6 Apr 2009 - 7 Apr 2009 All day CRASSH Seminar Room, 17 Mill Lane


Convener: Shailaja Fennell, Development Studies, Cambridge

The objective of the conference is to begin an intellectual process that will allow academic discussion in the social sciences and humanities to show the way forward in moving public commentary away from the simplistic and mistaken notion that gender, religion and community within Islamic contexts can be reduced to the ‘male muslim bomber’ and the ‘oppressed and veiled muslim woman’. These categories are readily accepted by a post 9/11 world that is both shocked and mesmerised by terrorist acts, while simultaneously impoverishing academic categories of research on local contexts of muslim communities in the West as well as its repercussions for the larger Muslim world.

The conference proposes to do this by bringing together scholars in theology and divinity studies, history, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science who study both Muslim societies and Muslim diasporic communities to re-examine the old meanings attached to distinctions such as those of social and sexual spaces; migrant and hybrid identities; individual choice and collective action; by drawing on conceptual, empirical and archival work. The rich renditions of interdisciplinary work that are emerging in the fields of development studies, gender research and area studies show us the need to have regular and repeated exchanges across the disciplinary divides.

The aims of this conference are:

•    To bring to the fore the importance of the collective in the every day lives and practices of men and women in Islamic communities both in Islamic countries and in diasporic contexts.

•    To locate Islamic identities in a community context so as to recognise and appreciate the multiplicities and meanings that religion plays in these local gendered communities.

•    To engage with and unpick the theoretical understandings that are prevalent in individual social sciences and humanities so as to obtain a better recognition of the intersections between Islam, Gender and Community to inform new and improved conceptual frameworks.

•    To examine the dialectical relationship between the individual and communal within local religious spaces to understand how they are structured to wield power in these gendered worlds. 




For administrative  queries contact Anna Malinowska,CRASSH Conference Programme Manger


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk