Speech and Space: Discursive Environments across Non-Arab Islam
Presented by the 2015-2016 Andrew W. Mellon John E. Sawyer Seminar
September 7-9, 2017
Vanderbilt University, Sarratt 216/220
As Islam extended beyond the Arab world, its practitioners found themselves inhabiting and domesticating new physical environments and inhabiting ever-more diverse language communities. These linked activities—the appropriation and domestication of local speech and space—gave rise to new and diverse expressions of Islam. Yet whatever the local variation, these activities conveyed a recognizable sense of what it meant to be a Muslim, inhabitants of a “Balkans to Bengal complex” as Shahab Ahmed put it in What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic (Princeton, 2016). A range of conference speakers, including Shahzad Bashir (Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities in the Department of Religious Studies, Brown University), Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi (professor history and near and middle Eastern civilizations, University of Toronto), Faisal Devji (professor of history, University of Oxford), and Vanderbilt professor Emily Greble (associate professor of European studies, Germanic and Slavic languages, and history), will explore historical and contemporary facets of being Muslim in locales from 12th century Central Asia through 20th century Yugoslavia and contemporary Turkey. All members of the Vanderbilt community are welcome.