Second International Symposium on Ibn Khaldun
IBN KHALDUN TODAY PRECURSOR OR ALTERNATIVE?
May 29-31, 2009 / Istanbul, Turkey
International Ibn Khaldun Society
Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC), Duke University;
Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore;
Istanbul Foundation for Education and Research (ISAR)
Humanity has been experiencing unprecedented changes in almost all spheres of life. The question that is posed to the human sciences is how to interpret and manage these changes, often seen as threatening and menacing to our lives. Many of the current models and theories have proven to be inadequate in understanding and explaining these changes in almost every realm of human knowledge and experience. The problem with mainstream ideas is not only substantive and theoretical but methodological as well. The recognition of these problems has lead to the search for new and alternative conceptual tools and theoretical frameworks. It is these concerns that have brought Ibn Khaldun recently to the agenda of social scientific and historical studies in many parts of the world.
This symposium, "Ibn Khaldun Today: Precursor or Alternative", aims at providing an interdisciplinary forum for those scholars who are interested in critically examining current perceptions haunting Ibn Khaldun studies and turning Ibn Khaldun into a subject of lively debates on theory, methodology and empirical studies. The symposium would like to provoke thinking on whether Ibn Khaldun's work should only be conceived as a precursor of the modern social sciences or as an alternative to them as well. The primary focus is on applying Ibn Khaldun to historical and contemporary issues rather than on meta-theoretical statements on his work.
The symposium is organized by the International Ibn Khaldun Society and cosponsored by Duke University and the National University of Singapore. This international symposium is the second on Ibn Khaldun. The first took place in Istanbul in 2006 where the participants decided to establish the International Ibn Khaldun Society and to convene a meeting every three years in Istanbul. Selected papers from the first International Ibn Khaldun symposium have been published in Turkish (Turkish Journal of Islamic Studies, 2006) and English (Asian Journal of Social Science, 2008). The papers from the second International Symposium on Ibn Khaldun will also be published in English and Turkish. The organization committee includes, among others, Recep Şentürk (Chair) (Fatih University, Istanbul), Syed Farid Alatas (National University of Singapore, Singapore), and Bruce Lawrence (Duke University, North Carolina), Alpaslan Açıkgenç (Fatih University, Istanbul).
Your contributions may cover, but are not limited, to the following themes:
• Ibn Khaldun and Modern Social Science: Primitive Precursor or Alternative?
Was Ibn Khaldun merely the founding father of the scientific approach to history and some of the social sciences such as sociology, political economy, and political science? What are the consequences of such a reading of Ibn Khaldun?
• On the other hand, might it be said that Ibn Khaldun's perception of politics, history, and society constitutes an alternative to the modern social sciences?
What are the differences between Ibn Khaldun's theoretical framework and the modern social sciences regarding the ontological, epistemological, and methodological presuppositions of knowledge?
• Applying Ibn Khaldun to History and Contemporary Society
How can Ibn Khaldun's theory be applied to the study of modern political, economic, cultural, and religious phenomena? For instance, can the so-called clash of civilizations be re-interpreted from a Khaldunian perspective? How can we interpret ethnic conflicts, the rise and fall of states, empires and civilizations, and inter-cultural relations, alternatively using Ibn Khaldun's theory?
• How to Read Ibn Khaldun Today? Risks and Opportunities
How can Ibn Khaldun be read as more than a mere supplier of historical data or a thinker whose works apply only to the so-called Orient? How would Ibn Khaldun end up being re-evaluated as we attempt to use him to understand and explain our own times? For example, is it meaningful to speak of neo-Khaldunian sociology?
• Ibn Khaldun and the Islamic Sciences Today
What is the relevance of the Khaldunian approach to modern debates concerning the relationship between Islam and the social sciences? What would Ibn Khaldun's contribution be to the interpretation and evaluation of the Islamic traditional sciences (al-'ulum al-'aqliyyah) today?
Papers can be submitted through mail or e-mail. Submission of papers should
1) Cover page (containing: title, participant's name and institutional
affiliation, participant's e-mail address, telephone and fax numbers if
2) Abstract (300 words maximum)
3) Biographical statement of participant that describes research
interests and recent publications (200 words maximum)
LANGUAGE OF THE SYMPOSIUM
Papers can be presented in Turkish, Arabic, and English. Simultaneous translation will be available. Selected papers of the symposium will be published.
January 10, 2009: Deadline for submission of abstracts
January 31, 2009: Confirmation of the accepted abstracts
April 15, 2009: Deadline for submission of papers
May 29-31, 2009: Symposium
The symposium will begin on Friday, May 29, 2009 and end on Sunday, May 31, 2009.
Accommodation will be provided for all participants for three days. A limited amount of funding, particularly for participants from abroad, is available for travel expenses. Please contact the Symposium Secretariat for further information.
Visits to historical and cultural sites of Istanbul such as the Topkapı Palace, the Saint Sophia, and the Blue Mosque, and a Bosphorus tour will be arranged for participants.
Istanbul Foundation for Education and Research (ISAR)
Gülfem Hatum Mah. Aziz Efendi Mektebi Sok. No: 2
Üsküdar 34672 Istanbul, TURKEY
Phone: + 90-216 310 9920 ext 114
Fax: +90-216 391 2633 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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