Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India

Muslims in a Global Context
Friday, November 16, 2012 to Sunday, November 18, 2012

Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India

Class times:

5pm Friday November 16 to 12:15 pm Sunday, November 18, 2012 (2400 Sennot Square University of Pittsburgh)

This one credit mini-course is part of a series organized by regions around world based on their role on the world stage, their importance within the Muslim world, and the critical influence they play in the global community, The series and course seeks to illuminate the various perspectives of the Muslim Community around the world. Drawing upon the expertise and research of participating faculty from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh and our partners at institutions around the world the mini course series seeks to have students gain understanding of the religious, culture, economics and political influences of Muslims in a global context.

Course Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the course, the students will:
1. To gain an understanding of history, governance, economics, law, gender education and political dimensions of the peoples and regions focused for each mini course.
2. Explore one of these factors in depth, through the paper.

Faculty Presenters:


Engaging the Muslim World - Cole, Juan, St, Martens Press (2009). This book is available at the University of Pittsburgh's Bookstore


The Muslims in the Global Context series offers the opportunity to examine the factors and trends that are having major impacts on these diverse regions and their relationships with other world regions and countries. The mini-courses consist of presentations on topics of critical importance to the understanding of Muslims in diverse regions of the world. In addition to attendance at all lectures, students enrolled for credit are required to develop and write a research paper on the theme of the mini-course and a reflection paper. One- credit is provided for the completion of each mini-course.


Due to the immersive nature of the course, students are expected to attend all sessions on all three days. Further, each student will be required to read the assigned book and develop a term paper on one dimension of Muslims in a global context that has been introduced in class. The paper should be based on one of the topics covered in the course. The length of the term paper will be 5-10 pages, double spaced in 11 point font. Term papers are due by December 7 and should be submitted through the University of Pittsburgh's Courseweb assignment tab for the course.

Audit Option:

Carnegie Mellon students may also audit the course by attending all the sessions, but not writing the paper. You should be sure to process an audit form, both if you are auditing from the beginning or later if you have decided not to do a paper and want your status changed from credit to audit.

Pitt students may also audit but students must choose this option before the beginning of the course. Once the course has started students will be graded based on how they signed up for the course.

Sponsored by:
University of Pittsburgh: Global Studies Center
Carnegie Mellon University: Office of the Provost and Division of Student Affairs

Friday, November 16, 2012 5:00 pm- 8:45 pm

5:00 pm - 5:15 pm Welcome
5:15 pm – 5:30 pm Program Introductions
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Muqtedar Khan: Why does it Matter: A view from the East and West
7:00 pm - 7:15 pm Break
7:15 pm - 8:45 pm  Thomas Barfield: Historical Overview of Afghanistan

Saturday, November 17, 2012 8:30 am - 6:45 pm

9:00 am - 10:15 am Thomas Barfield Tribal and Religious identity in Afghanistan
10:15 am - 10:30 am Break
10:30 am - 11:45 am Anita Weiss: History of Pakistan
11:45 am - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm - 2:15 pm  Nico Slate: History of Muslims in India
2:15 pm – 2:30 pm Break
2:30 pm – 3:45 pm Jennifer Murtazashvili: Governance and the State in Afghanistan
3:45 pm – 4:00 pm Break
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm Anita Weiss: The Role of Women in Statehood
5:15 pm - 5:30 pm Break
5:30 pm - 6:45 pm Mohammed Shafiq: Education and Youth in South Asia

Sunday, November 18, 2012 9:00 am - 12:15 pm

9:00 am - 10:30 am Colin Clarke: US Security and the region
10:30 am - 10:45 am Break
10:45 am - 12:00 pm Carmen Gentile: A Journalist's Perpective
12:00 pm – 12:15 pm Conclusion and wrap-up

Muslims in a Global Context Mini-Course Faculty List

Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India

1) Dr. Muqtedar Khan, Associate Processor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Delaware

Dr. Muqtedar Khan, PhD (Georgetown University, 2000) joined the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware in 2005. His areas of interest are Politics of the Middle East and South Asia, Political Islam, Islamic Political Thought and American Foreign Policy in the Muslim World. Professor Khan teaches courses on Arab and Middle Eastern Politics, Politics of Development, Globalization, and Islam in World Affairs.

2) Dr. Thomas Barfield, Professor, Department of Anthropology, Boston University

Dr. Thomas Barfield’s current research focuses on problems of political development in Afghanistan, particularly on systems of local governance and dispute resolution. He has also published extensively on contemporary and historic nomadic pastoral societies in Eurasia with a particular emphasis on politics and economy.

Dr. Barfield conducted ethnographic fieldwork in northern Afghanistan in the mid-1970s as well as shorter periods of research in Xinjiang, China, and post-Soviet Uzbekistan. He is author of The Central Asian Arabs of Afghanistan (1981), The Perilous Frontier: Nomadic Empires and China (1989), and The Nomadic Alternative (1993), co-author of Afghanistan: An Atlas of Indigenous Domestic Architecture (1991), and editor of Blackwell’s Dictionary of Anthropology (1997). Barfield received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006 that led to the publication of his newest book, Afghanistan: A Political and Cultural History (2010).

He is also director of Boston University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies & Civilization and currently serves as president of the American Institute for Afghanistan Studies.

3) Dr. Anita Weiss, Professor and Head, Department of International Studies, University of Oregon

Dr. Anita Weiss, PhD (University of California at Berkeley, 1983) teaches courses on International Development, Social Movements, and Gender Analysis, particularly with regards to Pakistan, Afghanistan, and South Asia. Some of her academic interests include Culture and Development in Pakistan, Social Change and Political Transformations in Pakistan, Comparative International Development, Development and Human Rights, Gender and International Development, Muslim Societies and Development, Religion and Social Change, Sociology of South Asia, Women, Legal Reform, and Social Change in the Muslim World.

