Via SOCIOLOGY OF ISLAM LISTSERV on JANUARY 6, 2014:
Stanford University, 2014-15 Postdoctoral Fellowship in Literary Cultures of Muslim South Asia
(Application Deadline: January 15, 2014)
Stanford University’s Sohaib and Sara Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, the Center for South Asia, and the Stanford Global Studies Division invite applications for a one-year postdoctoral position under the general rubric “Literary Cultures of Muslim South Asia.” The postdoctoral fellow will teach two courses related to his/her interests, pursue his/her own research, and participate in the activities of Stanford University programs and departments. The fellow is expected to be in residence at Stanford during the 2014-2015 academic year.
by AARON W. HUGHES and RANDI R. WARNE for BULLETIN FOR THE STUDY OF RELIGION on JULY 17, 2013:
A worrying trend is gaining momentum in the academic study of religion. There appears to us to be an increasing tendency toward filling professorial vacancies with individuals with PhDs in area studies (e.g., Jewish Studies, Islamic Studies, East Asian Studies, South Asian Studies). We say “worrying” due to the changes in academic climate and intellectual agenda this development potentially carries with it. Specifically, we are concerned that the focus on textual and largely premodern forms of “religious tradition” that characterizes area studies means that individuals within departments, and increasingly departments writ large, will boundary their data in such a way that the “meta-questions” and critical discourses that characterize much of current intellectual discussion, intentionally or not, will be discouraged or overshadowed, much as Christian studies (theology) overshadowed the field in years past.
The result, we fear, will be the gradual diminution and eventual death of the field of Religious Studies. Please be assured that we do not advocate a return to the heyday of phenomenology with its concomitant claims of the “irreducibility of the sacred.” We are deeply concerned, however, with the history and problematics underlying the creation of “Religious Studies” itself. Rather than defer to the false inclusivity of area studies, we would like to encourage a collective rethinking of what the discipline of Religious Studies is and, by extension, what its future should be. Continue reading →