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October 22, 23, & 24, 2015 | Los Angeles, CA

Ace Hotel 929 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015 &

Downtown Independent Theater 251 South Main, Los Angeles, CA 90012

an initiative of UCHRI // funded by the Henry Luce Foundation

A BRIEF HISTORY of RIDAGA What is a Humanities Studio?

Inspired by both the laboratory model in the hard sciences and the studio model in the arts and architecture, UCHRI developed the Humanities Studio: a collaborative experiment designed to encourage creativity, innovation, and collective research across disciplines and among a variety of researchers and practitioners. Two of the four RIDAGA Humanities Studios were formed at the UCHRI Humanities Studio Jam Session in February 2013 at UC Irvine. Part networking event, part proposal development workshop, the Jam brought together scholars, journalists, community-based activists, and digital media scholars from across the state to engage in conversations around diasporic religion and to cultivate collaboration. Each studio began with an overarching theme and a set of central questions or problematics of interest to a community of researchers— a multidisciplinary mix of scholars, artists, and journalists. While each Studio worked independently, the initiative included multiple opportunities for intellectual cross-fertilization and networking among the projects, through two in-person residency intensives. The Humanities Studios produced a wide range of research outcomes, including research workshops for graduate students, websites, public-facing publications, curated art exhibits, documentary films, a UC-wide curriculum tool, and academic publications. Other key features of a Humanities Studio include: • A peer community of researchers • Broad distribution across a range of participants and stakeholders • Opportunities for intensive graduate student mentoring and research engagement • Undergraduate participation, through courses and research training • Openness to experimentation, play, mistakes • Work processes that challenge the notion that we must have answers in advance • Collaborations leading to community and continuity, consistent engagement, creativity • A multi-faceted yet interlocking agenda of research (and teaching) activities • Attention to public-facing outcomes, in which research projects are broadly relevant or translatable for broader audiences, with a potential for community impact or policy making The Humanities Studio experiment continues through the work of the Global Symposium (October 22-24) and at the “Re-Turns of Religion” Workshop in Paris, France (December 11-15). These events will provide opportunities for reflection on the diverse methodologies that the Humanities Studio model allows and point toward future opportunities for collaborative research around religion and international affairs.


The UC Humanities Research Institute, funded by a grant from the Henry R. Luce Foundation, embarked on a three-year research initiative exploring the complex cultural and political relations between diasporic religious communities and their self-identified homelands. The initiative is funded by the Luce Foundation’s Initiative on Religion and International Affairs, a grant program that seeks to deepen understanding of religion as a critical but often neglected dimension of national and international policies and politics. RIDAGA has supported the work of four humanities Studios, each of which supports research-driven collaboration across multiple disciplines, UC campuses, global partners, and media professionals. The four Studios include: • Global Religious Festivals in Secular Cityscapes: Immigration, Politics, and Religious Performance in California • Humanitarian Ethics, Religious Affinities, and the Politics of Dissent • Regulating Sex/Religion • Shari’a Revoiced

Thursday, October 22nd 7:00-9:00pm Welcome Reception at The Ace Hotel, Mezzanine level

Friday, October 23rd 8:00-9:00am Breakfast at The Ace Hotel, Walker/Eisen Rooms (this event, and all others at the Ace Hotel, take place in the Walker/Eisen rooms)

9:00-9:30am Welcome/Introductions 9:30-11:30PM Studio Presentations Humanitarian Ethics, Religious Affinities, and the Politics of Dissent Global Religious Festivals in Secular Cityscapes Regulating Sex/Religion Shari’a Revoiced

11:30-12:00PM Coffee Break 12:00-1:00PM Invited Respondents Discuss Studio Work with Wale Adebanwi, UC Davis; Sherine Hafez, UC Riverside; and Nathaniel Deutsch, UC Santa Cruz

1:00-2:00PM Lunch 2:00-3:00PM Continue Group Discussion of Studio Presentations 3:00-5:00PM Breakout Sessions Session 1 (Walker): Religion in the Public Sphere Session 2 (Eisen): Humanities Methodologies

5:30PM Shuttle to Downtown Independent

Please be sure to be downstairs in front of the Ace Hotel no later than 5:20PM; the shuttle will leave promptly at 5:30PM.

6:00-7:00PM Opening Reception, Downtown Independent 7:00-8:00PM Film Screenings Noche de Altares/Night of Altars Directed by James Ault & Jennifer Hughes Latino activists and organizers have worked for more than a decade to create a powerful public ritual that makes the spirits of the dead truly present in the streets of Santa Ana. “Santaneros� reinvent the traditional Mexican Day of the Dead celebration to link death and mourning with cultural and community survival. They have created an annual tradition that is one of the largest celebrations in the state of California. This film is their story.

