The Global Studies Seminar presents “The Abraham Path Digital Museum and Stories of the Third Side.”

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The Global Studies Seminar presents “The Abraham Path Digital Museum and Stories of the Third Side” with Michal Raizen, visiting assistant professor of English at Denison.

In 2006, a group of hikers set out on a 600-mile journey across the Middle East. This intrepid crew of scholars, trekkers, local civic leaders, photographers, political negotiators, and cultural tourism experts were tracing an ancient itinerary following what overlapping traditions have identified as the Abraham’s passage from his birth cave in Urfa (Southeastern Turkey) to his burial cave in Hebron (Palestine). The Abraham Path Initiative is an international nonprofit registered in the United States and working with local partners from Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Kurdistan. API grew out of the idea that hiking is a powerful tool for gaining a deeper understanding of self and others and discovering what founder William Ury has termed “the third side.” In a region mired by political conflict, the third side represents traditions of hospitality that transcend religious and ethnic tensions. With some 80,000 hikers to date, API has collected a formidable body of oral histories, photographs, travel journals, and scholarship. Raizen, an Abraham Path Fellow, will talk about her role as digital storyteller and curator for the forthcoming API digital museum—an initiative at the nexus of digital humanities and cultural preservation.  

Raizen has a Doctors of Philosophy in Comparative Literature from the University of Texas at Austin. She  focuses on contemporary Hebrew and Arabic literatures and has a sub-specialty in Ethnomusicology. Raizen’s interests include Hebrew-Arabic translation, the intersection between music and literature among diasporic Arab authors, the Arab-Jew in literature and film, and graphic narratives of the Middle East. Raizen also works in grant development for Columbus-based nonprofits, and she is currently teaching a course on oral histories at the Ohio Reformatory for Women. 


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