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Call for Papers: 2017 Annual Islamic Political Thought Conference

08/16/2017
The Contemporary Political Thought Unit at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies (KFCRIS) invites proposals for the 2017 Annual Islamic Political Thought Conference entitled: “Makkah and the Hejaz in the Imperial-era: Migrations and Scholarly Networks in the 19th & 20th Centuries.” The conference will take place on December 6-7, 2017 in Riyadh.
 
The 13th-century AH/19th-century AD saw not only the rise to dominance of European imperialism across most of the world’s Muslim-majority populations and societies, but also the rise of ideas and thinkers who, in turn, inspired what would become known as ‘Islamism,’ – itself something between an idea and an ideology – defining, either in its implicit affirmation or rejection, an array of ideologies still reigning in the contemporary Middle East and North Africa.
 
Recently, much research has highlighted the role of European imperialism and the colonial experience on the emerging ethnic and religious nationalisms that would later take root in the Arab and Islamic worlds. This year’s theme hopes to continue encouraging such scholarship, focusing on spaces where these experiences of colonialism were shared between members of colonized societies. Makkah and Madinah in particular gathered not only annually thousands of colonial subjects during the Hajj, but also throughout the year, gathered exiled Islamic scholars from the British, Dutch, French, Russian and Turkish empires, and beyond.
 
It is the role and influences of these Hejazi spaces on the emerging imperial south-south networks, and world-views of colonial Islamic scholars and migrants that this conference seeks to explore. In exploring the spatiality of 19th-century Makkah and Madinah for Muslim scholars and exilees from colonized societies, as well as their opinions and ideological descendants, the conference welcomes proposals on any topics related to the four panels listed below:
 
1. Scholarly Networks in the Ottoman Hejaz on the Eve of European Imperialism:
This first panel aims to explore the scholarly networks from across the Muslim world present in the Hejaz on the eve of the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt, looking specifically at cultural, scholarly and social networks and influences transmitted and diffused from Makkah and Madinah prior to European colonialism.
 
2. Imperialist Hajj, Exiled Ulema, and Emerging Muslim Internationalism:
The second panel aims to focus on the formal scholarly networks of Ulema from colonized societies, their ideological heritage, their contemporaries, their students, and ideological descendants. It also seeks to explore state-level policies, positions and influence on various movements and ideas.
 
3. Merchants, Minorities & Muhājirūn:
This third panel switches focus to lay networks, such as Muslim mercantile dynasties established in the Hejaz and their religious and scholarly patronages, as well as the migration of Muslim minorities (Chinese, Russians, etc.) and other muhājirūn from colonized societies (such as Chechens and Daghestanis, Javanese, North Africans, etc.) to the Hejaz.
 
4. Identity Politics & the ‘Two Holy Mosques’ in the 20th-21st centuries, Between Religious Establishments & Religious Oppositions:
The final panel explores the ideological descendants of ideas conceived in 19th-century Makkah and Madinah, as well as exploring the ideas of apolitical Hajj, and the representation of Makkah in legitimacy narratives of both Religious Establishments as well as Oppositions.
 
How to Apply:
Interested authors are asked to submit proposed titles, brief abstracts (300-500 words) and short biographies (150) words, as well as contract information, to: submissions@kfcris.com by September 17, 2017.
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