Author Archives: Madisun

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Studies in Honor of Professor Saba Mahmood

Rethinking Politics and Religion: Studies in Honor of Professor Saba Mahmood

                                               Special issue of Sociology of Islam

On the sad news of the passing of Saba Mahmood, the editorial board of the journal Sociology of Islam has decided to organize a special issue to honor the work and legacy of our distinguished colleague for the study of global politics and religion.

Saba Mahmood’s anthropological work shifted debates on secularism and religion, gender and politics, the rights of religious minorities, and the impact of colonialism in the Middle East. Her conceptual engagement with these pertinent social and political issues, however, has opened up broader questions about the politics of religious difference in a secular age beyond the Middle East and Muslim majority countries. This special issue of Sociology of Islam intends to bring to the fore the scope of these contributions in order to assess the cross-disciplinary and transregional magnitude of her work. The editorial board calls for papers on the following and related subjects in the work of Saba Mahmood:

–          Agency and submission;

–          Body/Embodiment;

–          Citizenship;

–          Ethics;

–          Feminist Theory;

–          Gender;

–          Hermeneutics;

–          Law and the State;

–          Postcolonialism/Postcoloniality;

–          Religious freedom;

–          Religious difference;

–          Secularism/Secularity;

–          Sovereignty;

–          Subject formation;

–          The minority condition.

If you are interested in contributing to this special issue, please send a 500-word abstract to Sultan Doughan ( and Jean-Michel Landry ( by 30 April 2018. We acknowledge receipt of all emails and will reply to all. If you do not receive a reply, please resend your abstract. Please include the following in your email:

–          Author name;

–          Affiliation;

–          email address;

–          abstract in Word format;

–          a short CV.

Acceptance notices will be sent by 15 May 2018. Full articles are due 30 September 2018. The special issue will come out in early 2019 (2019/2). All articles must follow the guidelines provided in the attachment to this email.

EASA Panel Call – Houses and Domestic Space in the Diaspora

European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA)

15th Biannual Conference – Staying, Moving, Settling

Stockholm University, 14th – 17th August 2018


PANEL P115 – Call

Houses and Domestic Space in the Diaspora

Materiality, Senses and Temporalities in Migrants’ Dwellings


Ester Gallo, University of Trento

Henrike Donner, Goldsmiths, University of London

While images of stillness arouse when thinking of houses, the material, relational and symbolic significance of domestic space is implicated in a complex way in population movements. Houses are reference point in migrants’ home making but their meanings are also transformed and in the diaspora. Houses mirror migrants’ search of stability and yet also their dilemmas about the future, tensions in kinship relations, and ambivalent engagement to places. They do not stand only for the ‘privacy’ of domestic life, but are actively engaged in the challenges posed by political histories and present conflicts. Domestic materiality and temporality constitute a relevant and yet understudied context where to apprehend the intersections between macro-forces (market economy, political histories, gendered migration trends) and micro-practices (consumption, object display, daily spatial routines, and recalling) underpinning migration. We explore the relation between moving, settling and house making among diasporic population, and address the following questions:

 How does diaspora transform the meanings of houses among mobile population?

 What experiences of mobility (or immobility) are recalled, made visible or silenced through domestic space?

 What temporal engagements are disclosed through migrants’ material/relational organization of houses?

 What do diasporic houses say about people engagement with wider political histories of displacement and about (trans) national, ethnic or religious belonging?

  To what extent, and how, the social life of houses mirror changes in gender and class relations, and in the related meanings of femininity/masculinity?

We welcome papers addressing these questions through the analysis of different socio-geographical contexts and comparatively.

To Submit:

A short abstract of fewer than 300 characters; a long abstract of fewer than 250 words.  

Deadline: 9th April. 

Ester Gallo, PhD

Lecturer in Anthropology
Department of Sociology and Social Research
Via Verdi 26
38122 Trento, Italy
2017 The Fall of Gods. Memory, Kinship and Middle Classes in South India. Oxford University Press
2016 (with F.Scrinzi) Migration, Masculinities and Reproductive Labour. Men of the Home. Palgrave MacMillan

New Book: Asian Migrants and Religious Experience

Dear Colleagues,

I am happy to announce the publication of our edited volume, Asian Migrants and Religious Experience. From Missionary Journeys to Labor Mobility, by Amsterdam University Press.

Bernardo Brown & Brenda Yeoh
Contributions by:
Arkotong Longkumer
Amanda Lucia
Kenneth Dean
Silvia Vignato
Bubbles Asor
Ester Gallo
Alexander Horstmann
Bernardo Brown
Brenda Yeoh
Jagath Pathirage
Weishan Huang
Janet Hoskins

Asian Migrants and Religious Experience



Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

312 pages | 21 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Typically, scholars approach migrants’ religions as a safeguard of cultural identity, something that connects migrants to their communities of origin. This ethnographic anthology challenges that position by reframing the religious experiences of migrants as a transformative force capable of refashioning narratives of displacement into journeys of spiritual awakening and missionary calling. These essays explore migrants’ motivations in support of an argument that to travel inspires a search for new meaning in religion.

