Hasnul Insani Djohar, Ph.D was presenting her idea

English Literature Department UIN Syarif Hidayatullah just conducted an online workshop on Global Muslim Literature on Tuesday, August 31 2021 via zoom cloud meeting. The workshop was participated by the English Literature Lecturers and it invited two experienced scholars in the field namely, Febrianti Lestari, Ph.D from UIN Sunan Kalijaga Yogyakarta and Hasnul Insani Djohar, Ph.D from UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta. The workshop was important to be held because the department has just renewal the curriculum and added some new courses, and one of them is Global Muslim Literature. This course is adopted to raise the awareness of the students about Islamic values and perspectives in literature.  The workshop was guided by Ida Rosida, M.Hum, English lecturer in UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta.

Febriyanti Lestari, Ph.D was explaining about teaching Global Muslim Literature

The first session was taken by Hasnul Insani Djohar, Ph.D. She delivered her presentation with the theme “Contemporary Global Muslim Literature”. This speaker has strong knowledge about the theme as her doctoral program focused on Muslim literature. She firstly explained why we should propose this course to the students. As we know, the Islamic perspective unfortunately is excluded in world literature, so as Islamic university we need to challenge western supremacy. Muslim voices are also still ignored. She said, our students sometimes got confused in reading western literary text since it is not their own culture, that is why we need to provide them to read their own culture literary texts which have Islamic values. The speaker proposed some objectives of the study such as to fully understand the novel, to explain the intrinsic elements in the novel, to engage with the novel, context, and theory, to offer alternatives or evidence to support their thesis statement, and so on. She said that having critical thinking is very important for students. The speaker gave some challenging novels such as Habiburrahman Kembara Rindu (2019) which Islamic values focus on the protagonist character named Musalah who struggled to raise his siblings, aunties, and his mother. However, he finally succeeds because he returned to Islamic tanets. Other novels she mentioned were Mohja Kahf’s The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf (2016), Randa Jarrar’s A Map of Home, Unnecessary Woman (2014), Golden Age (2017), and more. Before closing her presentation, she also shared her lesson plan for Global Muslim Literature course.

The second session was delivered by Febriyanti Lestari, Ph.D who also has expertise in global Muslim literature. She started by explaining the reason for teaching global Muslim literature. For the department’s benefit, this course can be the distinctive characteristics of Islamic universities as well as be a research roadmap. For students’ benefit, it gives deeper insight and knowledge of the experiences of Muslims outside Indonesia. It also can contribute a deeper understanding of how Muslims around the world live, feel and think empathy and stronger emotional connections. Besides that, this course can also be a self-reflection as students see themselves in the text. However, there are some challenges in teaching the course such as the lack of resources in both lectures with expertise in the field and teaching materials. The students’ poor reading habit is also a challenge in teaching literature, especially in Muslim literature as it’s a new course for the students. However, there are some possible ways to teach this course. It can be based on geographic regions such as Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, North America, and Europe. The lecturer can also explain the course based on a recurrent themes such as diaspora and migration, religion, political Islam and Islamophobia, and many more. Besides that, the speaker also mentions genres such as Novels, poems, and plays. It is also possible to examine the course based on the historical timeline, such as the 20th century, 21st century, and so on. Before closing her statement, the speaker also shared the supplemental readings about the course. Finally, the workshop came to end with a QnA session. (TH)