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35139 Conferences

Negotiating Multiple Islams: Societies, Traditions, and Cultures in Context

Added by admin on 2008-09-17

Conference Dates:

Start Date Start Date: 2009-04-04
Last Date Last Day: 2009-04-05

Conference Contact Info:

Contact Person Contact Person: NA
Email Email:
Address Address: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599, United States

Conference Description:

6th Annual Duke-UNC-CH Graduate Islamic Studies Conference

The Duke-UNC Islamic Studies Conference is an annual international conference drawing graduate students from programs such as religious studies, history, comparative literature, Islamic studies, anthropology, political science, sociology, and cultural studies.

Negotiating Multiple Islams:

The study of Islam today has moved well beyond early Orientalist assumptions of seeing it as a monolithic religious entity. Static and reductionist categories have been replaced in order to account for the dynamic and "lived" aspects of Islam, bringing into focus its multiple interpretations and manifestations that transcend cultural boundaries. "Lived Islam" includes the variety of ways that Muslims express their devotion to Islam in both intellectual and "popular" traditions, through text and performance. It also brings into view the different ways that Muslims approach their religious texts, and the interpretive moves they make between theory and praxis.

The theme of our conference, "Negotiating Multiple Islams," is aimed specifically at generating discussion on how scholars that speak of Islam in its different contexts and its lived aspects respond to the issues that accompany such an approach. Some of the questions we seek to address are: How are competing forces of heterogeneity and homogeneity reconciled in the context of a global Islam? And methodologically, what impact does an emphasis on lived aspects of Islam have on the interpretation of historical sources? Also, which voices are included and/or excluded through these approaches? How can scholars of Islam and Muslim societies reconcile the commonly-presented vision of Islam as stagnant and rigid with the many vibrant adaptations of Islam being practiced?

How does the acknowledgment of the diversity of expressions address questions of normativity and authority? Does the notion of "multiple Islams" subvert Muslim self-representations of Islam as transcendent, crossing time and place?

For this year’s conference, we encourage papers that explore these questions and seek to contextualize the societies, cultures, and traditions in which they occur. We welcome topics that cover a wide range of issues and incorporate a variety of methodologies and approaches — textual, anthropological, sociological, critical theoretical, and historical, among others. In addition to formal papers, we also welcome multimedia presentations, such as student-produced films, that are related to the theme of the conference.

Possible themes for paper topics include (but are not limited to):

* lived Islam in urban and rural environments
* critical responses to tradition and authority
* revival and reform movements and the notion of multiple modernities
* popular and vernacular Islam in current and historical contexts
* construction of competing identities
* Islamic art and architecture
* pluralistic ethics and Islam
* living and engaging sacred texts
* multiple interpretive authorities and local traditions
* Muslim women as scholars and leaders
* between Islamic law (Shari’ah) and jurisprudence (fiqh) in local and transnational contexts
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