The Study of Islam and Muslims in the shadow of the “War on Terror”: Complexity, Reflexivity and Decolonising Methodologies
A major online conference delivered by the University of Edinburgh's Alwaleed Centre, Moray House School of Education and Sport, Centre for Education for Racial Equality Scotland and RACE.ED.
The scope of the study of Islam and Muslims has proliferated since the events of 9/11. Unfortunately, the ‘War on Terror’ has reinvigorated Orientalist constructions of Muslims, to which academic knowledge production has contributed. The political securitisation of Islam has not only shaped research focus as well as teaching content in relation to Muslims and Islam, but also effected an upsurge in numbers of researchers who attempt to bring agency to Muslim voice and validate Islamic worldviews and epistemologies.
Nonetheless, researchers, to varying degrees, depending on their positionalities, find themselves confronting three key dynamics that shape the production of knowledge on Islam/Muslims. Firstly, the institutional constraints that determine research foci, secondly the broader political environment of securitisation of Islam and Muslim communities, and lastly, a set of mainstream theories that reinforce Orientalist approaches to the study of Islam.
This conference, taking place on Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th June 2021, aims to explore how the Decolonising the Curriculum Movement (DCM) at British Universities could enable research and teaching staff to tackle and transcend the aforementioned dynamics present in the study of Muslims and Islam within any discipline in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In so doing, it invites academics to critically explore the politics of engaging in research and teaching on Islam/Muslims at British universities through an exercise of self-reflection on their own research and teaching practises. It also aims to reflect more broadly on the political implications/limitations of producing knowledge about Islam/Muslims in the current socio-political context that differentially in(ex)cludes Muslim voices.
This online conference is free to attend but registration is essential.
Programme and conference format
- Professor Rowena Arshad, (Professor Emerita, University of Edinburgh)
- Professor Salman Sayyid (University of Leeds)
- Professor Nasar Meer (School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh)