CFP: Panel for 2010 American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, Nov 17-21.
Organizers: Alisa Perkins (UT Austin) and Dr. Zain Abdullah (Temple University)
ABSTRACT SUBMISSION DEADLINE: March 8, 2010
The session explores how Muslims are negotiating their identities in the West through circuits of mutual alliance-building, collective and personal identity formation, and cultural border crossings. The diverse ways in which Muslims constitute and are constituted by western spaces is important for how we comprehend group belonging and cultural citizenship, among other things. Since 9/11, the idea of a war between “the West” and “the Islamic world” has profoundly affected the encounter between Muslims and non-Muslims in places like Europe, Australia or the United States. Mainstream media portrays Islam as a doctrine of both faith and terror, creating stereotypes that engender Islamophobia (a fear of Islam) and anti-Muslim backlash in the western public sphere. Yet at the same time, we find countervailing trends. Muslim communities in the West are finding new pathways, transcending old boundaries and forming new collectivities. These groupings operate within a range of social, cultural and political realms and entail national and transnational contexts.
In light of this year’s theme, Circulation(s), the papers in this panel will examine Muslim circuits and western spaces by exploring social, cultural, political, economic or other arenas in which Muslims and non-Muslims either forge new alliances or maintain old or new boundaries. This exploration will allow us to theorize, for example, how religious identity serves at once as a boundary marker; a site of interface; and a basis for expanded notions of community and self. We are looking for papers that explore the meaning of these collectivities or disjunctures along racial, ethnic, class, gender, sexual, religious, national, or other lines. Papers may also interrogate points of convergence or departure between Islam and the secular; ummah (worldwide Muslim community) and civil society; transnational Islam and national citizenship; Muslim quarters and community life.
Please contact Alisa Perkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a proposed title and a 250-300 word abstract, by Monday, March 8th. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified via email by Monday, March 15th.
Department of Anthropology
University of Texas at Austin
Zain Abdullah, PhD
Assistant Professor of Religion, Race & Ethnicity
Department of Religion
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