Skip to main content

Being Muslim: How Local Islam Overturns Narratives of Exceptionalism

Reconsidering the Non-Muslim Other:

Internal and External Religious Differentiation Prior to 1800
[click here for PDF of Workshop I Program]  [click here for PDF of Workshop I Color Poster]


09:00-09:30:  Introductions and The Mapping Of The Intellectual Project
Tony K. Stewart, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in Humanities, Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies, and Project Convener, Vanderbilt University
Carolyn Dever, Dean of the College of Arts and Science, Professor of English, Vanderbilt University

09:30-12:30: Law and Difference
Antonia Bosanquet, PhD Candidate, Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität–Berlin
    “Rulings for the Protected Peoples: Space as Hierarchy in Ibn al-Qayyim's ‘Ahkām Ahl al-Dhimma’”
Jonathan Katz, Professor, School of History, Philosophy, and Religion, Oregon State University
    “Muslim Jews: The Mechanisms of Conversion and Assimilation”
David J. Wasserstein, Eugene Greener, Jr. Professor of Jewish Studies, Professor of History, Vanderbilt University 
    "Language, Law and Difference: Jews and Christians in the Islamic Legal World"
Respondent: Beverly Moran, Professor of Law and Sociology, Vanderbilt University

13:30-16:30: Histories of Cosmopolitanism 
Anthony Watson, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of History, Brown University
    “‘Pedigrees that Have Grown with the Grass’: Medieval Islamic Perspectives on Mongols and Christians”
Talia Gangoo, PhD Candidate, Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan
    “Hindus, Buddhists, and ‘Deviant’ Muslims in the Realm of the Independent Sultans of Kashmir”
Eric L. Beverley, Assistant Professor, Department of History, State University of New York–Stony Brook
    “Of Port & Court: Reading Diversity in Perso-Islamicate South Asian Cities”
Respondent: Samira Sheikh, Associate Professor of History, Vanderbilt University


09:30-12:30: Constructing Biographical Images
Robert Morrison, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Religion, Bowdoin College
    “The Liminal Identity of Moses Galeano/Mūsā Jālīnūs”
Manuela Ceballos, PhD Candidate, Graduate Division of Religion, Emory University
    “Marginal Theology or Theology from the Margins? Converts, Jews, Christians, and Refugees in the
    Biography of a Sixteenth Century Muslim Saint”
Youshaa Patel, Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Tennessee–Knoxville
    “The Social Imaginary of a 17th century Muslim Religious Scholar: Najm al-Din al-Ghazzi on Jews,
    Christians and Others”
Respondent: Tony K. Stewart, Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies, Vanderbilt University

13:30-16:30: Grammars of Identity and Alterity
David Owen, PhD Candidate, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University
    “Latin Speakers and Greek Teachers: Linguistic and Conceptual Mediterraneanism in the Jurist-Theologian-
    Vizier Ibn Hazm (d. 1064)”
Arthur Dudney, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Early Modern Indian Cultures of Knowledge, Oxford University
    “Indo-Persian Cultural Studies of India and the Question of Early-Modern Secularism”
Ayesha A. Irani, Assistant Professor, Department of Historical Stduies, University of TorontoMississauga
    “Identity/Alterity in the Biographic Process: The Case of the Nabīvaṃśa , ‘The Prophet's Lineage,’ of
    Seventeenth-Century Bengal”
Respondent: Richard McGregor, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and Co-Convener of the Project



09:00-12:00: Early Modern Epistemologies of Difference
Palmira Brummett, Visiting Professor of History, Brown University; Professor Emerita, University of Tennessee–Knoxville
    “Encroaching on Christendom: ‘Black Infidels’ and Islamic Syncretism in the Ottoman Adriatic”
Divya Cherian, PhD Candidate, Department of History, Columbia University
    “The Muslim as Untouchable: The Administration of Religious Difference in Eighteenth Century Marwar”
Vikas Rathee, PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of Arizona
    “Hodgson’s ‘Islamicate’ and the Knowledge of Indian Society and Culture in Persian Language Works by
    Authors of Indian origin, c.1700”
Respondent: Anand V. Taneja, Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, Vanderbilt University

12:00-12:45: Commentary: Negotiating Local Islamic Identities
Ahmet T. Karamustafa, Professor of History, University of Maryland
Carl W. Ernst, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Islamic Studies, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Muzaffar Alam, George V. Bobrinskoy Professor in South Asian Languages & Civilizations, The University of Chicago

Closing Remarks:
Richard McGregor and Tony K. Stewart, Vanderbilt University