Category Archives: CEDAR Media

EVENT: Jan 26, 2016 Wasserfall at Brandeis

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 / 12:30-2:00

Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall / Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center

Brandeis University

Rahel R. Wasserfall presents

“How Do We Learn to Live with Difference? A Pedagogy of Discomfort: CEDAR programs”

In this talk, Wasserfall discusses the methodology behind Living with Difference and overviews the habits of the mind and the heart communities need to develop to face the strangers that populate our lives.


CEDAR Director Named Fulbright Scholar

CEDAR Director Adam Seligman has been named a Fulbright Specialist at Uganda Martyrs’ University (UMU), where he will spend two months starting in May 2016. During this time he will use CEDAR’s pedagogic approach to help develop a program in conflict resolution and peace studies for UMU’s Equator Peace Academy (EPA), a CEDAR affiliate school. Bringing Professor Seligman to Uganda for an extended period will allow UMU to integrate CEDAR and EPA pedagogy and incorporate it more strongly into the culture of the university as a whole. Crucially, it will allow the EPA to expand CEDAR’s pedagogy beyond the summer programs and to act as a bridge between the university and broader local communities within Uganda.

CEDAR part of Bridging Voices Dialogue

CEDAR is proud to partner with the UK’s Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), George Washington University, and the University of Exeter in organizing a two-part conference on “Islam, Secularism and Security in Central Asia and Beyond,” as part of a British Council USA Bridging Voices dialogue. CEDAR Program Development Director David Montgomery is a principal investigator for the conference, which will take place in London in November 2014 and Washington, DC, in April 2015.

At a time when the world’s attention is focused on the impact of Islamic radicalization, this dialogue will consider the place of political Islam in Muslim-majority states that have undergone significant secularization. The conference will explore how thinking about religion and security raises the possibility that isolated pockets of radicalism and acts of violence are not simply outgrowths of the social environment and theological precepts of certain brands of Islam, but rather are relational: borne out of the confrontation between political Islamic groups and the assertive Islamic secularism they face from supposedly moderate governments and their international allies.

“It is exciting that CEDAR can bring its unique pedagogic perspective to such a prestigious gathering, and I hope that the discussions will particularly highlight our work on difference and advance our understanding of religion’s role in public life,” notes Montgomery.

The purpose of the dialogue is to begin a public debate about the implications of Islam and secularism for security relations in Central Asia and beyond. Provisionally, it will examine case studies from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan and Indonesia.

The conference will specifically address the following questions: How do governments in Muslim-majority secular states draw the line between ‘radical’ and ‘moderate’ Islam in both policy discourse and state practice? How do foreign states and international actors address the relationship between radical Islam and more secular iterations of Islam? How do civil society organizations negotiate the relations between political Islam and more privatized variants of Islam? How far is political Islam identified as a threat in popular discourse and practice? And how do the security responses of the state to perceived threats impact secularized Muslims?

The dialogues will be structured to optimize collaboration and discussion in both workshops and public sessions. Montgomery will co-lead the public event before an audience drawn from the policy and civil society communities of London and Washington. In London, this session will be used to launch Heathershaw and Montgomery’s Chatham House briefing paper (November 2014), “The Myth of Post-Soviet Muslim Radicalization in the Central Asian Republics.”

For more information about the conference contact