8th December 2020
A free MBRN online symposium
Last date for submission of abstracts: 30th October 2020
Research on Covid-19 has highlighted its disproportionate impact on Black and Asian Minority Ethnic groups (BAME) communities (Public Health England, 2020). However, these studies only offer a limited understanding of the particularity of experiences within the umbrella category BAME. For instance, there is only limited discussion around faith in relation to Covid-19, its impacts and the socio-economic fall-outs of lockdown. This MBRN symposium will redress this gap by taking an intersectional perspective in mapping and analysing the impact of Covid-19 on British Muslim communities. By bringing together practitioners and academics, we will examine how diverse British Muslim communities have experienced the pandemic, how their lives have been impacted during and after lockdown and how they responded.
During the lockdown, we have witnessed unprecedented impacts on British Muslims including the closing of mosques and madrassas, cancellation of Friday congregational prayers, Ramadan in lock-down and a significantly limited Hajj. Muslim faith and community leader have played important roles in translating theological rulings into practical guidance, which have largely been adhered to within Muslim communities. Similarly, children and young Muslims, like all young people have experienced the impact of Covid-19 in relation to their education (Children’s Commissioner, 2020). High levels of socio-economic disadvantage amongst British Muslim households mean that we can expect a disproportionate effect of lockdown and Covid-19 on British Muslims. Home learning during school closure, for instance, brought to the surface as well as enhanced the disparities in access to education for disadvantaged pupils, especially those who are known to be at risk of falling behind such as British Muslim pupils.
By focusing on the experiences of British Muslims, this online symposium will enable us to examine the interplay of ethnicity, religion and deprivation, in negotiating the particular challenges of living through Covid-19. It will explore the diversity of ways in which British Muslims have experienced and responded to Covid-19, and seek to understand its ongoing impacts. Our aim is to suggest answers for the question, “How are diverse British Muslims living through, and responding to the challenges of, Covid-19?”.
We invite proposals for papers that explore any dimension of Muslim identity / lived experiences in relation to the pandemic, lockdown and subsequent socio-economic implications of Covid-19 in Britain. We hope that the symposium will attract academics and practitioners from a range of epistemological positions and disciplinary standpoints. Possible themes and topics include (but not limited to):
- · the intersections of religion, ethnicity and gender in experiences of and responses to Covid-19
- · inclusion and critical engagement of religion as part of the national response to Covid-19
- · disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on British Muslim communities
- · racism and prejudice (including Islamophobia) linked to Covid-19
- · responses of British Muslim charitable and volunteering organisations
- · responses of British Muslim faith leaders and scholars
- · support for bereaved families
- · Islamic theological perspectives on quarantine
- · impact on lived experiences British Muslim families (home-schooling, multi-generational families)
- · media representations of Muslims in relation to Covid-19
- · counter-terrorism and surveillance during a pandemic
- · the negotiation of cultural, religious and moral values while socially-distancing
- · the role of young people in shaping the British Muslim responses to Covid-19
- · methodological reflections on working with Muslims during the pandemic
To submit a proposal:
- · Please submit a title and abstract of no more than 300 words together with names and short biographies (150 words) of the presenter/s, institutional affiliation/s (if relevant), and contact details.
- · We also welcome proposals from postgraduate researchers, independent scholars and practitioners.
- · Proposals should be sent to MuslimsinBritainRN@gmail.com
- · Academic enquiries should be sent to Dr. Khadijah Elshayyal, firstname.lastname@example.org
- · Deadline: 5pm on Friday 30th October 2020
- · Successful presenters will be notified by Friday 6th November 2020
· This is a free event, further details about the registration process will be circulated and posted on the MBRN website soon
Dr Sariya Cheruvallil-Contractor (Chair), Dr Khadijah Elshayyal (General Secretary), Dr Sufyan Dogra, Sadiya Ahmed, Dr Jawiria Naseem and Dr Asma Khan (Committee Members)
MBRN Executive Committee
In these days the online project “Utopian Worlds” starts! On the website https://www.utopian-worlds.org and on Instagram under @utopian_worlds Silke Steets and Silke Guelker, two social scientists from Germany, collect and present ideas of a better world in photos and stories of people from all over the world. There are still only a few examples, but the site should grow quickly! The project is part of the 40th Congress of the German Sociological Association, which will take place in September in digital form.
