayyid Ahmad Khan as a "mediatory discourse" between Islamic societies and their Western counterparts.

Hussain is interested in exploring the possibility of a robust critical conversation across diverse cultures and traditions and has extensive training in comparative ethics, historical sociology and modern Western philosophy. His course offerings at Lehigh include classes on modern and South Asian Islam, comparative ethics, nationalism and critics of modernity.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Room 101 of the Rosenfield Center is equipped with an induction hearing loop system, which enables individuals with hearing aids set to T-Coil to hear the program. Information about parking and accessibility is available on the college's website: Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

The college also welcomes the presence of minors at all age-appropriate public events and for informal visits, with the understanding that a parent, legal guardian, or other responsible adult assumes full responsibility for their child’s safety and behavior during such visits or events. In these cases, the college expects that an adult responsible for the visiting child takes measures to ensure the child’s safety and sees that the child complies with directions of college personnel. Grinnell College is not responsible for supervision of minors on campus.

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Khurram Hussain

Khurram Hussain