Katherine Ewing at the American Library in Paris

Katherine Ewing will discuss her latest research on Sufism and new media.

“Sufis embody the mystical side of Islam but are also part of well-established institutional networks—the Sufi orders that extend across the Muslim world. Through the words, sounds, and images of a brief Youtube video of a meeting an American Sufi leader and a hereditary caretaker of a thirteenth-century shrine in India, we can see how Sufis use new media in ways that upend the usual rituals of status and authority within Sufi orders while pushing against powerful global forces that would seek to delegitimize Sufism as unIslamic and archaic. Based on a close reading of this encounter memorialized (at least for now) by Youtube, I examine how modern Sufis are striving to embody a continuing tradition while simultaneously repositioning themselves in response to the pressures of secular and Islamist modernities.”


February 4th, 2020 | 7:30 PM

American Library in Paris

10, rue du Général Camou, 75007 Paris

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