Islam and the Modern State
Graduate Student Conference
7-8 April 2016
The Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University will
host a graduate student conference that examines how modern states exist
in tension with the practices, institutions, and sensibilities
associated with Islam. This interdisciplinary conference will draw
together advanced graduate students and senior scholars to probe the
enduring entanglement of religion and modernity, and to understand how
this entanglement bears on contemporary debates about modern statehood.
Panels will investigate:
·how states grapple with nationalism, neo-liberalism, and secularism in
relation to local and global iterations of Islam;
·the strategies that individuals and communities employ to subvert,
comply with, or otherwise amend state sovereignty and its projects to
cultivate ideal citizens;
·and the modes through which the Islamic tradition is being transformed
as a result of these processes.
Graduate Student Participation
We welcome papers that address the conference theme in comparative and
international perspective. Advanced graduate students are invited to
no more than 300 words by November 9, 2015.
Applicants will be informed of the outcome of the selection process by
December 4, 2015. Selected applicants will be asked to submit their
papers of no more than 10,000 words in length by March 4, 2016.
The Buffett Institute will subsidize travel costs and provide hotel
accommodations for conference participants.
The keynote address will be given by Ebrahim Moosa, Professor of
Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame with appointments in the
Department of History and the Kroc Institute for International Studies
in the Keough School of Global Affairs.
The following faculty will provide comments on the conference papers:
·Alireza Doostdar (University of Chicago Divinity School)
·Mohammad Fadel (University of Toronto Faculty of Law)
·Mayanthi Fernando (Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz)
·Haider Ala Hamoudi (University of Pittsburgh School of Law)
·Naveeda Khan (Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University)
·Rudolph Ware (History, University of Michigan)
·Mona Oraby is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at Northwestern
University. Her research investigates the legal regulation and
administration of religious difference in the contemporary Middle East.
·Bilal Nasir is a Ph.D. student in Anthropology and part of the
Initiative for Comparative Race and Diaspora at Northwestern University.
His research examines the intersection between racialization, social
movements, and Islamic learning among Muslim youth in the greater Los
·Nathaniel Mathews is a Ph.D. candidate in History at Northwestern
University. He works on the history of modern citizenship, ethnicity and
the nation-state in Zanzibar, Oman and the Swahili Coast.
·Nurhaizatul Jamil is a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at
Northwestern University. Her research focuses on Muslim womenâs
participation in Islamic self-help classes in contemporary Singapore.
Please submit your abstracts using the following link: