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Muslim Studies Program Annual Conference


Muslim Studies Program 13th Annual Conference

Michigan State University

Theme: Islam, Environmental Science and Conservation Michigan State University,

This conference will be online and a registration page will be set up in the near future.

Tentative Schedule 

Thursday, October 15, 2020: 

8:00am-8:10am: Welcome and Opening Remarks  

8:15am-10:00am: Islam and Environmental Activism-Part I: Looking to the Sources  

Natana Delong-Bas (Boston College), “Intertextual Scriptural Reading as Inspiration for Interfaith Cooperation in Water Conservation and Management” 

Abdalmajid Katranji (Michigan State University), “The Quran and the Environment: The Impact of the Qur’an on Environmental Policy in the Muslim World” 

Sarra Tlili (University of Florida), “Ecology of Wonder” 

Sami Al-Daghistani (Columbia University; Brooklyn Institute for Social Research; Center for Advanced Study of Religion in Oslo, Norway), “Islamic Sources on Environmental Issues: A Polyvalent Perspective” 


10:15am-12:00pm: Islam and Environmental Activism-Part II: Assessing Problems and Proposed Solutions 

Jonathan Brockopp (Penn State University), “Climate Change in the Muslim World: Starting a Conversation” (via Zoom) 

Gretel Van Wieren (Michigan State University), “Religion and Food for a Hot Planet” 

Lauren Baker (Northwestern University), “Rethinking What Counts as ‘Green’: Contrasting Rhetoric of Environmental Political Action in North Africa” 

Qudsia N. Shah (Institute of Ismaili Studies), “Between Expedient and Ethical: Muslim Approaches to the Environment” 


Friday, October 16, 2020: 

8:00am-9:45am: Indonesian Scholarship on Islam, Conservation, and the Environment 

Gatot Supangkat (Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta), “Muhammadiyah's Perspective on Environmental Management and Protection Sustainability” 

Muhammad Tri Ramdhani (Universitas Muhammadiyah Palangka Raya), “The Role of Islam in the Cultural Ceremony of the Tiwah Dayak Ngaju People of Central Kalimantan”   

Siti Maimunah (Universitas Muhammadiyah Palangka Raya), “The Role of Islam in Developing a Forest Case Study in Mungku Baru Palangka Raya” 

Atus Syahbudin (Universitas Gadjah Mada), “Is there an Islamic Tree Species?” 


10:00am-11:45am: Global Case Studies: Indonesia, Gambia, and Afghanistan 

Karyanti (Universitas Muhammadiyah Palangka Raya) (co-author: Lilik Kholisotin), “The Role of Women in Forest Conservation: The Case of Ibu Siti Maimunah of the Muhammadiyah” 

Abdoulie Jabang (Michigan State University), “Transforming and ‘Healing’ the Environment: Founders, Migrants, Farmers, Muslim holy men, Women rainmakers, and Colonial Meteorologists in the River Gambia, 1890-1970” (via Zoom) 

Shah Mahmoud Hanifi (James Madison University), “A Deep History of Water in Afghanistan” 

M. Jamil Hanifi (Michigan State University), “An Historical Ethnography of Water in Pre-Industrial Kabul” 


11:45am-12:00pm: Closing Remarks   


Co-Sponsors: Asian Studies Center, Center for Gender in Global Context, College of Arts and Letters, College of Social Science, Department of Religious Studies, Department of Sociology, Honors College, James Madison College, MSU Libraries, Office for Inclusion & Intercultural Initiatives



Muslim Studies Program 14th Annual Conference

Michigan State University, International Center, East Lansing, MI, USA

April 8-9, 2021

Global Islamophobia and the News Media, Entertainment Media, and Social Media

Michigan State University is hosting an international conference on Global Islamophobia  and the News Media, Entertainment Media, and Social Media.  This conference will present work related to Muslim portrayals in the media (e.g., news, entertainment, social media) and evaluate how Islamophobia manifests on these platforms. 

Significance of theme: The media is an important conduit for conveying messages to the public, shaping public attitudes, influencing the national discourse, and generating stereotypes. Past research suggests the ways in which outgroups are represented in the media impacts the public’s perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors toward them, as well as shaping support for policies that harm members of these outgroups. Scholarship is only now beginning to extend this line of research to Muslims, and to specifically explore how the media is shaping discrimination against Muslims globally. . For instance, Muslims are increasingly occupying a more prominent role in the American cable news media. For instance, they were mentioned in 28.46% of all CNN broadcasts, 31.53% of FOX broadcasts, and 41.65% of MSNBC broadcasts in 2016. This conference will invite panelists to present work related to Muslim portrayals in the media (e.g., news, entertainment, social media) and evaluate its effects either on publics or on Muslims themselves.

Panelists from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds—including, among other possibilities, computer science, sociology, anthropology, religious studies, political science, communication, media studies, and psychology—will be invited to apply to attend and present their research on Islamophobia in the news media, entertainment media, and on social media. By bringing together leading scholars who study how Islamophobia manifests on each of these platforms, we will develop a more comprehensive understanding of the pervasiveness of anti-Muslim sentiment, measure its effects, and develop recommendations to address it. The conference will build a mentoring network of scholars interested in Muslims, leading to stronger future data collection and research efforts, and will help underrepresented members of the profession (including women and people of color) to succeed in their scholarship.

Conference format: The two-day conference will take place on April 8-9 and will include a networking dinner, panels, posters, and a keynote. The precise format will be announced at a later date.

Call for papers and posters: Scholars in sociology, anthropology, religious studies, political science, communication, psychology, computer science, media studies, and other relevant fields are welcome to apply, including junior scholars (e.g. graduate students and postdocs). The deadline to apply is September 30, 2020, and accepted papers will be announced by October 31, 2020. 

Click here to complete the Call for Papers and Posters Form