Armstrong Lecture Spotlights Pakistani Entertainer

Armstrong Lecture Poster of Speaker and Entertainer
Amanullah De Sondy, a senior lecturer at University College Cork in Ireland, will provide the 2021 Armstrong Lecture.

A global expert in contemporary Islam will speak at a Kalamazoo College Religion Department virtual event about a prolific figure in Pakistani music whose voice empowered queer identities.

Amanullah De Sondy, a senior lecturer at University College Cork in Ireland and an affiliate of the University of Glasgow’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies, will provide the 2021 Armstrong Lecture at 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 23. His talk, titled “Music, Empowerment and Queer Pakistani Identities: The Case of Madam Noor Jehan 1926-2000,” will discuss the flamboyant Noor Jehan, an entertainer known lovingly to many as Madam ji.

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. De Sondy will explore her anarchistic style and show how she disrupted neat structures in society as she remained rooted in Islamic traditions.

The Armstrong Lectures are made possible by the Homer J. Armstrong Endowment in Religion, established in 1969 in honor of the Rev. Homer J. Armstrong, a longtime trustee of Kalamazoo College. To attend the free event Tuesday, register through the Religion Department website.