The Armstrong Lecture

The Armstrong Lectures at Kalamazoo College are made possible by the Homer J. Armstrong Endowment in Religion. Established in 1969 in honor of Dr. Homer J. Armstrong, eminent pastor and long-time trustee of Kalamazoo College. The fund was provided through the generosity of numerous friends of the College.

The 2020 Armstrong Lecture has been canceled. Please watch this page for when the lecture will be rescheduled in the Spring of 2021. Thank you.

The 2020 Armstrong Lecture

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
7:00pm
Olmsted Room, Mandelle Hall

This year’s guest speaker is Amanullah De Sondy.
He is the Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Islam at University College Cork in Ireland, and is an Affiliate of the University of Glasgow’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies.

Music, Empowerment, and Queer Pakistani Identities: The Case of Madam Noor Jehan 1926-2000

Noor Jehan (1926-2000) is considered to be one of the most prolific and widely known iconic figures in Pakistani music. Born into a lowly caste of entertainers in the Punjab, her life was fraught with constant battles against control and power struggles. Lovingly known as ‘Madam ji’, her flamboyant style and queer expression mesmerized her audience. A revolutionary figure who carved queer spaces during the early years of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Noor Jehan’s rise to success as the voice of Pakistan is remarkable at a time when the new republic was being shaped by men on a quest to determine what did and did not count as Islamic. This talk will explore, through translations of her Urdu and Punjabi interviews, essays and popular books, the way in which Noor Jehan the person and the voice empowered queer identities and spaces both inside and outside of Pakistan. Noor Jehan’s success came from the act of disruption and dysfunction which spoke to parts of society that were suffering at the margins. From difficult marriages to challenging the Pakistani army, Noor Jehan was known for her witty and often foul-mouthed outbursts – a lover of spice and extremely cold iced water, her anarchistic style disrupted the mission of those who wanted neat structures to society, especially with regard to gender and sexuality.

The lecture is free and open the public

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Past Guest Lecturers

2019, May 7: Dr. Robert Orsi
2018, March 5: Dr. Judith Weisenfeld
2017, February 15: Dr. Tisa Wenger
2016, May 4: Dr. Sufia Uddin
2015, May 13: Dr. Kathryn Lofton
2014, May 15: Dr. Pamela Klassen
2013, April 10: Dr. Karen King
2012, May 14: Dr. Ann Taves
2010, October 21: Dr. David Hackett
2010, February 15: Dr. Wendy Dongier
2008, May 01: Dr. Emilie M. Townes
2006, October 12: Dr. Vasudha Narayanan
2005, November 3: Dr. Bernard McGinn