Bernardo E. Brown, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Department of Society, Culture and Media
International Christian University

The Future of Salafism (5-6 December 2018), University of Oxford

Call for Papers

Future of Salafism

Conference, University of Oxford, 5-6 December 2018

(Jointly hosted by Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford, and the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies)

 Like all ideologies and movements, Salafism— one of the most influential Islamic movement of the last century— is not monolithic. Not only have Salafi inspired groups evolved in different ways across different countries and contexts, in the same space Salafi reasoning can find multiple expressions or one mode of Salafi reasoning can give way to another in response to the changing context. Scholars widely recognise four visible expressions of Salafism: scholastic Salafis (those who focus on the scholarship); Salafi jihadis (those who use aspects of Salafi thought to justify militant Islam); political Salafis (those who use the Salafi thought to justify political action such as Surooris or Sahawis in Saudi Arabia or Al-Nour Party in Egypt), and Madkhalis (the quietest Salafis who accept the secular form of government). Right now, however, all these multiple expressions of Salafism are exposed to new pressures due to changing contexts. We have seen the impact of the Arab Spring on Salafi groups in the Middle East and Gulf regions especially Yemen, Libya and Syria; in the first two the Madkhalis have adopted a more jihadist approach and developments in the latter have created a space for merging of Salafi jihadists of different orientation. Juxtaposed against the recent shifts in Saudi Arabia1 — which along with Qatar is the only state to officially endorse Salafism — the future of Salafism is unpredictable. This conference isaimed at bringing together established scholars, post-doctoral researchers, as well as doctoral students who can offer original insights into how Salafi thought, and the diverse set of groups inspired by it, are evolving in different contexts in light of the post-Arab Spring developments and the changes unfolding within Saudi Arabia. This conference thus welcomes empirically rich case studies from different country contexts, which can shed light on any of the following questions:


– What changes has the Arab Spring triggered within different categories of Salafi groups in the Arab world? What lines of reasoning have different groups adopted to justify change in their approach or strategies? Have Salafi groups in one country context been influenced by groups in another country or region or have their responses to the Arab Spring been very localised?


– What is the Saudi state’s conception of ‘moderate Islam’? How does this conception of moderate Islam relate to Salafi and Wahhabi teachings? How are the leading Salafi and Wahhabi scholars within Saudi Arabia and beyond responding to the Saudi state’s call for a ‘return to moderate Islam’? Papers that can draw on detailed interviews with leading Salafi scholars in different contexts or on their writings or speeches to analyse how Salafi scholars and other Salafi movements are responding to changes within Saudi Arabia are very welcome.


The conference is being jointly hosted by the Oxford Department of International Development, University of Oxford and the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies and will result in an edited volume.


Those interested to participate in the conference are requested to submit a 500 word abstract to Professor Masooda Bano, Associate Professor, Oxford Department of International Development ( and cc Dr Abdullah Bin Khalid Al-Saud, Director of Research, King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies ( by 15th June 2018. Selected participants will be informed of the outcome by the end of June 2018.


Symposium: Religion as Political Communication

Religion as Political Communication: A Symposium

10:00 – 16:00, 7th June 2018

Religion is communicated politically in multiple ways: by religious institutions and individuals, by governments with different approaches to religion, via various artistic and cultural expressions, by secular news media, and via digital platforms and communities (Lundby 2017). The types and contents of politically communicated religion are diverse and complex, ranging from the Church of England’s conservative stance on marriage as reserved for heterosexual couples, French lawmakers interpreting religious symbols such as the veil as ‘too political’, the West-End musical success ‘The Book of Mormon’, terrorist acts of violence committed in the name of religion, to representations of ‘Muslims’ as a non-diversified group. Religion can communicate political stances in both direct and indirect ways, such as when drawings of the Prophet Mohammad are considered as unacceptably irreverent expressions of free speech, or when specific positions on abortion, creationism, stem-cell research and euthanasia are inferred when someone declares their stance as ‘religious’. In this symposium, internationally leading scholars on religion and politics are invited to address and debate religion as political communication.


10:00 Welcome and introductions

10:15 Dr Elizabeth Poole (Keele University): Contesting #stopislam: Political frictions and appropriation in online spaces

10:45 Professor Jolyon Mitchell ((University of Edinburg): The Ambivalent Role of Religion and the Media Arts as Political Communication in Israel /Palestine

11:15 Q & A session

11:45 Lunch and networking

13:00 Dr Jasjit Singh (University of Leeds): The construction of ‘Sikh radicalisation’ in Britain

13:30 Professor Mia Løvheim (Uppsala University, Sweden): Religion, mediatization and a changing political landscape

14:00 Q & A

14:30 Coffee break and networking

15:00 Roundtable discussion

15:45 End of programme

Symposium organisers: Dr Line Nyhagen (Social Sciences), Dr Alexandre Christoyannopoulos (Politics, History and International Relations), PhD student Xinan Li (Social Sciences), Loughborough University.

