The Islamic Studies Program's Mapping conferences are intended to showcase the depth as well as the geographic, historical, and methodological breadth of Islamic studies scholarship among faculty and doctoral students on the Bloomington campus. Our 4th biennial Mapping conference took place October 15, 2016, and featured presentations by six IU doctoral students on diverse topics (including Muslim networks, sacred shrines and lineages, slavery, political philosophy, representation and education) and regional and trans-regional areas, from South Asia to the Middle East (including such countries as Bangladesh, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mauritania and Morocco).
The keynote address was delivered by Chase F. Robinson, Distinguished Professor of History and President, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Professor Robinson was introduced by Lee Feinstein, Dean of the School of Global and International Studies.
Abstract of Professor Robinson's Keynote Address: "Religion" in the Year 865
"Arguably the single most important intellectual reflex of the ‘return of Islam’ has been to throw into deeper question the relationships, both instantiated historically and proposed theoretically, between modernity and religion. One aspect of the debate turns on the shape and significance of pre-modern Islamic history: in fact, for Islamists and reformers alike, the battle for Islam is in some respects conducted as a battle over Islamic history. My paper will make some observations about that debate and then focus upon a single document, which, composed and published in Baghdad in the early spring of 865, exemplifies one construction of Islam within what might be called a middle Abbasid polysemy. Focusing in this case will mean historicizing: by pinning down particulars, we can also identify some broader trends."
You can access the Conference Program here.
We gratefully acknowledge our co-sponsors: Inner Asian & Uralic National Resource Center, Center for the Study of the Middle East, ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute, Department of History, Department of International Studies, Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures, and Department of Religious Studies.