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Dr. Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture Series


The Dr. Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture Series on Islam & Culture in partnership with The SVSU Edwards Lecture Series and The Dow Visiting Scholars Lecture Series presents . . .

Muslim Cool: Race, Religion and Hip Hop in the United States

Wednesday, September 28, 6:30 p.m.
Rhea Miller Recital Hall (Entrance inside Groening Commons)

Following the lecture will be a book signing; refreshments will be served.

This event will be simulcast online via Zoom. To follow the talk online, please register here.

Guest Speaker

Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, Ph.D.

University of Michigan 

Su’ad Abdul Khabeer is an Associate Professor of American Culture and Arab and Muslim American Studies at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from Princeton University, with degrees from Georgetown University and Abu Nour University in Damascus. She is a scholar/artist/activist. Dr. Abdul Khabeer’s first book, Muslim Cool: Race, Religion and Hip Hop in the United States (NYU Press 2016), is a critically acclaimed ethnography on Islam and hip hop that examines how intersecting ideas of Muslimness and Blackness challenge and reproduce the meanings of race in the U.S. In her most recent work, she examines the intersections of official history and the untold stories of Black women and Black Muslims through the lens of her mother’s life. Dr. Abdul Khabeer leads Sapelo Square, the first website dedicated to the comprehensive documentation and analysis of the Black U.S. American Muslim experience. She has also written for The Root, Washington Post, Atlantic, Ebony Magazine, the Huffington Post, Religious Dispatches, and Trans/Missions, and has appeared on Al Jazeera English. She is a Senior Project Advisor for the U.S. Public Television award-winning documentary, New Muslim Cool. Her poetry was featured in the anthology Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak. In 2018, she was profiled as one of 25 Influential American Muslims by CNN and received the Soros Equality Fellowship in 2019. You can read more about her work here.


The Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture on Islam and Culture was established in 2011 by Dr. Waheed Akbar in memory of his wife Raana, a former member of the SVSU Board of Control, physician, and community leader. The Dow Visiting Scholars and Artists program was established through an endowment from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation to enrich our regional cultural and intellectual opportunities.


Past Lectures