For speakers’ abstracts, please see:

Thank you.

Best wishes

Line, Alex and Xinan

Loughborough University

Epinal Way


Leicestershire, UK

LE11 3TU

New book: Exploring the Multitude of Muslims in Europe – Essays in Honour of Jørgen S. Nielsen, Muslim Minorities, Volume 27, Brill Publishers

Dear friends and colleagues,

Allow me to share with you the news of the publication of Exploring the Multitude of Muslims in Europe – Essays in Honour of Jørgen S. Nielsen, Muslim Minorities Series, Volume 27, Brill Publishers.

In Exploring the Multitude of Muslims in Europe a number of friends and colleagues of Jørgen S. Nielsen’s have joined together to celebrate his life and work by reflecting his more than forty years of scholarly contributions to the study of Islam and Muslims in Europe. The fourteen articles move through conceptualisations, productions and explorations of the multitudes of Muslims in Europe, and the authors draw on Jørgen S. Nielsen’s own work on the history and challenges of the Muslim community in Europe, critical thinking, ethnicities and theologies of Muslims in Europe, Muslim minorities, Muslim-Christian relations, and on Islamic legal challenges in Europe. Contributors are: Samim Akgönül, Ahmet Alibašić, Naveed Baig, Safet Bektovic, Mohammed Hashas, Thomas Hoffmann, Hans Raun Iversen, Göran Larsson, Werner Menski, Egdūnas Račius, Lissi Rasmussen, Mathias Rohe, Emil B. H. Saggau, Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, Thijl Sunier, and Niels Valdemar Vinding.

Brill have the Editor’s introductions available as a download from their website, as well with more information on the book:

And I have here a draft of my own chapter on ’Churchification of Islam in Europe,’ which Nielsen and others have considered from a number of perspectives:

All the best,

Niels Valdemar Vinding <>

Call for Manuscripts from Academica Press

Dear all, please take note:

Academica Press, a leading independent non-fiction publisher, is proud to call for manuscripts from dynamic scholars at all levels seeking to publish cutting edge work that challenges traditional disciplinary boundaries and provocatively revisits conventional topics. New publications will ideally be devoted to eclectic and under-explored issues and make imaginative uses of theory and method. Academica publishes actively in political science, international relations, history, literature, linguistics, religion, philosophy, cultural and regional studies, the arts, anthropology, law, and other fields.

The editorial director will gladly consider proposals for complete or nearly complete unpublished manuscripts.
Please direct all proposals and related inquiries via e-mail to:

The Editorial Director
Academica Press

Call for Applications: Summer School “Religion in Cities”

Dear colleagues,

This is a reminder of the invitation to apply for the summer school Religion in Cities: ContestedPresences, Contested Regulations that I am organising, with the support of CRCG and ISOR-UAB, at the University of Groningen (Netherlands) on August 20-24 2018.

The summer school addresses a topic that generates heated political debates and that is increasingly discussed in the social sciences. It will provide undergraduate studentsin their last year of studies, as well as Master and PhD students in different disciplines with the means to reflect upon religious issues in cities from the perspective of sociology, geography, urban studies and religious studies.

The topic will be addressed from three different stand-points: a) theoretical perspectives to understand the presence, visibility and regulation of religious diversity in cities; b) methodological insights into how to research these topics and conduct fieldwork in concrete urban settings; and c) discussions about the political relevance and policy responses offered at the level of cities.

The deadline for applications is June 1, 2018.

Confirmed guest lecturers are: Dr. Avi Astor (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Dr. Marian Burchardt (University of Leipzig), Dr. Mar Griera (Autonomous University of Barcelona), Dr. Alexander-Kenneth Nagel (University of Göttingen), Dr. Joram Tarusarira (University of Groningen), and Dr. Stefania Travagnin (University of Groningen).

You can find further information about the preliminary program and lectures on our homepage.

Please, feel free to share this information with your colleagues and students and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any question.

Kind regards,

Julia Martínez


Summer School in Ethnography, 10-14 September – University of Trento

Dear Colleagues,

The Department of Sociology and Social Research at the University of Trento is organising a Summer School in Ethnography, 10th – 14th September 2018.

It is addressed primarily to Master, PhD and Post-Doctoral students and will be devoted to the interrelated topics of Diaspora, Emotions and Families in Urban Contexts.  

Our keynote speakers will be Henrike Donner (Goldsmith, University of London), Ghassan Hage (University of Melbourne), Michele Lancione (University of Sheffield), Maruska Svasek (Queen’s University Belfast).

Please find more information in the attachment.

Deadline for application: 30th April.

Thank you for circulating the call among those who might be interested!

Best wishes,


Ester Gallo, PhD

Lecturer in Anthropology
Department of Sociology and Social Research
Via Verdi 26
38122 Trento, Italy
2017 The Fall of Gods. Memory, Kinship and Middle Classes in South India. Oxford University Press
2016 (with F.Scrinzi) Migration, Masculinities and Reproductive Labour. Men of the Home. Palgrave MacMillan