4) Dr. Nico Slate, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Carnegie Mellon University

Nico Slate’s research and teaching focus on the transnational history of social movements in the United States, with a particular emphasis on South Asia and on the history of struggles against racism and imperialism worldwide. His first book, “Colored Cosmopolitanism: The Shared Struggle for Freedom in the United States and India” (Harvard University Press, 2012), argues that South Asians and African Americans learned from each other in ways that not only advanced their respective struggles for freedom, but also helped define what freedom could and should mean.

Dr. Slate earned degrees in Earth Systems and the Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from Stanford University and in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University before completing his Ph.D. in History at Harvard University. He maintains broad interests in the intersection of literature, philosophy, politics, and history, with particular interests in the history of race and caste, diaspora, cosmopolitanism, anti-colonial and post-colonial nationalisms, environmental science and politics, the Second World War, the Cold War, and nonviolent civil disobedience.

5) Dr. Jennifer Murtazashvili, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Jennifer Murtazashvili’s research interests broadly focus on questions of institutional design and state building. Specifically, she explores the relationship between customary and formal state institutions in the state-building process, the political economy of development, sub-national and local governance, as well as electoral design and reconstruction in fragile states.

In addition to her academic experience, she has extensive professional experience working for a wide array of government and development agencies including managing democracy and governance assistance for the USAID mission in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and providing assistance to the newly elected Afghan Parliament for the United Nations Development Program. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Murtazashvili holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University as well as a M.A. in Agricultural and Applied Economics and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

6) Dr. Mohammed Najeeb Shafiq, Associate Professor, School of Education and Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Shafiq uses large data and advanced quantitative methods to explore educational topics in developing countries and the U.S. His research interests include the social benefits of education, educational gender gaps, child labor, and school choice. Dr. Shafiq received his Ph.D. in Economics and Education from Columbia University. He previously held appointments at the World Bank, Washington and Lee University, and Indiana University at Bloomington.

7) Colin Clarke, Project Associate, RAND Corporation

Dr. Colin P. Clarke received his Ph.D. in International Security & Foreign Policy from the Graduate School of Public & International Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh. He currently works as a project associate at the RAND Corporation where his research focuses on insurgency, counterinsurgency (COIN), violent drug trafficking organizations, and security cooperation. From January to April 2011, he worked as part of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force Shafafiyat (CJIATF-S) at International Security Force Assistance (ISAF) Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. Clarke is a co-author of the two volume monograph titled Victory Has a Thousand Fathers: Sources of Success in Counterinsurgency with Christopher Paul and Beth Grill. He is also the author or co-author of several other publications which appear or are forthcoming in Joint Forces Quarterly, Small Wars Journal, Military Operations Research, Journal of Public and International Affairs, and Historical Methods.

8) Carmen Gentile, International Reporter

Carmen Gentile began his international reporting career in the late 1990s when he was based in Cairo, Egypt. He has written for some of the world's leading publications including the New York Times, TIME, Newsweek, USA Today and many others. Carmen has also produced online video reporting for The Times and TIME. He also regularly produces radio reports and has published numerous photos with his work.

Carmen has covered both the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, embedding with soldiers on the frontline. His work has also taken him to Nigeria, where he reported on the continuing unrest in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

Registration is REQUIRED for University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University students and requested for teachers, community members and guests who are not taking the course for credit. For students only: Once you are registered, you will be given access to the Arab Spring Blackboard Course Web site, where you will find information on assignments and resources. 

 Carnegie Mellon University Registration

Registration is REQUIRED for Carnegie Mellon University students.
For students only: Once you are registered, you will be given access to the Muslims in a Global Context Blackboard Course Web site, where you will find information on assignments and resources.

For any registrations, please contact Catherine Ribarchak at

University of Pittsburgh Registration

Registration is REQUIRED for University of Pittsburgh students.

Students can register for this course up till November 14, 2012. 

For students only: Once you are registered, you will be given access to the Muslims in a Global Context Blackboard Course Web site, where you will find information on assignments and resources.

University of Pittsburgh students should register by contacting: 

Undergraduate and Graduate students:
Contact Veronica Dristas at

University of Pittsburgh students may register for the Afghanistan, Pakistan and India mini course at no additional cost provided that they do not exceed the maximum number of credits for full-time enrollment. Full-time enrollment maximum credits vary with status and School. Students will be billed for credits exceeding their full or part-time allowable credits.

Community Registration

Registration is requested for community members and guests who are not taking the course for credit.

Who needs to register?
Registration is for count of attendance only, and is for guests who are NOT taking the course for credit.

How do I register?
Please click the link below and fill out the simple form:

Community Registration Form

Teacher Registration

This registration form is for teachers who would like to receive ACT 48 credit. To register please click the link and fill out the simple form:

Teacher Registration Form


Sponsored by:
University of Pittsburgh
Global Studies Center and the Sociology Department
Carnegie Mellon UniversityH. John Heinz III CollegeOffice of the Provost, and Division of Student Affairs
Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies


Veronica Dristas
Assistant Director of Outreach
Global Studies Center
University Center for International Studies
University of Pittsburgh
4101 Wesley W. Posvar Hall

Cathy Ribarchak
Administrative Assistant to Dr. Amy Burkert
Office of the Vice Provost for Education
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
612A Warner Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
412-268-8677 (voice)
412-268-2330 (fax)


Sponsored by:
University of Pittsburgh
Global Studies Center
Carnegie Mellon UniversityH. John Heinz III CollegeOffice of the Provost, and Division of Student Affairs
Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies