Past I-NIMS Events


These events were all sponsored and organized by I-NIMS members. Feel free to browse through these examples of our past lecture series and film series events to get ideas for your future community lectures and film screenings!


You can also view details of all our past events.



Lecture Series

The Lecture Series brings renowned scholars to communities across the state, bringing academic discourse into the public sphere.


Mai Abdul Rahman

"Jerusalem and the Three Abrahamic Faiths" by Mai Abdul Rahman


This presentation considers the importance of Jerusalem to and points of understanding among Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. The lecture will also explore the impact of the Israeli occupation on the Abrahamic faiths.


Mai Abdul Rahman is board member of the Washington Interfaith Alliance for Middle East Peace and President and Founder of the American Palestinian Women's Association.


May 27, 2009, 7:30pm, Brookens Auditorium, University of Illinois at Springfield campus

May 28, 2009, 7:00pm, First Mennonite Church, 902 W. Springfield Ave., Urbana IL


Sponsored by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Global Studies, First Mennonite Church of Champaign-Urbana, Department of Religion, Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center, St. Mary's Catholic Church, Interfaith Alliance of Champaign-Urbana, University of Illinois at Springfield, Peoria World Affairs Council, and the Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Anna Baltzer

"Life in Occupied Palestine" by Anna Baltzer


Anna Baltzer, Jewish-American granddaughter of Holocaust refugees and volunteer for the International Women's Peace Service is a Human rights worker & supporter of Palestinian-led nonviolent resistance to Occupation. Her presentation will recount first-hand experiences with the conflict while living with Palestinians in the West Bank. She wishes to share information difficult to obtain through US mainstream media sources and to encourage dialogue towards taking action for peace with justice.


April 25, 2009 7pm, First Mennonite Church of Champaign-Urbana, 902 W Springfield Ave, Urbana IL


Sponsored by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Global Studies (UIUC), PJI at First Mennonite Church, UC Friends Meeting, Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center, Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort, and Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Make Chai Not War

"Make Chai Not War" Interfaith Comedy Show


Featuring Muslim (Azhar Usman), Christian (Paul Varghese), and Hindu (Rajiv Satyal) performers, Make Chai Not War is a stand-up comedy tour offering a unique way to promote interfaith dialogue and understanding. Its members have appeared onstage with comedians such as Dave Chappelle and Russell Peters and on a number of major media outlets worldwide, including Comedy Central and NBC.


April 24, 2009 8pm, 100 Gregory Hall, Champaign IL


Sponsored by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (UIUC), Muslim Students Association, Indian Students Association, Bangladeshi Cultural Association, Dharma, Interfaith in Action, Pakistani Graduate Students Association, Indian Graduate Students Association, Sigma Beta Rho, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Mohammed Fadel

"The Significance of Islamic Intellectual History for Contemporary Muslims" by Dr. Mohammed Fadel


Education in the Muslim world has radically changed as a result of modernization programs adopted by Muslim political and cultural elites beginning in the 19th century. One of the consequences of these reform programs has been a pronounced decline -- if not outright collapse -- of interest in the theoretical Islamic sciences such as theology (kalam) and ethics (usul al-fiqh). As a result, educated Muslims, unless they attended seminaries (and attained advanced training there), can only engage religious texts in a naive, quasi-literalist fashion. Muslim reformers, therefore, generally engage in a strategy of 're-reading' revelation in order to advance their goals rather than, for example, arguing that the reforms are good and desirable in themselves. Dr. Fadel believes that this strategy at best leads to inconclusive results and at worst undermines the Islamic credibility of reform projects. An alternative reform strategy is possible if modern Muslims take the problems posed in traditional Islamic theological and ethical discussions and apply them to contemporary problems.


April 1, 2009 7:30pm, Unitarian Fellowship, 105 North Parrish Lane, Carbondale, IL

April 2, 2009 7:30pm, Knight Auditorium at Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana IL


Sponsored by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (UIUC), Center for Global Studies (UIUC), Department of Religion (UIUC), Muslim Student Association (UIUC), Department of History (SIU), and Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Nagasura Madale Poster

"Peace in Islamic Doctrine" by Dr. Nagasura Madale


Public presentation on the place of peace and justice in Islamic doctrine and a discussion of grassroots peace-building and conflict resolution projects in Mindanao, Philippines ----- Professor Madale is a consultant on special projects with Capitol University, Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, Philippines where he is responsible for designing Muslim- Christian integration workshops in Mindanao as well as assisting in designing a new PhD program in anthropology and Islamic studies at Capitol University. Professor Madale was also instrumental in helping to design a Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State funded program which annually brings 25-30 Muslim, Christian and non-Muslim youth activists from Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi Tawi in the southern Philippines to Northern Illinois University campus for a training institute designed to promote inter-ethnic dialogue and conflict resolution.


