Call for Proposals: The Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies Seminar (IISS) at the University of Michigan invites scholars and artists to submit proposals for original paper and panel presentations to present at our annual symposium:

Black Islam in the Americas: An Interdisciplinary Symposium
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

February 16 – 18, 2018

This interdisciplinary symposium endeavors to foster critical dialogue on Black Islam in the Americas. While much discussion has taken place on Islam in the African American context and Islam in North America more generally, insufficient academic attention has been directed towards the Islamic trajectories of Afro-descendent peoples across the Americas more widely. This symposium therefore
adopts a hemispheric approach to the study of Islam as experienced in Black communities in North
America, Latin America and the Caribbean.

One of the primary aims of the symposium is to unpack the notion of “Black Islam,” a provocative term that prompts us to contemplate the geographies and politics of Black Muslimness, which have been configured not only through diasporic connections between Africa and the Americas, but also through the socio-economic and political realities facing Afro-descendant populations in the American region. We look forward to an exploration of the potentialities of “Black Islam” as a conceptual apparatus that allows us to consider the “roots and routes” of Islamic doctrines, practices and cultures among Afro-descendant peoples in the Americas.

We therefore invite submissions from artists and researchers working in a range of academic disciplines (including Religion, Islamic Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, History, Africana Studies,
Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and American Studies among others) on the topic of Black Islam in the Americas. Potential areas of inquiry include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • African and Muslim Diasporas
  • Islam and the Black Atlantic
  • Enslaved Muslims in the Americas
  • Migration and Identity Politics
  • Movements of Revolution and Resistance
  • Islam and Black (Counter) Cultures
  • Cosmopolitanism, Multiculturalism and the Politics of Belonging
  • Sufism in the Black Atlantic
  • Narratives of Conversion and Reversion
  • Intellectual and Political Thought
  • Art, Devotional Objects and Material Culture
  • Race, Racism and State Violence

Interested applicants should submit an individual abstract (250 – 300 words) or panel abstract (300 – 400 words) in addition to brief biographies to on or before December 22, 2017.

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