Manzanar, Diverted Directed by Ann Kaneko

In this short documentary, Manzanar becomes a portal into the ongoing fight for natural resources, particularly water rights and land use, in the Owens Valley. Although best known for its wartime history, Manzanar was also where Native Americans were driven out and farmers and ranchers were bought out by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. This place, once temporary home to the Japanese Americans, also symbolizes how history is shaped by political and economic power-brokers and has been the site of recurring injustices which continue to play out in an ecological and human fight for land.

8:00-9:30PM The Global Religious Festival: Immigration, Politics, and Public Religion in the United States Panelists: James Ault, Filmmaker; Jim Lee, Department of Asian-American Studies, UC Irvine; Amanda Lucia, Department of Religious Studies, UC Riverside; Ann Kaneko, Filmmaker; Jonathan Ritter, Department of Music, UC Riverside; Deepak Sarma, Department of Religious Studies, Case Western; Jennifer Hughes, Department of History, UC Riverside, Moderator

9:45PM Shuttle Returns to Ace Hotel

Saturday, October 24th 8:00-9:00AM Breakfast (On Your Own) We will provide breakfast vouchers for L.A. Chapter, the Ace Hotel Restaurant. *Please Note: We will not be providing shuttle service today; please feel free to call a cab and save your receipt or walk the mile to the theatre.*

10:00AM-12:30PM Conversations on Humanitarianism & Religion A moderated conversation by the Humanitarian Ethics Studio, including: Petuuche Gilbert, UN Activist; Andrew Lam, Journalist, New American Media; Angilee Shah, Journalist, Public Radio International; Neda Atanasoski, UC Santa Cruz; Mariam Lam, UC Riverside; Natalie Avalos, UC Santa Barbara

12:30-2:00pm Lunch (On Your Own) & Studio Interviews Global Religious Festivals Interview: 12:45-1:20PM Humanitarian Ethics Interview: 1:25-1:50PM

2:00-4:30PM Film Screening Descending with Angels Directed by Christian Suhr A film about jinn possession, Islamic healing, and psychiatry in Denmark presented by the Regulating Sex/Religion Studio. Descending with Angels explores the journey of a Palestinian refugee living in Aarhus, Denmark, who is, depending on one’s interpretation, either (or both) mentally disturbed and in need of psychiatric treatment or possessed by jinn (invisible spirits). The man has been committed to psychiatric treatment in a Danish clinic after a severe case of jinn possession causes him to destroy a mosque interior, crash several cars, and insult a number of people. He sees no point in psychotropic medication since his illness has already been treated with Quranic incantations. The film compares two systems of treatment that seem quintessentially different, even as both share a view of healing as operating through submission – by faith – to an external non-human agent, namely God or biomedicine. Christian Suhr is a filmmaker and assistant professor in the Department of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. Descending with Angels is his first feature length film. The film is based on 18 months of fieldwork with patients and healers in the city of Aarhus, Denmark. It was produced as part of a PhD project including a 250 page text on experiences of illness and healing among Danish Muslims. The film will be followed by a panel discussion featuring: Christian Suhr, Filmmaker & Anthropologist, Aarhus University; Stefania Pandolfo, Anthropologist, UC Berkeley; Abou Farman, Filmmaker & Anthropologist, The New School for Social Research; Dr. Jim Ghaznavi, Psychiatrist, Los Angeles; Mayathi Fernando, UC Santa Cruz, Moderator

4:30-6:30PM Break & Studio Interviews Shari’a Revoiced Interview: 4:30-5:15PM Regulating Sex/Religion Interview: 5:30-6:15PM

7:00-8:00PM Reception & Exhibit Featuring the work of California-based Muslim artists, including: Mark Gonzales, Shireen Alihaji, Faezeh Fathizadeh, Mustafa Rony Zeno, Tarik Trad, and Tanzila Ahmed, presented by the Shari’a Revoiced Studio.

8:00-9:30PM Program & Panel Discussion Featuring Shari’a Revoiced Study Participants: Umar Hakim, Executive Director, ILM Foundation; Edina Lekovic, Director of Policy & Programming, Muslim Public Affairs Council; Elena Meloni, Executive Director, New Star Family Justice Center To attend this panel, attendees must register at: http://bit.ly/RIDAGAdiscussion To return to the Ace Hotel, please feel free to take a taxi and save your receipt for reimbursement.

Optional Studio-related events on Saturday, October 24 & Sunday, October 25:

Saturday, 10/24 @ 12pm-12am LA Day of the Dead On Saturday evening, join the Global Religious Festivals Studio for a site visit to the LA Day of the Dead. The largest festival in Los Angeles, and in the country, the LA Day of the Dead takes place at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Please purchase your ticket in advance; tickets are $20 each and may be purchased online at: http://www.ladayofthedead.com/event-info/ Stay tuned for an announcement regarding transportation to the event.

