Katrina Daly Thompson receives Library of Congress Research Residency!

Congratulations to Professor Katrina Daly Thompson for receiving a short term summer research residency to use the Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED) collections! Their residency is part of a larger project outlined below. Thompson shall conduct research using the Library’s collections, in support of AMED’s new National Religious Literacy Initiative while focusing on “The Evolution of Swahili Islamic Marital Advice (1932- present),” and “Language, Religion, and Gender in Islamic Radio: An Ethnography of Radio Nuur in Tanga,” using the Islamic and Swahili collections found in AMED of the Library of Congress.

Background: The Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED) received a 2.5 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to foster greater understanding of religious cultures in Africa and the Middle East. The initiative is a five-year, multi-phased endeavor with the goals of enhancing public awareness of cross-regional and inter-cultural religious understanding in Africa, the Middle East, and their global diaspora. The initiative will be manifested through a series of exhibitions, symposia, publications, and educational programs centered around the Library’s unparalleled international collections. As part of this initiative and in alignment with the grant, AMED has invited established and emerging scholars in related subject fields to conduct onsite research using the Library’s collections. The scholars are expected to assist with interpreting the collections and to offer a public presentation upon conclusion of their performance period. The final presentation will expose critical issues impacting religious studies today, new scholarship in the field, and non-western approaches to fostering cross-cultural religious literacy. The final presentation will serve as a vehicle for forging even deeper connections to religious scholars in America and overseas, and for discovering ways to access and leverage library resources. Final presentations may occur onsite or online and will be searchable on the library website for posterity.