PAPERS Resources

AAR Annual Meeting
Atlanta, GA
November 21-24, 2015

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Material Islam Seminar

Statement of Purpose: 

The Material Islam Seminar is an interdisciplinary initiative bringing a variety of theoretical, methodological, and historical perspectives to the study of Islam and material culture, broadly conceived as encompassing spatial formations, objects, relics, embodiments, arts, crafts, and material forms of popular culture. The seminar aims to foster interdisciplinary dialogue between the fields of art and architectural history, archeology, performance theory, folklore, practice theory, studies of space and the body, affect theory, and material religion. This seminar will be a forum through which all of these approaches and others can be represented and brought together in conversation leading to new directions, methodologies, and theories relating to the mutual imprimatur of material culture and Islam. The seminar intends to explore these various approaches to Islamic materiality, not only to demonstrate what they can contribute to Islamic Studies, but also how the particularities of Muslim cultures can advance the study of religion and materiality more generally. The Material Islam Seminar will convene annually at the AAR for five years (2014-2019) to discuss pre-circulated papers on specific thematic topics including the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary research, the interplay between discourse, practice, and objects, and the circulation of objects and aesthetics in particular historical contexts.

Call for Papers: 

The Islamic Sensoria

The primary concern of the Material Islam seminar is to consider how the study of material culture advances Islamic Studies and how Islamic Studies contributes to the study of material culture and religion more broadly. This year, the seminar invites proposals for a pre-distributed paper session on the Islamic sensoria. Focusing on a theoretical model(s) of the senses, papers should consider ways in which Islamic objects, spaces, and practices engage the senses of their audiences and interlocutors.

Method: 
PAPERS
Process: 
Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members until after final acceptance/rejection
Comments: 
we both solicit papers by established scholars working on our themes of interest and have blind review of the CFP. This seems to work well to promote coherence, quality, and to identify relevant scholarship from outside the core group.
Leadership: 
ChairSteering Committee