Humanities scholar wins teaching award

Associate Professor Halim Rane (left) with a group of Griffith arts students on the Muslim World Tour in Istanbul.

Internationally acclaimed scholar of Islam-West relations Associate Professor Halim Rane has been recognised for his student-focused dedication, winning the 2014 Griffith Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Associate Professor Rane, who teaches a number of courses within Islamic Studies, said he aims to promote mutual understanding between Islam and the West by producing graduates who can address challenges and issues based on sound knowledge, analysis and critical thinking.

His eye-opening Muslim World Study Tour to Malaysia, Turkey, Spain and Morocco offers students a significant international experience as part of their degree.

Associate Professor Rane explains that the course “provides first-hand engagement with the diversity of people, cultures and societies across four countries with deep roots in Islamic civilisation. The wide range of in-country experiences includes visiting places of cultural and religious significance as well as meetings with political and religious leaders, academics and journalists in order to gain deep insights into the Muslim world.”

Professor Glenn Finger, Dean (Learning and Teaching) Arts, Education & Law, said another course, Advanced Islamic Studies, prepared students for postgraduate studies.

“It teaches students how to work with a supervisor, conduct research independently and prepare a conference-standard presentation as well as a journal-standard article, all necessary skills for post-graduate studies,’’ he said.

Associate Professor Rane’s teaching approach is outcome-based as well as contextual.

“As this field is still emerging in the Western context, I regularly consult with students, academics, contacts in government departments and NGO’s to ensure my courses are relevant to contemporary realities in respect to student, academic and potential employer needs and interests,’’ he explains.

“My courses motivate and inspire students because they provide the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with complex Islamic and Muslim issues sensitively and professionally from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences.

“This has made our graduates sought after by a range of government departments and agencies, NGOs, business, media and other organisations.”

As well as his teaching commitments, Associate Professor Rane has authored a number of books including Islam and Contemporary Civilsation: Evolving Ideas, Transforming Relations and Media Framing of the Muslim World: Conflict, Crises and Contexts, that are required reading at several universities.

He was presented with the award at the Celebrating Teaching Gala Night at Nathan campus on November 6.