“The term “Reasonable Accommodation” has emerged in the last decade as a major innovation in the legal and political culture of liberal democratic nation states. Facing growing ethnic and cultural diversity, resulting from migrations that transformed their socio-demographic maps, liberal societies confront the imperative of accommodating minorities that are ambivalent about integration into the “national culture”… Support for modifying once sanctioned universal Enlightenment (and nationalist) principles in favor of multicultural accommodation has been gathering across the political spectrum.” —–  from the project description for the year-long series “Reasonable Accommodations?”: Minorities in Globalized Nation States

by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, ISLAMiCommentary on JANUARY 26, 2015:

What is the history of religious tolerance in the U.S. and Canada and what can be learned from their examples? This was the jumping-off point for a timely one-day colloquium at Duke University at the end of last semester on Reasonable Accommodations and Minority Religious Freedom in the US & Canada.

The colloquium was part of a larger project — “Reasonable Accommodations?”: Minorities in Globalized Nation States — aimed at exploring religious diversity and minority religious freedoms in different regions of the world and directed by the Council for European Studies in collaboration with the Council for North American Studies, the Duke Islamic Studies Center, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, and the Center for Jewish Studies at Duke University (all at Duke University).

“What do nation states and minorities, liberal majorities and religious communities, owe each other? How can universal enlightenment principles, such as those underlying human rights, be negotiated with multiculturalism and communal rights?” These are the kinds of political and legal questions being raised throughout Europe and North America today.

“Reasonable accommodations have been for us, from the beginning a global issue,” said project co-director and chair of the Council for European Studies Malachi Hacohen. “What we earlier attempted to do (in other sessions) was to learn from non-European and non-North American models for the future of European nation states, but we cannot ignore that throughout the late modern era both European countries and North American countries have been especially powerful, having advanced their own global agenda of reasonable accommodations.”

KEEP READING AND WATCH VIDEOS OF THE INDIVIDUAL PANELS

Posted in Americas, Gender, History, Law, Muslim Life, Religion, Workshop.

WORKSHOP APRIL 17-19, 2015 at DUKE UNIVERSITY: 

What can the past tell us about the present? This question, once the bedrock of historical enquiry, faded from the academic imagination after the post-structural turn. As utilitarian and deterministic understandings of the past came under attack for ossifying ‘traditions’, a new periodization took shape–now familiar to anthropologists and historians alike–of a post-colonial present separated from its ‘authentic’ past by the unbridgeable gulf of European imperialism and colonial modernity. The workshop aims to probe the limits of this approach by bringing together anthropologists and historians interested in exploring the manifold relationships various pasts have with the present day world.

The workshop will focus on Muslim societies as the primary context to conceptualize the interplay between historical inquiry and analysis of emergent social forms*. Our interest in Muslims societies is driven by the recent academic work on Muslim empires and networks (see Bibliography section). The emergent scholarship on networks and empires, venture beyond both postcolonial and textual approaches to Islam to highlight the complicated relationship of Muslim societies with the cultural geography of Eurasia, Africa, and the Indian Ocean. However, despite employing anthropological categories of analysis, this scholarship has yet to engage with ethnographic work on present day Muslim societies. To initiate a conversation between these ships passing in the night, we hope to press historians of Muslim empires and networks to speak about the past’s resonances with the discourses, practices, and structures explored in ethnographies. Conversely, we encourage anthropologists working on emerging social networks and political struggles in the broader Muslim world to focus, not only on the conditions of postmodernity, neoliberalism, and globalization, but also on regionally specific histories and memories, no matter how layered, distorted, or uneven. Continue reading

Posted in History, Language & Literature, Muslim Life, Sociology, Workshop.
via SOCIOLOGY OF ISLAM LISTSERV, APRIL, 2014: 

The deadline for submission of proposals for presentation at the workshop titled “Muslims Negotiating Modernities,” the third in the series titled “Being Muslim: How Local Islam Overturns Narratives of Islamic Exceptionalism” is April 7, 2014, but proposals will continue to be accepted until the workshop program is sound. The review process begins on April 14, 2014. The workshop will be held on September 18-21, 2014 on the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville, TN, USA. Continue reading

Posted in Arts & Culture, Call for Papers, Colonialism, Cosmopolitanism, Gender, History, Islamic Theology & Practice, Language & Literature, Political Science, Religion, Sexuality, Workshop.

by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, ISLAMiCommentary and TIRN, with MOSHOOD JIMBA on FEBRUARY 21, 2014: 

In a well-attended October workshop at Duke on Islamic Institutions of Higher Learning in Africa: Their History, Mission and Role in Regional Development, which drew a number of scholars and administrators from the U.S. and Africa, Dr. Moshood Mahmud Jimba (Kwara State University, Nigeria) presented a paper on ‘The Role of Al-Azhar University in Educating the Nigerian Youth:  Ilorin – Al-Azhar Institute as a Case Study.”

(Al-Azhar University, in Cairo, Egypt, was founded in the tenth century as a centre of Islamic learning is today the chief center of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world)

While he was at Duke, I had an opportunity to interview Jimba on the impact of Egypt’s Al-Azhar University on Islamic higher education in Nigeria, as well both the positive contributions of Islamic higher education to society and its limits (within the Nigerian context). Continue reading

Posted in Americas, Education, Islamic Law, Islamic Theology & Practice, Middle East & North Africa, MyTIRN, Political Science, Religion, Security & Civil Liberties, Sub-Saharan, East, and West Africa, Workshop.

compiled by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, TIRN on OCTOBER 22, 2013: 

Interested in the gender dynamics of the Arab Revolutions? Check out the website for the upcoming workshop “Geographies of Gender in the Arab Revolutions.”

The December 13-14, 2013 workshop and associated volume is being organized by Frances S. Hasso (Duke University) and Zakia Salime (Rutgers University) and hosted by Duke Women’s Studies. Sponsors include Duke Women’s Studies (partial: Charlotte Brunch Endowment), Duke Islamic Studies Center/Carnegie Transcultural Islam Project, Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke International Comparative Studies Program, and Duke University Middle East Studies Center.

See profiles of the participants here.

 

Posted in Gender, Middle East & North Africa, Sociology, Workshop.