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The Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference

The theme of the Eleventh Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference is “Cartographies of Islam: Creating Location and The Places Beyond Meaning.” The conference will take place on February 15 and 16, 2014 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Past Conferences

Tenth Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference(2013) “(De-)Centering Islam and the Question of Authenticity,” it took from February 16-17, 2013, at Duke University. The Call For Papers deadline was December 1, 2012.

Ninth Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference (2012): “Making Sense of Islam: Sensuality and Affect in the Muslim Humanities” marked a turn from a bounded study of the “Islamic sciences” to a more capacious engagement with Muslim articulations of the human experience in its multiple dimensions. This engagement with human experience both incorporates and moves beyond the intellectual to include the body, affect, sensation, and arts as sites of understanding, generating an interdisciplinary conversation about how diverse Muslim traditions—ritual, ceremonial, artistic, literary, philosophical, and legal—participate in and invoke the sensate and the affective.

Eighth Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference (2011) – “How Ideas Win: Formations of Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy In Muslim Practice and Thought” was aimed at generating interdisciplinary discussion around the formation and function of orthodox and heterodox views and practices across Islamicate history. The conference considered orthodoxy not in terms of an essential and unified core, but as an emergent and contested category. By looking at how this category comes into being and shifts across time and place, they seek to understand the function of power and agency as key elements in the formation, evolution, and dissolution of orthodoxies.

Seventh Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference (2010) – “No!”: Subjectivity and Agency in Muslim Rights/Rites of Negation” welcomed diverse approaches to examine negation, agency, and the subject in the study of classical, medieval, and contemporary Islamicate contexts. Of particular interest were interdisciplinary approaches to this theme with regards to Muslim political theologies, Islamic textual canons, and Muslim minorities, including those of gender, sexuality, race, and class.

Sixth Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference (2009) – 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?

Fifth Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference (2008) – “Embodying Islam: Religious Practice and Muslim Constructions of Self” aims to discuss embodiment in conjunction with the study of Islamicate texts and contexts. Embodiment has played a pivotal role throughout the history of Islam and Muslim societies. Islamic discourses not only shape how Muslims perform Islam, but also structure practices and rituals. In many instances, such a religious enterprise not only shapes the understanding of the body and subject-formation, but also of agency and autonomy.

Fourth Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference (2007) – This year’s conference, “Islam and the Challenge of Pluralism: Muslim Encounters with the Other,” will address ways in which Muslim communities have dealt with non-Muslim and minority Muslim groups in social spaces, cultural and artistic constructions, and intellectual discourses. The guest speakers for this year’s conference include Hasan Hanafi, Professor of Philosophy at Cairo University, Maulana Waris Mazhari from Dar ul-Uloom Deoband, and Kevin Reinhart, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Dartmouth College.

Third Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference (2006) – “Translating Islam.” In recent years there has been a growing interest in the question of translation across the humanities and in the social sciences. The linguistic and cultural turn that has shaped the modern formation of interpretive studies currently pushes toward further engagement with issues of translation, namely how concepts, ideas and practices are related to a more complex substrate in culture. In a more radical way, the theoretical frameworks derived from post-structuralism and post-colonial studies equate the ideal of translatability with that of universality. The aim of this conference is to explore ways in which the issue of translation figures in theories, methodologies, ethnographic and historiographic dimensions of the study of Islam and Muslim societies.

Second Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference (2005) – “Mapping Muslim Ethics” on Islamic Studies was organized by the Programs in Islamic Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on February 4-5, 2005. The most pressing questions in the study of Islam and Muslim societies are ethical in nature. Questions such as the validity of suicide/martyr bombings, interest-based banking, questions of governance, gender and bioethics are widely discussed among Muslims and non-Muslims. Though such debates often occur in a legalistic idiom, these dilemmas have far-reaching implications on the attitudes and worldviews of Muslims.

First Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Islamic Studies Conference (2004) on Islamic Studies was organized by the Programs in Islamic Studies at Duke University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill on March 26-27, 2004. This two-day international conference explored topics around the broadly conceived theme of “New Directions in the Study of Islam and Culture.” This conference gathered together researchers from a wide spectrum of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences who are engaged in the study of Islam.