This panel explores the various ways in which the question of Sufi space may be conceptualized. It addresses questions that lie at the intersection of Sufi imaginaries and spatial politics with particular focus on history and memory as well as communities and institutional frameworks.
This panel explores the various ways in which the question of Sufi space may be conceptualized. Studies tend to emphasize the aspect of Sufi space as bound to the burial site of a saint, a precinct - a physically outlined locus of spiritual access and charisma. However, spaces are also in conversation with other spaces, bodies, narratives and histories. Therefore, this panel stresses the need to look at both the material and virtual dimensions of Sufi space, by exploring on the one hand how it is lived and shaped by Sufi masters, disciples and devotees, and on the other hand how it is managed and represented in dreams, narratives and literary works by different actors. Moreover, the intersection of institutions and politics with creative utilization of old and new media (from print press to internet) foregrounds the importance of analyzing Sufi space in a multi-dimensional perspective. The proposed panel aims to bring together multiple spatial narratives as a way of highlighting the complex character of Sufi landscapes. Individual papers of the panel may address questions that lie at the intersection of Sufi imaginaries and spatial politics with a particular focus on ritual use of space, the relation between space and identity, history and memory, communities and institutional frameworks as well as networks of actors and media. The panel welcomes contributions from religious and literary studies, history, anthropology, social geography and media studies.