Sunday, 10/25 @ 3:30PM Se単or de los Milagros Procession

Join the Global Religious Festivals Studio for the Se単or de los Milagros procession (Peruvian). The procession begins with a celebratory mass at Our Lady of Angeles Catholic Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. Traffic stops as the dramatic procession of several thousand makes its way from the cathedral to La Placita Church in the historic Mexican district. The procession will begin its journey to the Cathedral around 3:30PM.


Global Religious Festivals in Secular Cityscapes: Immigration, Politics, and Religious Performance in California Co-PIs: Jennifer Hughes, UC Riverside; Jim Lee, UC Irvine; Amanda Lucia, UC Riverside; Matt Casey, UC Davis; Jeremy Guida, UC Riverside; Daisy Vargas, UC Riverside Participants: Romi Mukherjee, SciencesPo (Paris); James Ault, Artist/ Filmmaker; Gustavo Arellano, Editor-in-Chief, Orange County Weekly; Megan Asaka, UC Riverside; David Chavez, UC Riverside; Spencer Dew, Centenery College; Candace Edsel, UC Riverside; Connie Gagliardi, University of Toronto; Cathy Gudis, UC Riverside; Kristen Hayashi, UC Riverside; Jane Iwamura, University of the West; Ann Kaneko, Artist/ Photographer/Filmmaker; Valentina Napolitano, University of Toronto; Ayesha Patel, UC Riverside; Santos Roman, UC Riverside; Cristina Rosetti, UC Riverside; Deepak Sarma, Case Western; Marina Soliman, UC Riverside; Rea Tajiri, Photographer/Filmmaker/Temple University; Rebecca Villarreal, UC Riverside/Harvard Divinity School; Jason Weems, UC Riverside; Ashley Williams-Longoria, UC Riverside; Cyril Wohrer, UC Riverside. Global Religious Festivals deploys a multidisciplinary research team to study large-scale street festivals, public processions, and open-air religious rituals that enact religious, racial, and ethnic identities that anchor diverse religious communities in secular cityscapes in California.

Regulating Sex/Religion: Secular Citizenship and the Politics of Diasporic Difference Co-PIs: Mayanthi Fernando, UC Santa Cruz; Suad Joseph, UC Davis; Saba Mahmood, UC Berkeley; Jean-Michel Landry, UC Berkeley

Participants: Anjali Arondekar, UC Santa Cruz; Darren Arquero, UC Berkeley; Gillian Bogart, UC Santa Cruz; Stefanie Graeter, UC Davis; Susan Harding, UC Santa Cruz; Basit Iqbal, UC Berkeley; Suraiya Jetha, UC Santa Cruz; Marc Matera, UC Santa Cruz; Omid Mohamadi, UC Santa Cruz; Danilyn Rutherford, UC Santa Cruz; Judith Surkis; Rutgers University; Jerilyn Sambrooke, UC Berkeley; Veronika Zablotsky, UC Santa Cruz. This Studio examines how sex and religion are mobilized together in the management of diasporic minorities in Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia. Rather than take for granted the secular narrative of sexual and religious life as private, the Studio analyzes how secular rule is actually subtended by the twinned regulation of religion and sexuality.

Shari’a Revoiced: Documenting American Muslims’ Experiences of Islamic Law Co-PIs: Mark Fathi Massoud, UC Santa Cruz; Kathleen Moore, UC Santa Barbara; Maria Ebrahimji, Journalist/Co-founder, I Speak for Myself Series; Shahab Malik, UC Riverside; Ziba Mir Hosseini, University of London Shari’a Revoiced is working to uncover new voices and understandings of Islamic law among Muslim communities in California. The studio documents how Muslim activists, students, feminists, lawyers, social workers, and other cultural brokers produce local forms of Islamic knowledge.

Humanitarian Ethics, Religious Affinities, and the Politics of Dissent Co-PIs: Neda Atanasoski, UC Santa Cruz; Mariam Lam, UC Riverside; Natalie Avalos, UC Santa Barbara; Cecelia Lynch, UC Irvine; Andrew Lam, Journalist, New American Media; Angilee Shah, Journalist, Public Radio International Participant: Petuuche Gilbert, UN Activist This Studio investigates transnational faith-based networks organized in response to and out of the tensions that have arisen between visions of the political, social and cultural good pursued by secular human rights and humanitarian organizations and those pursued by religious humanitarian networks.

Save the Date: December 2015 Bringing together 30+ US and European scholars, artists, and activists, UCHRI, in collaboration with the Chair of Global South(s) at the Collège d’études mondiales, will convene a multi-day institute in Paris entitled “The Re-Turns of Religion.” Event details, including a list of participants and session topics, can be found at http://ridaga.uchri.org. For more information or questions, please contact Kelly Anne Brown at kbrown@hri.uci.edu.



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