CFP: "Failure" in Islamic Reform
April 12-13, 2013
Submission Deadlline: January 11, 2013
Over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, Muslim political and intellectual figures have focused much of their energy on the issue of reform. From Muhammad Abduh, Muhammad Iqbal, and Ismail Gaspirali in the colonial era, to Salafis and secularizing state officials in the post-colonial period, a wide range of Muslims have seemed to agree that the Islamic community has veered from the straight path and that, consequently, the manifestation(s) of Islam in the modern world need to be re-imagined and re-formulated. The work of such Muslim reformers has transcended imperial and national boundaries and created new forms of networks, institutions, and authority.
Simultaneous with the Muslim attention accorded to reform, academic scholars of Islam have also been captivated by efforts to reform the faith. While researchers in the field have opened an important conversation on this aspect of modern Islamic thought, we have not yet sufficiently problematized how the “canon” of reformers was established and the metrics that have been used to evaluate such Muslim reformers and reform movements. How have Muslim intellectuals, ‘ulama’, social welfare organizations, and Muslim-majority states in the 19th and 20th centuries defined what it means for reform to succeed or fail? How do their standards compare with the criteria that academic scholars have employed in the study, and evaluation, of Islamic reform? Overall, the conference aims to facilitate both a historical and methodological conversation over how we approach the question of whether a reformer has succeeded or failed.
This graduate student conference, hosted by the Princeton Islamic Studies Colloquium (PISC), will run from Friday to Saturday, April 12-13, 2013. We seek papers from graduate students in multiple disciplines and on diverse geographic and political contexts, from colonial India to contemporary Egypt.
The PISC Conference Organizing Committee:
Megan Brankley Abbas
Simon Wolfgang Fuchs
For more information: www.princeton.
Supported by the Departments of History, Religion and Near Eastern Studies, the Transregional Institute, the Center for the Study of Religion, and the Workshop on Arab Political Development.