Depiction of a procession to bring the king gifts on the occasion of Nowruz, or the Zoroastrian celebration of the Spring Equinox. Carved relief of priests, Persepolis, Iran. Author: Pentocelo Source: Public Domain. Compare this image with images of Nowruz in Iran from 2016.

Wednesday Evening Workshops

August 24 at 5:00PM Pacific Time/6:00 Mountain/7:00 Central/8:00 East Coast. "Representations of the East" with Dr. Özlem Sensoy Register here.

September 28 at 5:00PM Pacific Time/6:00 Mountain/7:00 Central/8:00 East Coast.

October 26 at 5:00PM Pacific Time/6:00 Mountain/7:00 Central/8:00 East Coast.

Holiday Break

January 25 at 5:00PM Pacific Time/6:00 Mountain/7:00 Central/8:00 East Coast.

February 22 at 5:00PM Pacific Time/6:00 Mountain/7:00 Central/8:00 East Coast.

Spring Break

April 26 at 5:00PM Pacific Time/6:00 Mountain/7:00 Central/8:00 East Coast.

May 31 at 5:00PM Pacific Time/6:00 Mountain/7:00 Central/8:00 East Coast.

Purpose, Rationale, Learning Objectives:
The purpose of the series is to provide opportunities for critical global educators to develop culturally relevant curriculum, concrete activities for their classrooms, based on the common core, Ohio and Columbus City Schools guidelines. We will refer to the Middle School standards for teaching about world religions and cultural exchange, with reference to the religious identities of the Middle East. We will develop classroom activities based on images found in the media, academic images of the Middle East, entailing research of what daily life practices relate to these images.

There is a need to go beyond “addressing stereotypes". Teachers are reminded often to address stereotypes. But how does one go about doing that? Focused time, spent on gaining substantive knowledge which counters stereotypes, but also the historic origins of stereotypes is needed in order to be prepared for a litany of stereotypes which arise along with the vocabulary words for 6th through 8th grade (see below). In these workshops we will cover the deeper issues which undergird stereotypes, the origins of the stereotypes and how they continue their work despite our best attempts at resistance.

Then we will work towards turning a major stereotype into classroom material that dispels common stereotypes by going beyond superficial notions of communities, and making connections to academically sound knowledge. Connecting history with today's diversity is a major learning objective, and a means for dissolving stereotypes without apologism or cultural relativism. Topics may include:
  1. Critical perspectives on the history of European economic, political and military intervention in Muslim-majority countries, and resulting migration and settlement and displacement. Objective: connect this to current situations in small local contexts, whether in the Middle East, Ohio or the nation.
  2. Critical perspective on modernity/“Westernization": evolving norms for public presentation of self in different spaces of the Middle East, differentiated according to gender. Objective: Conveying the impact of European imperialism on this evolution, and the traditional roles of the genders in various Muslim communities.
  3. Multiple perspectives on nomadic pastoralism, and nomads. Objectives: recognize powerful images of the nomad that have been othered within Middle Eastern communities and from the perspective of colonial powers, Describe the significance of nomadic cultural communities and practices in Islamic history, Middle Eastern history and world history.

Connections to Ohio curriculum standards:

“How have tradition and diffusion influenced modern cultural practices and products?"
Geography: Content Statement 8 “Modern cultural practices and products show the influence of tradition and diffusion, including the impact of major world religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism)."
Reading informational texts: Content statement 7 “Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually and quantitatively) as well as in words to develop coherent understanding of a topic or issue."

Source: Text Book by Zimmer, Jarrett, and Killoran, Regions and Cultures of the Eastern Hemisphere, p. 115

These activities will explore “cultural diffusion" , and dive into the meaning of “tradition". The idea of “empire", how it has evolved, and what it has meant to the religious and cultural communities of the Middle East.

Ohio Social Studies Standards Vocabulary words related to the Middle East:
6th grade: civilization; cultural region; international trade; migration; Buddhism; Christianity; Hinduism; Islam; Judaism; tradition; perspective; source; democracy; dictatorship; theocracy; produce; productive resources; supply; consumption; goods; manufactured items; production;
7th Grade: archeologist; artifact; norms; perspective; primary source; astrolabe; Christianity; governance; republic; Byzantine Empire; Turks; Islamic Civilization; Crusades; cultural change; social change; political power; Roman Catholic Church; empire; Silk Road; trans-Saharan slave trade; colonization; conquest; exploration; Buddhism; democracy; representative democracy; Magna Carta; productive resources; market.
8th Grade: perspective; primary source; secondary source; colonized; colonizing powers; economic development; Enlightenment; social; sovereign; displacement; industrial; cultural bias; prejudice; stereotype; democratic ideals; national identity; representative democracy;