Heartland Muslim Book Tour

The day after my talk in Cedar Rapids, I visited the home of 94-year-old Aziza Igram whose family is central to the book.

While I was still writing Muslims of the Heartland: How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest (NYU Press, 2022), I became determined to take the book back to the places where its stories unfolded from the 1890s to the 1940s. At first, I thought that perhaps I should do one big road trip and invite people to come along as I visited all the major sites of my book. When it became clear to me that this would be too hard, I decided to contact just a few places to ask if they would be willing to host me. Cedar Rapids, Michigan City, and Dearborn said yes, and I was on my way. But then as more people heard about the book, I started to receive more invitations–a total of 22 so far. The single best part of the tour for me has been connecting with the descendants of the historical figures about whom I write and with the Midwesterners who identify with their stories, whether Arab or not.

September 29, 2021 Chicago, Illinois (Virtual) American Islamic College

Oct. 16, 2021 Michigan City, Indiana Public Library, 7:30  

Oct. 27, 2021 Evanston, Illinois (Virtual) Northwestern University, 6PM

Several talks took place in colleges and universities. At Macalaster College, I got to spend a couple days with students as the Arnold H. Lowe Visiting Lecturer.

Jan. 20, 2022 Indianapolis, Indiana (Virtual) Indiana Historical Society, 5:30PM

Feb. 15, 2022 Indianapolis, Indiana IUPUI Bookstore, 12 Noon

March 1, 2022 Cedar Rapids, Iowa History Center, 6PM

March 2, 2022 Ames, Iowa Iowa State, 5:30PM

March 8, 2022 New Jersey (Virtual) Rutgers Law School, 12PM

March 10, 2022 Bloomington, Indiana Indiana University, 2PM

While on tour, I made a point to visit many of the sites discussed in the book, like the dunes at Michigan City, Indiana.

April 7, 2022 Springfield, Illinois Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum, 7 PM

April 13, 2022 Iowa City, Iowa (Virtual) University of Iowa, 1:30PM

April 14, 2022 Des Moines, Iowa (Virtual) State Historical Museum, 12PM

April 19, 2022 St. Paul, Minnesota Macalester College, 5PM

The most distinctive lecture space on tour was the MSU Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, designed by Zaha Hadid.

May 26, 2022 Dearborn, Michigan Arab American National Museum, 6 PM

Sept. 8, 2022 Ann Arbor, Michigan University of Michigan, 4PM

Sept. 15, 2022 Macomb, Illinois Western Illinois University, 7PM

Sept. 28, 2022 East Lansing, Michigan MSU Broad Art Museum, 7PM

Nov. 3, 2022 Indianapolis, Indiana Butler University, 6PM

Nov. 15, 2022 St. Louis, Missouri St. Louis Community College, 12:30

Nov. 17, 2022 Grand Rapids, Michigan Grand Rapids Public Library, 6:30

May 2, 2023 Kalamazoo, Michigan Kalamazoo College, TBD

June 20, 2023 Cincinnati, Ohio Islamic Center of Greater Cinci, TBD

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