The concept of utopia had no place in postmodern thinking for a long time. It is certainly no coincidence that it is being reconsidered in many different ways right now – in view of crises felt worldwide. The aim of the project is to reconstruct the ideas of “good” self-, world- and social relations contained in utopian world concepts – and thus to sound out the current potential of utopian thinking for social criticism.
The curators are counting on your support for this: the more diverse the contributions, the more meaningful the project can become. The site is currently available in French, German, English, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese, with further languages planned. I would be delighted if you would both participate in the collection yourself and invite your colleagues, family and friends – all information can be found at https://www.utopian-worlds.org.
A live digital presentation of the project will be given during the congress of the German Sociological Association on Tuesday, 15 September 2020 from 13.30 to 14.30. The complete programme of the congress can be found here: https://kongress2020.soziologie.de
August 27, 2020
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. EDT RSVP Required
Location: Online Zoom Webinar
Craig Calhoun is an American sociologist who has had a long and esteemed career. In his role as head of the Social Science Research Council, he co-edited and promoted important works on religion and secularism, including Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age. His own work has included a focus on these topics as well, including how forces of secularism and religion have contributed to political and cultural transformations. As director of the London School of Economics he helped inaugurate their Religion and Global Society program.
This conversation will build on three others in the Global Religious and Secular Dynamic Discussion Series, including the inaugural talk with Charles Taylor. Calhoun will join Berkley Center Senior Fellow José Casanova to discuss debates on nationalism and cosmopolitanism, receding hopes for a global fourth wave of democracy and specifically for democratization in China, and the COVID-19 pandemic and the contemporary global condition, with a special attention to its effects on universities and social science research.
This event is co-sponsored by Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and Reset Dialogues on Civilizations.
The Zoom Webinar link and instructions to join the call will be sent via email at 10:00 a.m. EDT on August 27 to anyone who has filled out the RSVP form. This event will be recorded and posted to this page after the event date. Please RSVP to receive an email notification once it is posted.
Although the ASA Religion Section is not meeting at the ASA meetings in person this year, we have a slate of virtual sessions and meetings on Religion Day (Monday, Aug 10th) that I am excited to share below.
FREE registration for ASA members ($25 for non-members) is required to obtain access to these virtual events, so please register here ASAP:
Once you register and log in to the ASA website, when you visit the virtual program (shortcut web links provided below), you should see a black “View or Join Online” button for any virtual session of interest and clicking on it will reveal directions for joining that meeting/session/table on Zoom.
Our program team (Andrea Henderson, Grace Yukich, Simon Brauer, and Bo Hyeong Jane Lee) worked very hard to first prepare the original slate of sessions, and then pivoted to organize which sessions would move forward virtually and how. I greatly appreciate their dedication to making all of this happen in the midst of a global pandemic. Many thanks also to our presiders, presenters, and discussants for providing us this opportunity for intellectual engagement.
I hope to “see” many of you around at our virtual sessions and roundtables, and I invite you all to participate in our Section Business Meeting, where we will talk about the state of the section, introduce new officers and council members, and present our book and article awards.
Please mark your calendars now for the events below
Lisa Pearce, ASA Religion Section Chair
ASA 2020 : Section on Sociology of Religion
Monday, August 10
SECTION BUSINESS MEETING & AWARD PRESENTATIONS
8:30 to 9:10 am PT
Summary of year’s activities and finances, award presentations, and introduction of new officers and council members. All are welcome!
