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Main presenter
St. Petersburg State University St. Petersburg Russian Federation
Presenter [2]
Prof. Oleg REDKIN St. Petersburg State University
Presenter [3]
Dr. Anna MATOCHKINA St. Petersburg State University
Presenter [4]
Ms. Philomena MEECHAN University of Michigan
Presenter [5]
Mr. Todd AUSTIN University of Michigan
Presentation details
Presentation title
Virtual exchange in Islamic Studies in a multilingual and multi-confessional environment
Presentation abstract
Our international team of instructors and instructional technologists will present results from a range of courses in Islamic studies shared between the University of Michigan (U-M), USA, and St. Petersburg State University (SPbU) Russia from 2017-2020. During these years we team-taught courses in Islamic Studies including “Islamic Intellectual History”, “Islamic Mysticism: Sufism in Space and Time”, “Qur’an as the Object of Study and Conversation Piece”. Our joint venture was inspired in part by the efforts of the governments of the Russian Federation and the European Union to integrate Muslim populations into the mainstream cultural and social life of their respective societies. The SPbU student cohort included graduates of Islamic religious colleges (madrassas) from across Russia admitted under a special program to obtain degrees in the areligious study of Islam. They joined SPbU peers admitted along the standard path who were specializing in Islamic studies. The U-M cohort included students of diverse religious, ethnic, and national backgrounds, including practicing Muslims from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. At both universities, the students included those studying for bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. A key element of this exchange was the tension and opportunity provided by the so-called “insider” and “outsider” approaches to the study of Islam. We brought together different types of Islamic insiders: religious and “ethnic” Muslims (those who come from a Muslim family but do not actively practice the religion), as well as different types of outsiders: students specializing in Islamic studies and students studying other academic subjects who had no affiliation to Islam other than their intellectual interest in it. In this session we will discuss the character of class discussions and collaborative work conducted by the students in addition to student feedback on the courses collected in written surveys and personal interviews. We will also discuss the impact of this experience on ourselves, the instructors.
Original submission
virtual exchange; online intercultural exchange; Islamic Studies
Integrating virtual exchange
Possible presentation times
Presentation video
Comments or questions
As we are in distant time zones, we request a time of 2:00pm Brisbane time for our presentation. This will be 7:00am in St. Petersburg and 11:00pm in Michigan. Thank you!
Submitted by

Submitted: Saturday, 31 July 2021, 6:05 AM
Modified: Saturday, 31 July 2021, 6:08 AM
Peer review
Peer review score
Peer review details
Schedule number