Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Every Sunday and Wednesday the thirteen of us meet from 2:35-3:50 at New York University Abu Dhabi. Our class starts with some light hearted discussion, and at 3:20 the call to prayer emanates into our classroom from any one of the five mosques in the 400 meter radius of Downtown campus and we all know we're almost home free, but the truth is, none of us are ever that anxious to leave. Roger Friedland, a visiting Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies from the University of Santa Barbara, has gotten us hooked on the nation-state, religion and the politics of gender. Using Turkey as a looking glass into the effects of religion in government, our class has learned all about how politics can craft gender relations and roles in the public and private sphere. For the first week of the course Professor Friedland gave us a basic understanding of the nation-state, and then the next 7.5 were spent attempting to understand Turkey. I'm convinced we read everything we could've possibly read about Turkish politics, so that when we took our all expenses paid class trip to Istanbul during fall break, we'd know our stuff! For most of us, this has been a once and a lifetime class. The intimate classroom atmosphere provides for fruitful discussions and dissections of the reading material but it's also made us a sort of family. Just the other day we all spent Thanksgiving together, feasting on our country's traditional foods; and being that NYUAD's 300 student body population covers 70 different countries, you can bet that we had more than just turkey! Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, but that's the beauty of this blog; our class may end, but the dialogue continues.