March 27 conference explores Islamophobia, race


     LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A March 27 University of Louisville symposium —“Islamophobia and Race”—will examine rising discrimination against Muslims in the United States manifested in attacks on mosques, a travel ban and a growing number of anti-Muslim organizations.

                The free, public event will run from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Ekstrom Library’s Chao Auditorium. Parking is available for a fee at the nearby Speed Art Museum garage off Third Street.

    UofL’s Middle East and Islamic Studies program organized the event with support from the Louisville-based Snowy Owl Foundation and UofL’s Liberal Studies Project, Commonwealth Center for the Humanities and Society and the anthropology department, all in the College of Arts and Sciences.

                Scholars with expertise in law, sociology, anthropology and cultural studies will share their views on topics ranging from the increase in anti-Muslim fringe groups to the racialization of religion since 9/11. Organizers intend for the discussions to appeal to the general public, especially community members from religious, academic, international, nonprofit, civil rights and peace and justice groups.

                Three panel discussions will focus on:

    — “Race, Religion and Power: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives” (9:30 a.m.-noon). Speakers will be Sahar Aziz, law, Texas A&M University; Greg Hutcheson, Spanish, UofL; and Junaid Rana, Asian American studies, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign.

    — “Representations, Mobilizations and the Media” (1:30-3:30 p.m.). Speakers will be Christopher Bail, sociology, Duke University; and Evelyn Alsultany, Arab and Muslim American studies, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

    — “Islamophobia and Racism on the Ground” (3:45-5:30 p.m.). Speakers will be Donna Auston, anthropology, Rutgers University; and Louise Cainkar, sociology, Marquette University.

                  For more information, contact Julie Peteet, 502-852-2429 or, or Steven Brooke, 502-852-3307 or

    Judy Hughes
    Judy Hughes is a senior communications and marketing coordinator for UofL’s Office of Communications and Marketing and associate editor of UofL Magazine. She previously worked in news as a writer and editor for a daily newspaper and The Associated Press.