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Beyond Islamic Studies: De-essentializing the Study of Muslim Societies

Published: Thursday, 07 Feb 2013
Author: Ian Morgan Bonney
Department: Muslim Studies Center

Muslim Studies Annual Conference, April 7-8, 2011

The project to “rethink Islamic Studies” in the twenty-first century was given voice in a recent volume, Rethinking Islamic Studies: From Orientalism to Cosmopolitanism, edited by Carl Ernst and Richard Martin and published by the University of South Carolina Press this past summer. The book was the subject of a workshop in October at the 2010 annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion in Atlanta. The workshop was designed to identify problems in the study of Islam and ways to approach and theorize them at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century; the majority of the seventy participants located their work in the humanities. That workshop, which had twelve facilitators for six breakout groups on different topics, was a very productive exercise, and a report on the main ideas discussed in the breakout sessions will be published later this year.