The organizer of this panel invites participants to present papers focused on the notion of Muslim community and practice from a regional perspective in an organized panel at the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) Conference at Yale University in New Haven, CT (USA), Friday March 14th – Sunday March 16th, 2014. We seek 3-5 other scholars studying Islam in the Himalayan region from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives to participate. There is a possibility that the panel papers will be published in an edited volume focused on the panel presentation topic, "Himalayan Ummah: Global and Local Muslim Community in the Himalayas".
Working Panel Abstract (will be further edited to accommodate all papers accepted in panel):
While concepts of the global, such as a worldwide Islamic ummah, are compelling social forces, Clifford Geertz has reminds us “no one lives in the world in general”, we all live “in some confined and limited stretch of it – ‘the world around here’” (Geertz 1996:262). Through the papers in this panel we will explore interactions between the concept of the general Islamic community, the ummah, and Muslim community/practice/experience in the Himalayan region. Varying notions community in global and regional contexts may alternatively inform, constitute, and/or deconstruct each other. Examining this discursive process is valuable to understanding the concept of Muslim community from both global and regional perspectives. We can begin to inform global discourses about Islam through an examination of the ways in which regional interactions and institutions shape the practices of being Muslim in the Himalayas. Additionally, studies of the Himalayan cultural setting can illustrate interconnections between multiple cultural spheres of Muslim community. The Himalayan regions provides us with a site of both geographic and cultural crossroads, where Muslim community is simultaneously constituted at multiple social levels, thus allowing panel participants to consider a wide range of local, national, and global interests while maintaining a focus on the localized experiences of real people in the Himalayas.
If interested in participation please e-mail a brief paper abstract (approx. 300 words) and a one page CV by Friday, September 20th (as PDF or Word attachments) to panel organizer Dr. Jacqueline Fewkes at firstname.lastname@example.org. PLease indicate if you would be interested in serving as a discussant in addition to presenting a paper. Panel participation notification will be on a rolling basis, but all participants will be notified by October 31st, 2013. Final versions of paper abstracts are due on November 30th, 2013. The conference will take place March 14th to 16th and all accepted participants should make a firm commitment to attend. See the conference website, http://hsc2014.commons.yale.edu/, for more information about the conference.
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