March 31, 2009 7pm, Regency Room of the Holmes Student Center on the Northern Illinois University campus in DeKalb, Illinois

April 1, 2009 3pm, Stipes Hall 121, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL

April 2, 2009 7pm, PAC Conference Room F on the University of Illinois at Springfield campus (Springfield, IL)


Sponsored by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies (NIU), DeKalb Interfaith Network for Peace and Justice, Western Illinois University, University of Illinois at Springfield, PEACE (UIS), Muslim Students Association (UIS), and the Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Juan Cole

Lectures by Dr. Juan Cole


Juan R. I. Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. His most recent book is Engaging the Muslim World. He has been a regular guest on PBS's Lehrer News Hour, and has appeared on ABC Nightly News, Nightline, the Today Show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and Democracy Now! He has commented extensively on the Iraq War, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the increasing conflict with Iran.


"Withdrawal from Iraq and the Future of American Security" March 8, 2009, 2pm, Urbana Civic Center, 108 E Water St, Urbana IL

"Iraq's Provincial Elections and What They Mean for Relationships With the U.S." March 9, 2009, 4pm, Levis Faculty Center, 2nd floor, 919 W. Illinois Street, Urbana IL

"Can the New Administration Avoid War With Iran?" April 8, 2009, 7:30pm, Anderson Chapel, W. Foster and N. Spaulding Avenues, Chicago, IL


Sponsored by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Global Studies, Arab Student Association, Anti-War Anti-Racism Effort, University YMCA, Socialist Forum, IVAW, VVAW CU Chapter, ISO, Prairie Greens, Illinois Disciples Foundation, Quaker Peace & Service Committee, Center for Middle Eastern Studies (North Park University), and Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Marvin Weinbaum Poster

"Why Afghanistan is Not Iraq" by Dr. Marvin Weinbaum


Marvin Weinbaum is Scholar-in-Residence, Middle East Institute, Washington D.C., and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois; he previously served as Director of the Program in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. Dr. Weinbaum is former Afghanistan and Pakistan Analyst at the Bureau of Intelligence Research at the US Department of State. He is also the author of numerous books, chapters, and articles, including "Human Rights, Culture and Politics in Northern Tier Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan" (2003) and "Pakistan and Afghanistan: Resistance and Reconstruction" (1994).


February 28, 2009 7:45pm, Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center, 106 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana IL


Sponsored by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES), Center for Global Studies (CGS), Department of Religion, Central Illinois Mosque and Islamic Center (CIMIC), and Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Anouar Majid

Lectures by Dr. Anouar Majid


"The Muslim Within: Reflections on the Islamic Dimension of Western Identity" February 5, 2009, 4pm, Room 213 Gregory Hall, Urbana IL

By shedding light on the long encounter and clashes between Christianity and Islam in Spain, Anouar Majid will show how Islam is an inextricable part of European and Western identity, and that the best way to deal with Islam is not through confrontation but through acceptance and accommodation. Majid will use his recent observation of the festival of Moors and Christians in Villena in September 2008 to show the ways in which Spaniards make sense of their mixed heritage.


"The Power of Heresy" February 5, 2009, 7pm, Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., Urbana IL

Anouar Majid believes that both the United States and the Islamic world need self-criticism, intellectual freedom, and just policies. He will speak about the importance of questioning all orthodoxies - religious, economic, and political.


Sponsored by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Global Studies, Urbana Free Library, and Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Mark Tessler Poster

Lectures by Dr. Mark Tessler


"The View from the Street: Attitudes Toward Politics and Religion Among Ordinary Citizens in the Arab World" October 2, 2008, 7:30pm, Knight Auditorium, Spurlock Museum: 600 S. Gregory St., Urbana IL

Popular Views of Islam in the US and Europe often are distorted into caricatures in which Islamist beliefs determine popular actions and threaten the West. The extreme manifestations of these ideas are exploited by religious and political leaders and are rarely challenged by the media. Opinion research in the Muslim world challenges these "Clash of Civilizations" notions and provides a framework through which to understand the impacts of Muslim political opinions and Western policies and cultural influences.


"Views about the U.S. in the Arab World: What, Why, and Possibilities for Change" October 3, 2008, 12:00pm, University YMCA, Urbana IL

Dr. Mark Tessler is Samuel J. Eldersveld Collegiate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan.


October 2 lecture sponsored by the Center for Global Studies, Center for African Studies, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Department of Political Science, Department of Religion, Department of Sociology, International Programs and Studies, Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center, Spurlock Museum, and Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies. October 3 lecture sponsored by the Center for Global Studies, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, CU Jewish Federation, Episcopal Church and Foundation, First Mennonite Church, McKinley Presbyterian Church and Foundation, Wesley Church and Foundation, YMCA, and Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Ali Ansari

"Iran Under Ahmadinejad" by Dr. Ali Ansari


September 8, 2008 7pm, Brookens Auditorium, University of Illinois at Springfield campus

September 9, 2008 4pm, Levis Faculty Center, 2nd floor, 919 W. Illinois Street, Urbana IL


Sponsored by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Global Studies, Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.