SECTION ROUNDTABLES (7)
Roundtable Organizers: Simon Brauer and Bo Hyeong Jane Lee
9:10 to 10:10 am PT
Topics, papers, and authors listed here: http://tinyurl.com/qrlklte
- SECTION PAPER SESSIONS (2)
10:30am to 12:10 pm PT
Organizers: Andrea K. Henderson, University of South Carolina & Grace B. Yukich, Quinnipiac University
Presider and Discussant: Brandon Vaidyanathan
— Barriers to Racial Integration in British Evangelicalism: Colonialism, Classism, and Marginalization
Jessamin Birdsall, Princeton University
— Belonging, Believing, Behaving and Brexit: How Religion Shapes Support for Leaving the European Union
Siobhan McAndrew, University of Bristol
— From Sacred to Secular: Trend in Values in Egypt, Tunisia, and Turkey
Mansoor Moaddel, University of Maryland-College Park
— Reconceptualizing Global Religion: Characteristics of Grave-Sweeping in China Becky Yang Hsu, Georgetown University
Populism and Religion: Comparative-Historical Approaches
Co-Sponsored by Comparative-Historical Section and Section on Sociology of Religion
10:30am to 12:10 pm PT
Organizers: Efe Peker, University of Ottawa & Gulay Turkmen, University of Goettingen
Presider: Efe Peker, University of Ottawa
Discussant: Shai M. Dromi, Harvard University
— Religion and Gender in the European Populist Right
Ayse Serdar, Instanbul Technical University;
Ebru Öztürk, Mid Sweden University’
Katarina Giritli Nygren, Mid Sweden University
— Religion, Populism, and Nationalism in Nine Eastern European States
Pamela Irving Jackson, Rhode Island College;
Peter E. Doerschler, Bloomsburg University
— Religious Populism in America and the Possibility for Democratic Politics
Rhys H. Williams, Loyola University-Chicago
- Call for proposal on ‘Jews and Muslims in Europe: Between Discourse and Experience’. Abstract deadline 30 June 2020.
- Call for chapters on Bloomsbury Handbook of Religion, Gender and Sexuality. Deadline 30 June 2020.
- Call for submission on ‘The Effects of Pandemics on Religious History‘. Deadline 1 July 2020.
- Call for paper: Embracing religion as counter-conduct: Ethics and “political spirituality” among western youth. Deadline 15 July 2020.
- Call for papers on Religions’ special issue: ‘Religion, Law and Politics‘. Deadline 18 December 2020.
- Call for papers: Special Issue on “Historizing Islamophobia”. Deadline February 2021.
Centre of Islamic Studies and Civilisation’s Islamic Studies Research Colloquium via Zoom, 26 June 2020 at 3pm-5pm. RSVP by 22 June 2020.
- PhD student in sociology of religion, diversity, and ethnicity, Switzerland
- PhD position in sociology/gender studies, Switzerland
Due to the current circumstances, the difficult decision has been made to cancel the 2020 ESA-RN34 Sociology of Religion conference planned for 26-28 August 2020 in Groningen (Netherlands). If you have registered for the conference and already paid the registration fee, we will be in touch in the upcoming weeks to arrange the reimbursement of this fee. Although the conference cannot go ahead, the organizers are discussing possibilities to organize a short online session (on one of the days of the conference, still to be set) with the Keynote Speakers. More information will be posted in the upcoming weeks on the conference website. Stay tuned!
La pandémie provoquée par la COVID-19 crée un contexte social sans précédent, où les habitudes de chaque personne sont touchées et doivent être adaptées afin de répondre aux mesures d’urgence qui s’imposent. Plusieurs enjeux sociaux, juridiques et religieux sont soulevés par la crise. Ce webinaire, organisé par le Centre de recherche Société, Droit et Religions de l’Université de Sherbrooke (SoDRUS), cherchera à en exposer les tenants et les aboutissants pour les groupes religieux et les sociétés civiles. Les contextes moyen-orientaux, européens, américains et canadiens seront tour à tour présentés, afin de mieux comprendre la nature et la profondeur de ces enjeux.
Pour vous inscrire, écrivez à email@example.com et nous vous
transmettrons le lien pour accéder à l’événement.
Kia ora koutou
It is with great regret that we announce the cancellation of the 22nd World Congress of the IAHR which was to have been held in Otago, New Zealand.
Following our previous update on 10 March, we have continued to monitor the situation which (as we are sure you are all aware) has only become worse almost everywhere. Today, New Zealand has entered a period of total lockdown – no-one is permitted to leave their home except to fetch essential items of food and fuel, or for short walks in their neighbourhood. The borders are closed to all but New Zealand citizens, residents and their immediate family members.
The hope, of course, is that such a lockdown will eliminate the virus within New Zealand and allow a return to normal life. But there can be no certainty that this will succeed. Even (or perhaps especially) if New Zealand is successful in eliminating the virus here, there will continue to be tight restrictions on who can travel to New Zealand. It is already clear that we cannot possibly meet in August. We have considered a long postponement, but for many of us (including the local organisers) the first priority in the coming months will be providing teaching to our students in order to minimize the impact on their education. It is not at all clear even when we might begin to be able to plan with any certainty for a large international gathering in the near future. We have also considered also the possibility of holding a virtual Congress online, but New Zealand’s time zone and limited IT infrastructure means that we are not well-placed to do so.
