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CfP: Cartographies of Islam: Creating Location and The Places Beyond Meaning (Deadline: December, 20)

Cartographies of Islam: Creating Location and The Places Beyond Meaning
11th Annual Duke-UNC Islamic Studies Graduate Student Conference University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, February 15 & 16, 2014

“So space acquires emotional and even rational sense by a kind of poetic process, whereby the vacant and anonymous reaches of distance are converted into meaning for us here.”
— Edward Said

The Duke-UNC Islamic Studies Graduate Student Organizing Committee is pleased to accept abstracts for our eleventh annual conference on the “Cartographies of Islam.” From this theme, we hope to examine various cartographical creations by and on Muslim populations, which render social organization and behavior meaningful through a particular understanding of geographic and cosmic space. In relation to meaningful work on Muslim networks of influence and exchange, we are particularly interested in the role of social-spatial orders to situate thought and experience. From the celestial to the political, maps provide orientation but also limits. As such, we take a corollary interest in the peripheral to explore marked boundaries in Islamic thought and Muslim societies as sites that bear both division and powerful forms of alterity.

We invite papers from a range of disciplines (anthropology, art and art history, design, geography, history, law, literature, music, philosophy, political science, religious studies, and sociology) that examine such questions within historical and contemporary Islamicate contexts.

Possible themes for papers include but are not limited to:

· Pre-Islamic figurations of space at work in Muslim majority contexts
· The Differing Wilayat of Sufis and Sultans
· Lost-Found Muslims in the Wilderness of the West
· Technology in the creation of digital sacred space
· Spatiality and Islamic Theological Authority
· Urban planning and architecture in Muslim imperial cities
· Arabic/Arab/Arabia as orientation point and the persistence of an Islamic homeland(s)
· Poetry, Music, and other Artforms as cosmological roadmaps to the divine
· Muslim theological perspectives on the environment

As a hallmark of the Duke-UNC Islamic Studies Conference, we will provide opportunity for interactive, deliberative, and interdisciplinary engagement with scholarly work in progress by gathering in an intimate workshop format. We expect that those invited to present papers will remain present for the duration of the two-day conference in order to engage the other participants in a true exchange of ideas. Lunch and refreshments will be provided on both days, and a formal dinner will be held on Saturday night.

Limited financial assistance to cover travel expenses will be offered to those who demonstrate financial need.

Proposal Submission Requirements: Please submit at minimum a 500-word abstract accompanied by a working bibliography and CV to by December 20, 2013. In addition, fill out this brief biographical form at the time of your conference submission. Submissions that include a written paper are highly preferred. Ph.D. students in advanced stages of research and dissertation writing are especially encouraged to apply.


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