On Screen Scholars
Cities of Light reflects the contributions of a number of on screen scholars. They are:
Lourdes Maria Alvarez
is the director of the Center for Catalan Studies and a professor of Spanish at Catholic University in Washington, DC. Her primary research focus is in the cultural and literary relations between Muslims, Christians and Jews in medieval Spain, as well as Hispano-Arabic poetry from the same time period. She also investigates the influence of Islamic Spain in the contemporary Arab political and cultural imagination.
is an associate professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received a Bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy and his Master’s and Doctorate degree in medieval studies from the University of Toronto. During his doctorate studies Catlos received the Governor-General of Canada's Gold Medal as the best graduate student in Canada. His book, The Victors and the Vanquished: Christians and Muslims in Catalonia and Aragon 1050-1300 was named co-winner of the 2005 John Edwin Fagg Prize from the American Historical Association and studies the mechanics of social interactions of ethno-religious groups, especially Christians, Muslims, and Jews in Spain during the Middle Ages.
is an Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Chair of the Arabic and Islamic Studies Department at Georgetown University. He taught at Stanford University (2000-2003), Yale University (1994-2000), and Smith College (1990-1994). He earned his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Columbia University and his B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from the American University of Beirut. His academic training and research cover the history of the disciplines of learning in Muslim societies, including both the exact and the traditional sciences, as well as early modern and modern Islamic thought and movements. His books and articles are focused on the history of science, Islamic revivalist thought, and Islamic law. He has also written essays and delivered numerous lectures on the background and aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
D. Fairchild Ruggles
is an associate professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has taught architectural, art, landscape, and cultural history at a variety of universities and colleges, among them Cornell University, Binghamton University, and Harvard and in 2001 was invited to the University of Illinois to collaborate in the inauguration of its unique doctoral program in landscape history. Since the publication of her first book, Gardens, Landscape, and Vision in the Palaces of Islamic Spain, Ruggles continues to publish essays and give lectures on the complex cultural conditions that gave rise to the art, architecture, and landscape of the Hispano-Islamic kingdom called al-Andalus.
Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf
is the founder and CEO of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and Imam of Masjid Al-Farah, a mosque in New York City, twelve blocks from Ground Zero. He has dedicated his life to building bridges between Muslims and the West and is a leader in the effort to build religious pluralism and integrate Islam into modern society. His published writings include the books Islam: A Search for Meaning, and Islam: A Sacred Law (What every Muslim should know about the Shariah. His latest book, What's Right With Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West was rated by Christian Science Monitor among its top four books on religion.
is currently a lecturer in Arabic, Department of Classics and Mediterranean Studies, at the University of Illinois at Chicago and focuses on instruction of Arabic language and literature. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco before moving to the United States to complete his Masters and Doctorate degrees at the University of California, Berkeley. He frequently lectures on Arabic literature and music from Spain and Morocco, as well as social issues.
is a former Jesuit who currently lives in New York, where he serves part-time as Special Assistant to the President of the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB), the leading U.S.-based Catholic charity providing health care programs and services to people in need around the world. Mr. Lowney is also the author of A Vanished World: Medieval Spain's Golden Age of Enlightenment, a book the Publishers Weekly called, “a bold and compassionate articulation of medieval Spanish history, with its complex interactions among Jews, Muslims and Christians, that speaks directly to contemporary international crises.”
is the Charlotte Bloomberg Professor of the Humanities in Medieval History at John Hopkins University. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and his Master’s and Doctorate degrees from Yale University. His published work focuses on social and cultural relations between Christians, Jews, and Muslims in medieval Europe and the Mediterranean. His first book, Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages (Princeton Univ. Press, 1996), explored some of the ways in which violence both facilitated and disrupted the co- existence of Muslim and Jewish minorities with the Christian majority in the fourteenth-century Crown of Aragon.
Raymond P. Scheindlin
is Professor of Medieval Hebrew Literature at The Jewish Theological Seminary and Director of JTS's Shalom Spiegel Institute of Medieval Hebrew Poetry. He teaches and conducts research on the encounter of Hebrew and Arabic cultures in Spain, especially as embodied in the poetry of the two traditions. An expert on Arabic literature, Scheindlin also pursues an interest in literary translation. He was a Guggenheim Fellow and served for three years as the part-time Rabbi of the Kane Street Synagogue in Brooklyn. He is a fellow and a member of the executive committee of the American Academy of Jewish Research and a member of PEN American Center, as well as a member several editorial boards.