Research Councils UK’s open access policy poses “serious dangers for the international standing of UK research in the humanities”, a report by the British Academy has warned.
Open Access Journals in Humanities and Social Science, published on 17 April, examines the practical issues raised for these disciplines by the UK’s move to open access. Critics have said these fields will find the transition particularly difficult. Continue reading →
2014 Theme: Latent and Manifest Islamophobia: Multimodal Engagements with the Production of Knowledge (WATCH LIVE HERE; APRIL 18 session begins at 9am PACIFIC TIME)
Join us free of charge for the Fifth Annual International Islamophobia Conference April 17-19, 2014 on the legendary Berkeley campus, the location with a reputation for activism and for challenging ideas and authority. The focus of the conference will be Islamophobia: a contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure which rationalizes the necessity to deploy violence as a tool to achieve “civilizational rehab” of the target communities (Muslim or otherwise). The concept of Islamophobia reintroduces and reaffirms a global racial structure through which resource distribution disparities are maintained and extended. Continue reading →
In his semi-fictional account of Barbary Coast Pirate Utopias, Peter Lamborn Wilson traces the unwritten dissident history of a communion of outsiders — heterodox Muslims and Christian renegades. Unanchored from the conformist dictates of law and organized religion, “temporary autonomous zones” like the Coast flourished for a time between the 16th and 18th centuries, and they were the embodiment of a mode of engagement between Islam and the West detached from interreligious conflict or any dialogue patronized by power. Wilson aims to show how radical forms of religious liberty can be the harbingers of progress and understanding between civilizations, creating the space to experiment with novel forms of cross-cultural exchange. “[O]nly later,” he laments, “do the Orthodox Authorities arrive to straighten everyone out and make them toe the line.” The practice of stamping out the dual sins of radicalism and heterodoxy has continued to color the character of religious practices. Today, it is most evident in the largely state-sponsored strategies of moderate or liberal Muslims in an age of resurgent militancy and sectarianism in the Muslim world.
An article by Ahmad Najib Burhani, The Reformasi ’98 and the Arab Spring: A Comparative Study of Popular Uprisings in Indonesia and Tunisia, has been published in Asian Politics & Policy (Volume 6, Issue 2, pages 199–215, April 2014).
ABSTRACT: By comparing popular uprisings in Indonesia and Tunisia, this article intends to answer the questions: What kind of condition made the Islamists successfully take over the state in Tunisia, while they failed to do so in Indonesia? What are the similarities and differences between the uprisings in these two countries? This article argues that the historical and sociopolitical position of Islamists during the authoritarian regimes determined the fate of Islamist parties after the uprisings. The role of Ennahda party as a symbol of opposition has contributed to its rise after the Tunisian Spring, while the involvement of Islamists in the regime during the last years of Suharto’s rule contributed to the decline of Islamist parties in Indonesia. However, the strongest argument for the decline of Islamist parties in Indonesia is the fading away of political streams. Furthermore, the role of Muslim scholars in desacralizing Islamist parties in Indonesia has significantly challenged and undermined the identification of Islam with Islamist parties. Continue reading →
Next month the National September 11 Memorial Museum will open. On a bare concrete wall that separates visitors from a repository holding the unidentified remains of victims of the September 11 attacks, is a quote of Virgil’s: “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” From end to end, the sentence stretches 60 feet. Each of the 15-inch letters is made of steel appropriated from the wreckage. Read against the backdrop of the cool, gray, towering concrete wall, the sentiment is one of solemnity, remembrance; at first glance, Virgil’s words seem a fitting commemorative for the lives lost that day. But put back in the literary context from which it was pulled—Book 9 of the Aeneid—the quote becomes somewhat more macabre. Continue reading →