Call for papers: Conference: Western and Soviet Perceptions of Islam in Central Asia and the Caucasus (Moscow, 25-27 June 2012)
Venue: Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Moscow, 25-27 June 2012.
The aim of this conference is to discuss the interactions between Western and Soviet/post-Soviet Islamic Studies, specifically with relation to the study of Islam and Muslim societies in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
- How did the Cold War influence interpretations of Islam, in the East and in the West? How did scholars in Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia look at Western writings on Islam in the Soviet Union, and vice versa? What did we know about each other, how did we differ in our focus of research and in our interpretations, and where did we meet or even cooperate?
- What diversities can be identified within Soviet studies of Islam and within Western (partly “Sovietologist”) studies, including Muslim emigré scholars? What was the effect of Perestroika in the field of Islamic Studies, including in the Caucasian and Central Asian republics of the USSR, and how were these changes perceived in the West?
- Where did scientific research interact with the production of Islamic literature in the Caucasus and Central Asia, by Muslim writers?
- What kind of epistemological critiques of the discipline were developed in East and West? A major impetus for the transformation of Western Oriental Studies came from Edward Said’s book Orientalism (1978), which sparked heated debates on the political implications of research. Were these critiques discussed in the Soviet Union?
- Finally, which are the lasting effects of the politicization of Oriental/Islamic Studies in the Soviet Union and in the West?
These are just some of the broader questions that will be addressed in the sections of the Conference.
Our call goes out to senior scholars who would like to share their experiences, and especially to junior scholars who are now working on these or closely related issues, from whatever disciplinary angle. We are especially interested in contributions by colleagues from Central Asia and the Caucasus, but also from Russia and the West.
Conference contributions will be limited to 15 minutes, followed by much room for discussion. Proposals for papers should include an abstract (of 1-2 pages, with references) as well as the address and position of the applicant.
The conference will be organized by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in cooperation with the Department of European Studies of the University of Amsterdam and the Department of Oriental Studies of the University of Bonn. The event is generously supported by the Volkswagen Foundation (Hanover, Germany). For a limited number of participants we will be able to offer financial support for travel and accommodation. The selection of papers will be carried out on the basis of their scientific merits. Contributors whose papers are accepted will also obtain visa support. It is planned to publish the most topical contributions in a special volume after the event.
Please send your application by 1 April 2012 to both of the following two addresses:
Dr. Vladimir Bobrovnikov (IVAN, Moscow):
Владимир Бобровников firstname.lastname@example.org
Alfrid K. Bustanov (Univ. of Amsterdam):
Альфрид Бустанов email@example.com
1012 VB Amsterdam
The Netherlands Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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