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Revisiting the idea of the anthropology of Islam and the Muslim World 
Raquel Gil Carvalheira (Universidade NOVA de Lisboa)
Guillermo Martín-Sáiz (Durham University)
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Tuesday 23 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This panel focuses on the idea of the anthropology of Islam and the Muslim world, and specifically, on the contributions made by scholars in 2024 and the opportunities and challenges they may face in the world in the coming years.

Long Abstract:

Historically, scholars in the humanities and the social sciences have made important contributions to the study of Islam, from detailed ethnographic portrayals of the Muslim world to discussions regarding intellectual biases that characterize them. This includes the work of a wide diversity of scholars, from Edward Said’s Orientalismto Talal Asad’s revision of the idea of the anthropology of Islam. In this context, some have made claims regarding the need to counter these biases by interrogating the position of researchers vis-à-vis their archival and field interlocutors, and by extension, the coloniality of their work. This is the case, for instance, of Salman Sayyid and Junaid Rana, who have suggested the need to address issues such as the racialization of religious difference, the possibilities of decolonizing scholarship about it, and the possible problems of such an agenda. Based on these claims, a series of key questions arise: How are we to situate the study of Islam within the same framework of opportunities and constraints where we situate other religious traditions? In what do we conceptualize the Muslim world, its spaces, and its temporalities through our research and teaching? How does this contribute to understand (or not) the complexities that characterize the lives of our field interlocutors? We invite papers touching on one or more of these issues and presented by colleagues working in disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences, from literary and religious studies to archaeology and history to social anthropology and cultural sociology.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -