by ZAHEER KAZMI for LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS on APRIL 4, 2014: 

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.

FULL ARTICLE

The choice to leave academia does not have to mean life as a barista. 

by ELIZABETH SEGRAN for THE ATLANTIC on MARCH 31, 2014: 

There is a widespread belief that humanities Ph.D.s have limited job prospects. The story goes that since tenure-track professorships are increasingly being replaced by contingent faculty, the vast majority of English and history Ph.D.s now roam the earth as poorly-paid adjuncts or, if they leave academia, asbaristas and bookstore cashiers. As English professor William Pannapacker put it in Slate a few years back, “a humanities Ph.D. will place you at a disadvantage competing against 22-year-olds for entry-level jobs that barely require a high-school diploma.” His advice to would-be graduate students was simple: Recognize that a humanities Ph.D is now a worthless degree and avoid getting one at all cost. Continue reading

What Do Policymakers Want from Researchers? Blogs, Elevator Pitches and Good Old Fashioned Press Mentions (Duncan Green provides short and sweet translations of some of the key findings from a recent survey looking at how US policymakers use and value international studies research. The findings point to the importance of blogging, but also to the sustained influence of traditional print media. The future of evidence-informed networks may require a more engaged look at what policymakers are actually looking for.) 

by DUNCAN GREEN for LONDON SCHOOL FOR ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE (IMPACT OF SOCIAL SCIENCES BLOG) on MARCH 11, 2014: 

Duncan Green
Duncan Green

Interesting survey of US policymakers in December’s International Studies Quarterly journal. I’m not linking to it because it’s gated, thereby excluding more or less everyone outside a traditional academic institution (open data anyone?) but here’s a draft of What Do Policymakers Want From Us?, by Paul Avey and Michael Desch. The results are as relevant to NGO advocacy people trying to influence governments as they are to scholars. Maybe more so. I’ve added my own running translation. Continue reading

Via SOCIOLOGY OF ISLAM LISTSERV on February 26, 2014:
1st International Conference on Men and Masculinities : “Identities, Cultures, Societies”
11–13 September 2014, Izmir Turkey
Initiative for Critical Studies of Masculinities (ICSM) cordially invites proposals for the first international conference on men and masculinities to take place in Turkey, in collaboration with Ankara University Women’s Studies Centre (KASAUM) and Izmir University Women’s Studies Centre. The conference aims to discuss theories, narratives, experiences, discourses, and activisms related to transformations of and challenges to men and masculinities with a particular focus on the Global Southern and Eastern European contexts. Continue reading

Via SOCIOLOGY OF ISLAM LISTSERV on February 26, 2014:

California State University, Chico, is pleased to host the Second Middle Eastern Studies Symposium on May 1, 2014. The Symposium provides undergraduate and graduate students with a forum where they can share with fellow students and faculty their research on any periods or subjects pertaining to the Middle East. Topics can include religions, cultures, political developments, and special themes such as gender, arts, science, technology, economy, and globalization. In addition, the Symposium will showcase Middle Eastern food, handicrafts, and music.  Continue reading