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02/08/2017

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mohamed h rajmohamed

Dear Elliot, I am currently teaching Islam in America and attempt to contextualize this particular ban with the larger immigration bans and history that propelled these bans. The period from 1882 when prevailing the nativism,racism,and the eugenics movement decided who was 'American' and let them see how with substitutions of a few adjectives how this is a longer history.

Caleb Elfenbein

Thanks for this, Elliot. Like Mohamed, I am teaching a course on Islam and Muslims in the United States this semester. I am finding that readings that have been meaningful in the past, including more theoretical readings that frame the work of the course, become even more meaningful when I tie them explicitly, though not exclusively, to the present moment. If taking the time to consistently discuss the relevance of course material to the contemporary context means that we get through less content, then so be it--if our students are forgetting much of the detail in our courses within weeks of completing the semester (which I have come to grudgingly accept!), I think we constantly need to be asking ourselves what we want our students to be taking away. Engagement with the present, even for more historically oriented courses, always needs to be at the top of the list.

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