Punjab Research Group

Postcolonialism & Islam – Call for Papers

Posted in Conferences by Pippa on August 11, 2009

The Northern Association for Postcolonial Studies (NAPS) and Culture Team of the Faculty of Education and Society at the University of Sunderland are inviting abstracts and expressions of interest for a conference to be held at the University of Sunderland, UK, from the 16th to the 17th of April 2010.

Postcolonialism and Islam are two terms that frequently appear in tandem; however, the relationship between the two and the question of their compatibility has never been extensively investigated.  The speed and intensity of changes characteristic of late modernity under the pressure of cultural and economic globalisation has traumatised Muslims and non- Muslims alike.  Hybrid identity formations, very often provisional, are generated in the articulation of differences marked by imaginary relations to faith, nation, class, gender, sexuality and language.  Postcolonialism might seem to provide a framework for approaching the experiences of not only formerly colonised subjects, but emigres, exiles and expatriates and their host societies.  However, Muslim writers and intellectuals have both adopted and rejected postcolonial theory as an effective tool for analysing and accounting for the experience of Muslims in the modern world.

This multidisciplinary conference will be relevant to specialists in postcolonial theory and cultural, historical, political, sociological, literary and religious studies who seek to problematise the terms themselves and their juxtaposition.  It will mainly focus on these six themes:

– Muslim identity and its connection to race, cultural politics, integration
– The experience of Muslim communities in Britain and elsewhere in the West particularly as representative site(s) of settlement, networking, and diasporic mobility
– Terms such as multculturalism, citizenship, secularism, ethnicity
– The way in which Muslim culture(s) become(s) embedded in and thematised by Muslim and non-Muslim writers in English and other literatures in translation;
– The connection between Muslim women and the activities of western orientalism;
– The conditions of possibility for ‘Islamic’ feminism; its response to the way in which Muslim women have often been represented and theorised according to western, Christian and white feminist versions of female experience.

Other related topic will also be considered.  The intension is to publish an edited volume based on the theme of the conference to which a selection of participants will be invited to contribute.  Speakers and non-speakers are all very welcome to participate.

Confirmed speakers so far include:
– Dr. Tahir Abbas, FRSA, currently principle analyst at Deen International
– Prof. Ceri Peach, Emeritus Professorand Research Associate at the Oxford School of Geography
– Prof. Patrick Williams, Professor of Literary and Cultural Studies, Nottingham Trent

If you wish to contribute a paper please submit a proposal (300 words maximum) to one of the following no later than October 30th, 2009:
Dr. Geoffrey Nash (geoff.nash@sunderland.ac.uk)
Dr. Sarah Hackett (sarah.hackett-1@sunderland.ac.uk)
Faculty of Education and Society
University of Sunderland

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