Lauren E. Osborne is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Whitman College, in Walla Walla, Washington. Specializing in the study of Islam, she brings a multidisciplinary lens to both her research and her teaching. With backgrounds in both the academic study of religion and music, she considers the relationships between the sound, experience, poetics, and text of the recited Qur’an. While a senior fellow at the Marty Center, Prof. Osborne will continue her work on her book manuscript on this topic, Recite!: Aesthetics and Experience of the Recited Qur’an. In Recite!, she asks how we may understand meaning in the recited Qur’an; specifically, how the relationships between its discursive meanings, poetics, melodic renderings, and the non-discursive experiences of it, such as affective resonances and performance practices, may relate to one another, or merely coexist in tandem. In her research beyond this book, Prof. Osborne is interested in exploring the life of the quranic sensorium within and beyond the text, through a combination of textual and ethnographic methods, bringing the epistemologies of the senses within the Qur'an into conversation with its roles in everyday life.
Prof. Osborne notes that while she will miss the variety of outdoor activities readily available to her in eastern Washington state, she is overjoyed to return to the rich intellectual community and resources (the Reg!) available at the University of Chicago. The opportunity for broader public engagement via the MMC provides a unique opportunity for humanistic conversation about and around the Qur’an at what Prof. Osborne would argue is a particularly crucial moment for doing so.