We will contact separately those who have already registered for the Congress, to make arrangements to refund registration, accommodation and excursion fees paid in advance. In the current environment (everyone in New Zealand working from home) this may take a little while and we ask again for your patience.
The Executive Committee of the IAHR will make a further announcement about the consequences of the cancellation for the business meetings of the IAHR that would have been conducted in New Zealand.
We would like to extend our thanks to all those who submitted abstracts. We thank also the academic programme committee who reviewed the abstracts and to the many others who supported the Congress in different way, and in particular the officers of the IAHR Executive Committee. We look forward to meeting again in happier times!
Will Sweetman and Satoko Fujiwara
on behalf of the organising committee
10-11 September 2020
University of Birmingham Conference at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) Berlin
Deadline for abstract submission: 15 March 2020
The question of what constitutes legitimate authority – both religious and secular – has been a core theological concern of Twelver Shia Islam. Emerging with the question of the succession of the Prophet Muhammad, Twelver Shia theological discourse invested sole sovereignty and legitimate authority with the Imams, the male members of the ahl al-bayt, designated to lead the Muslim community. The occultation (ghayba) of the Twelfth Imam led to the emergence of the notion of the collective deputyship (al-niyaba al-‘amma) of the learned class within Twelver Shia Islam, the ‘ulama’, who assume some of the prerogatives of the Imam. From the period, Twelver Shia clerical authorities had to address the question to what extent secular political authority is legitimate and how to relate to it.
With the establishment of the first Twelver Shia state in Iran in the 16th century, clerics had to define their relationship to the Safavid dynasty and the extent of their support for it. During the Qajar period in 19th century Iran, Twelver Shia clerics assumed a more pro-active political role, considering themselves as mediators between the ruler and the people. The rise of the modern nation-state in the Middle East in the early 20th century led to debates around the role of the clergy in the state and the nature of an Islamic state. While Khomeini’s understanding of the “guardianship of the jurisconsult” (wilayat al-faqih) has been the most prominent and influential intervention, other models of clergy-state relations, that have emerged, do not advocate direct clerical involvement in the affairs of the government. Clerical figures nevertheless play a central role in Shia Islamist parties, networks and movements across the Middle East and South Asia, remaining thereby important political actors in the context of weak or failed nation-states, ripped by sectarian divisions, civil conflict and corruption.
This conference invites papers on the topic of clergy-state relations in Twelver Shia Islam, from the post-ghayba period (ca. 941 CE) to the present. Placing clergy-state relations in the context of Twelver Shia discourses on sovereignty, legitimacy and authority, the conference seeks to investigate clerical positions towards secular authority and power in different historical periods. While the focus of the conference will be the Middle East, it intends to adopt a wider geographical perspective with contributions welcome on similar debates in South Asia and other parts of world where Shia clerics were or have become influential political actors.
Papers can address – but are not restricted to – the following issues:
- definitions of sovereignty in Twelver Shia theological and jurisprudential discourse
- conceptions of legitimate political authority in Twelver Shia Islam
- approaches and conceptions of clerical authority and its relation to secular power in Twelver Shia Islam
- case studies of clergy-state relations from past and present
- binary between clerical quietism and activism and its validity and relevance
- clerical responses to the rise of the modern nation-state
- role and position of Twelver Shia seminaries (hawza) in the context of the modern nation-state
- conceptions of an Islamic state in modern and contemporary Twelver Shia discourse
- role of clerical leadership in modern and contemporary Twelver Shia political movements
- transnational and diasporic reach of clerical movements and networks
- mediatisation of clerical authority as actors within the state and transnationally
Confirmed keynote speakers:
- Prof Andrew J. Newman (University of Edinburgh)
- Prof Rula Abisaab (McGill University)
The deadline for abstract submission is 15 March 2020. Abstracts of up to 300 words and a short bio of (up to 200 words) should be sent in MS Word format as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org. For enquiries about the conference, contact Prof Oliver Scharbrodt (email@example.com).
The conference is part of the Alterumma project, funded by the European Research Council and hosted at the University of Birmingham. The conference will take place at the Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin.
A number of travel bursaries are available for conference presenters. Enquiries should be made to Prof Oliver Scharbrodt.
- Deadline for abstract submission: 15 March 2020
- Notification of acceptance: 3 April 2020
- Dates of the conference: 10-11 September 2020