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P109


Anthropologies of Islam: Identity, Meaning and Practices
Convenors:
Francisco Freire (CRIA NOVA FCSH)
Paulo Pinto (Universidade Federal Fluminense)
Format:
Panels
Sessions:
Friday 24 July, 11:00-13:00, 14:00-16:00 (UTC+1)

Short abstract:

Anthropological research in Islamic contexts has recently undergone noticeable developments, with the positioning of identities, discourses and practices in broader/global contexts. We invite papers exploring Islam in various ethnographies, presenting multilayered spheres of power and belonging.

Long abstract:

In the last two decades anthropological research in Islamic contexts experienced noticeable developments. Researches combining ethnography with renewed theoretical and analytical approaches have shown how Muslim identities, discourses and practices closely relate with issues such as tribe / kinship, ethnicity, nationalism, power structures, gender, diaspora, transnational/global processes, as well as subjectivity, embodiment, and religious experience.

While considering Lila Abu-Lughod's "noble" research areas for anthropologists working in Islamic contexts (Islam, gender and "tribe"), a panoply of researches in various ethnographic locations have more recently shown that Islam is produced not only in relation to normative elements of tradition (sacred texts, symbols or rituals) supposedly shared by a global 'umma, but notably in connection to local and transnational contexts of power, meaning and practical reasoning.

Recognizing the plurality of themes and approaches, we selected three main axes of debate for this panel - identity, meaning and practices -, hoping that they will be inclusive enough to bring together the more recent anthropological production on Islam. We invite papers that explore the construction of Islam in various ethnographic contexts, presenting the multilayered and complex spheres of power and belonging that define this process. The debates anticipated in this panel should allow a dialogue between different analytical and theoretical approaches, anchored on a diversified ethnographic representation.