Film Series

The Film Series brings local academic experts and renowned film directors to facilitate discussion in Illinois communities based on a film screening.


Beyond War and Terrorism: Getting to Know the Muslim World


Divorce Iranian Style: August 14, 2009, 4-6pm

My Home, Your War: August 15, 2009, 4-6pm

Salata Baladi: August 29, 2009, 4-6pm

American Ramadan: Fasting for Faith: August 30, 2009, 4-6pm


All screenings will be held at the Buchanan Center for the Arts. Professors Farhat Haq and Petra Kuppinger will introduce the films and will answer questions after the screenings.


Sponsored by the Buchanan Center for the Arts, Monmouth College Intercultural Life, and the Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Muslim Societies Film Series Poster

Muslim Societies Film Series


ARUSI Persian Wedding: July 11, 2009, 5:00pm

Linda & Ali: Two Worlds Within Four Walls: July 25, 2009, 5:00pm


All screenings will be held at the Independent Media Center (202 S. Broadway Ave., Urbana IL). Dr. Hadi Salehi Esfahani, Professor of Economics and director of CSAMES, and Kumars Salehi, student of Cinema Studies, will offer commentary and answer questions about the film on July 11. Dr. Valerie Hoffman, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, will offer commentary and answer questions on July 25.


Sponsored by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Global Studies, and the Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.




Knox College Film Series


Reel Bad Arabs: May 22, 2009, 7:00pm with introduction and commentary by Dr. Bob Seibert

Edge of Heaven: May 23, 2009, 5:00pm with introduction and commentary by Dr. Emre Sencer

Four Wives - One Man: May 27, 2009, 7:00pm with introduction and commentary by Dr. Magali Roy-Fequiere


All screenings will be held at "The Center" community center (123 S. Cherry St., Galesburg IL).


Sponsored by the Center for Global Studies at Knox College, and the Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Jackie Salloum

"Slingshot Hip Hop" film screenings, followed by a discussion with director Jackie Salloum


Slingshot Hip Hop braids together the stories of young Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza and inside Israel as they discover Hip Hop and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty. From internal checkpoints and Separation Walls to gender norms and generational differences, this is the story of young people crossing the borders that separate them. (http://slingshothiphop.com)


Friday, March 27, 2009 6:30pm, Arab American Action Network, 3148 W. 63rd St., Chicago IL

Saturday, March 28, 2009 4pm, Doudna Lecture Hall, Charleston, IL

Sunday, March 29, 2009 7pm, Independent Media Center: 202 S. Broadway Ave, Urbana IL


Sponsored by the Dept. of Communication Studies, Women's Studies, and Film Studies Minor at Eastern Illinois University, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and Center for Global Studies at the University of Illinois, and the Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies.


Sanjay Kak

"Jashn-e-Azadi" film screenings, followed by a discussion with director Sanjay Kak


Jashn-e-Azadi (How We Celebrate Freedom) is a provocative look at Indian democracy as practiced in Kashmir, India's only Muslim-majority state; a reflection on power, resistance, and freedom in the 60th year of India's independence.


Sunday, December 7, 2008 1:30pm: Brookens Auditorium, UIS
Monday, December 8, 2008, 1:00pm: University Galleries, Normal IL
Tuesday, December 9, 2008, 3:00pm: Spurlock Museum Knight Auditorium, UIUC


Please see the event postcard for more details.


Sponsored by the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; Center for Global Studies; Illinois Network on Islam and Muslim Societies; University of Illinois at Springfield; School of Art, ISU; International Studies, ISU; University Galleries; Colloquium on Visual Culture; Spurlock Museum; Global Crossroads, UIUC; South Asia Reading Group, UIUC.


Arranged Poster

"Arranged" film screening


"Arranged" centers on the friendship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman who meet as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Over the course of a year, they learn that they share much in common - not least of which is that they are both going through the process of arranged marriages.


November 9, 2008 2pm, Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., Urbana IL


Sponsored by the Urbana Free Library, Champaign-Urbana Jewish Federation, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.








American Ramadan

"American Ramadan: Fasting for Faith" film screenings


"American Ramadan," directed by Naeem Randhawa, is a unique film about the Muslim American experience. It is the story of 5 families observing their faith in America. "American Ramadan" builds bridges between all faiths, through the personal stories of these families, and the commentary provided by a Jewish Rabbi, Muslim scholars, and a Christian doctor.


September 27, 2008 1pm, Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., Urbana IL

October 8, 2008 7pm, Clark-Lindsey Retirement Village, 101 W Windsor Rd., Urbana, IL

October 29, 2008 7:30pm, Brookens Auditorium, University of Illinois at Springfield campus, Springfield, IL



Persepolis Poster

"Persepolis" film screening


"Persepolis," Oscar nominee for 2008 Best Animated Feature Film, is a poignant coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution.


September 19, 2008 7pm, Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Dr., Champaign IL


Sponsored by the Office of Women's Programs, Gender & Women's Studies, Asian American Cultural Center, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Children's Books, and Krannert Art Museum.