“The Rights of Memory”

A public conversation organized by The Rutgers Center for Migration and the Global City

“The Rights of Memory” is a forum for civic dialogue about the social, religious, cultural, and political issues raised by the controversy sparked by the Cordoba Initiative/Park 51 project. The animating question is what this civic Rorschach reveals about the legacy of 9/11 and the conflicting visions of the society we imagine ourselves to be a decade later.

Sessions 1-3 will be in the Essex West room of the Paul Robeson Campus Center
350 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

Session 4 will be held in the Bove Auditorium in Engelhard Hall
190 University Avenue

  • SESSION ONE (10:00-11:15) will focus on how we have commemorated 9/11, on the street, in print and museums, on the web, and around the site of what we now commonly refer to as “ground-zero.”
  • SESSION TWO (11:30-12:45) will explore how the historical role that opposition to minority religions has played in the U.S. is influencing the characterization of Islam and Muslims in the wake of 9/11.
  • SESSION THREE (1:15-2:30) will look at how the controversy is being reported and interpreted by Muslims in the United States and globally.
  • SESSION FOUR (4:00-5:30) will bring together leaders from multiple religious traditions for a conversation about how the mosque controversy might generate new multi-faith initiatives that foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.

Program for November 8, 2010

10:00—Welcome
Tim Raphael, Director of the Rutgers Center for Migration and the Global City Steven Diner, Chancellor, Rutgers-Newark
Philip Yeagle, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers-Newark

10:10-11:15—The Stakes of Memory: Commemorating 9/11

Moderator: Robert Snyder is Director of the Graduate Program in American Studies, Rutgers-Newark

Steven Brier is co-director of the New Media Lab and the Coordinator of the Interactive Technology and Pedagogy Doctoral Certificate Program at the CUNY Graduate Center, and an expert on the digital commemoration of 9/11.

Marci Reaven is the Managing Director of City Lore, and curated the exhibit "City in Mourning" for the Museum of the City of New York, which focused on street-corner memorials, folklore and vernacular art in response to 9/11.

Jack Tchen is founding director of the Museum of Chinese in America and director of the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU, and has written extensively on public culture after 9/11.

Sally Yerkovich is president of The Fund for Arts and Culture, and former president of the World Trade Center Tribute Project that created a memorial near the World Trade Center site to commemorate the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks on the WTC.

11:30-12:45—The Passion and Politics of Religious Memory

Moderator: Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak University Professor and a founding member of the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society at Columbia University

Hasia Diner is the Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History and Director of the Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History at New York University.

Deepa Kumar is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Rutgers-New Brunswick, has lectured widely on Islam, Islamophobia and the media, and is currently working on her second book, on the U.S. media, political Islam and the Middle East.

Mary Segers is Professor of Political Science at Rutgers-Newark, and the author of nearly 50 scholarly essays and seven books on religion and politics in the United States.

Mohammed Kabbani is a senior at Rutgers-Newark, and the President of the Rutgers-Newark Muslim Student Association.

1:00-1:15— Jonathan Hyman, “Memorializing 9/11”
The photographer will screen and discuss his photographs documenting how Americans have memorialized 9/11 in public, visible ways, using elements of the landscape—buildings, cars, even their own bodies—as their canvas. His estimated 20,000 photographs cover territory from Maine to Florida, and the images depict a range of subjects and artistic styles—murals painted by graffiti artists, farmhouses painted with gigantic American flags, firefighters with elaborate memorial tattoos. Hyman’s photographs chronicle the largely impermanent, spontaneous expressions of sorrow, anger, fear, and patriotism created and encountered by people in their everyday lives.

1:15-2:30— The Cordoba Initiative and the Muslim World
Moderator: Fran Bartkowski, Chair of the Department of English, Rutgers-Newark

Sadia Abbas is Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, and a scholar of religion, culture, politics and theology in postcolonial Muslim societies and diasporas.

Ed Kashi is an award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker whose work has taken him throughout the Muslim world.

Christian Parentiis a contributing editor to The Nation. His most recent book is The Freedom: Shadows and Hallucinations in Occupied Iraq.

Biju Mathew is a founding member of the Organizing Committee of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a professor of business at Rider University, and the author of Taxi!: Cabs and Capitalism in New York City.

4:00-5:30—What Is To Be Done?
Moderator: Steven Diner, Chancellor, Rutgers-Newark

Dr. M. William Howard is pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, former chair of the Board of Governors of Rutgers University, and a member of the council on Foreign Relations.

Imam Mohammad Qatanani is the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Passaic County and the Imam of the ICPC Mosque in Paterson, NJ.

Rabbi Matthew Gewirtz is the Senior Rabbi of Congregation B’Nai Jeshurun in Short Hills, and a founding executive committee member of the Newark Interfaith Coalition for Hope and Peace—an interfaith organization of Jews, Christians and Muslims that is committed to ending gang violence in Newark.

Reverend Mark Beckwith is the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark and a founding executive committee member of the Newark Interfaith Coalition for Hope and Peace.

Imam Wahy-ud Deen Sharif is the Imam of Masjid Waarith ud Deen and Waris Cultural Research and Development Center in Irvington, a Senior Advisor to Cory A. Booker, Mayor of the city of Newark, and a founding executive committee member of the Newark Interfaith Coalition for Hope and Peace.

Co-sponsored by the Office of the Chancellor, Rutgers-Newark; the Office of the Dean of FASN, Rutgers-Newark ; the Rutgers-Newark Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Graduate Program in American Studies, Department of English, Department of Arts, Culture and Media, and Muslim Student Association; the Eagleton Institute’s Program on Immigration and Democracy at Rutgers-New Brunswick; and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute and the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University.

For additional information click here http://www.creativetruth.net/rights_of_memory/

For photos, video, and commentary from this event click here http://centerformigrationandtheglobalcity.blogspot.com/

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