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 2021 Armstrong Lecture
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
This year’s guest speaker is Dr. 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 family of entertainers in the Punjab, her life was fraught with constant struggles. Lovingly known as ‘Madam ji’, her flamboyant style and queer expression mesmerized her audience. A revolutionary giant who carved spaces for those who did not conform to neat boxes. 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 her entertaining acts of disruption 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 wit and strength. An exploration of her anarchistic style shows how she disrupted neat structures in society, as she remained rooted in Islamic traditions.
The lecture is free and open the public
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