via JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN CENTER/YOUTUBE on APRIL 22, 2015:
Professor Erdağ Göknar sits down with Professors Cemal Kafadar and Cemil Aydin to discuss the various versions and “revisions” of Istanbul through the ages.
Göknar is an Associate Professor of Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University. Kafadar is a Professor of Turkish Studies at Harvard University. Aydin is a Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
This conversation was made possible by the Rethinking Global Cities project, a Duke University project funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s “Partnership in a Global Age.”
via BANU GÖKARIKSEL/SOCIOLOGY OF ISLAM LISTSERV on APRIL 27, 2015:
I would like to announce the publication of the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies under the direction of a new editorial team that consists of miriam cooke, Frances Hasso, and I and now published by Duke University Press: http://jmews.dukejournals.org/content/current. In addition to peer reviewed research articles and book reviews, the new issue features review essays (in “Review” section) and showcases activists’ and artists’ works and scholarly interventions (in “Thirdspace” section).
There are currently two Call for Papers: for a themed section on “The Gender and Sexuality of Militarization, War, and Violence” (deadline June 15) and for ‘Thirdspace’ section on “Languages and Gender and Sexuality” (deadline July 15). You can see more information about these CFPs below and on the journal’s website: www.jmews.org Continue reading →
•The project of post-secularism hinges on the form of pluralism in the public sphere.
•Findings are based on focus groups with devout women in Istanbul in 2013.
•Respect mediates relations with others across public/private spaces but has limits.
•Devout women may be uncomfortable with other lifestyles (alcohol) in shared spaces.
•Post-secularism is not an achieved state but a project, a struggle with its demands.
The concept of post-secularism has come to signify a renewed attention to the role of religion within secular, democratic public spheres. Central to the project of post-secularism is the integration of religious ways of being within a public arena shared by others who may practice different faiths, practice the same faith differently, or be non-religious in outlook. As a secular state within which Sunni Islam has played an increasingly public role, Turkey is a prime site for studying new configurations of religion, politics, and public life. Our 2013 research with devout Sunni Muslim women in Istanbul demonstrates how the big questions of post-secularism and the problem of pluralism are posed and navigated within the quotidian geographies of homes, neighborhoods, and city spaces. Women grapple with the demands of a pluralistic public sphere on their own terms and in ways that traverse and call into question the distinction between public and private spaces. While mutual respect mediates relations with diverse others, women often find themselves up against the limits of respect, both in their intimate relations with Alevi friends and neighbors, and in the anonymous spaces of the city where they sometimes find themselves subject to secular hostility. The gendered moral order of public space that positions devout headscarf-wearing women in a particular way within diverse city spaces where others may be consuming alcohol or wearing revealing clothing further complicates the problem of pluralism in the city. We conclude that one does not perhaps arrive at post-secularism so much as struggle with its demands.
When did religion begin in South Asia? Many would argue that it was not until the colonial encounter that South Asians began to understand themselves as religious. In Religion, Science, and Empire: Classifying Hinduism and Islam in British India (Oxford University Press, 2012), Peter Gottschalk, Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University, outlines the contingent and mutual coalescence of science and religion as they were cultivated within the structures of empire. He demonstrates how the categories of Hindu and Muslim were constructed and applied to the residents of the Chainpur nexus of villages by the British despite the fact that these identities were not always how South Asians described themselves.
Throughout this study we are made aware of the consequences of comparison and classification in the study of religion. Gottschalk engages Jonathan Z. Smith’s modes of comparison demonstrating that seemingly neutral categories serve ideological purposes and forms of knowledge are not arbitrary in order. Here, we observe this work through imperial forms of knowledge production in South Asia, including the roles of cartographers, statisticians, artists, ethnographers, and photographers. Continue reading →
Muslim debates regarding the translation of the Qur’an are very old. However, during the modern period they became heated because local communities around the globe were rethinking their relationship to scripture in new social and political settings. M. Brett Wilson, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Macalester College, provides a rich history of how this conversation unfolding with the late Ottoman period and Republic of Turkey in Translating the Qur’an in an Age of Nationalism: Print Culture and Modern Islam in Turkey (Oxford University Press, 2014).
The Qur’an’s translatability is contested from various perspectives (both old and new) but emerging print technologies, shifting political authority, and changing economies of knowledge production offer contemporary challenges that mark the demand for Turkish translations. Wilson narrates the production of vernacular interpretations and commentaries, unofficial translations, and a state-sponsored project. In many cases, translation was viewed as a tool of progress, modernization, and Turkish nationalism. For others, it led to vernacular ritual practice and the disharmony of the global Muslim community. Continue reading →