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Call for Papers: Muslim Intellectual History in Mughal South Asia

The conference invites current research on Muslim intellectual history in Mughal South Asia across areas like philosophy, theology, astronomy, rhetoric, jurisprudence, hadīth, tafsīr, Perso-Sanskrit interactions, infrastructures of knowledge production.

Fresh waves of research on the postclassical Islamic East are reshaping the shores of South Asian and Islamic studies. Recovering from the long shadow of decline theories and narratives, the ongoing study of Muslim intellectual pursuits in the subcontinent is bringing to light a world far more dynamic than previously believed. The region appears better situated within transregional contexts, while offering unique intellectual trajectories with reverberations across a broader range of fields. This conference invites specialists to present research on Muslim intellectual history in Mughal South Asia within the following areas:

1.    Philosophy, Theology, and Science

2.    Rhetoric, Law, and Scripturalist Disciplines

3.    Islamo-Sanskrit Engagements

4.    Socio-Intellectual History

Despite great strides in the study of the social, political, and cultural institutions of early modern South Asia, these efforts are yet to be reconciled with parallel developments in the study of knowledge production across Persianate frontiers.  Meanwhile within history of ideas, we are only gradually overcoming the trappings of conventional accounts of intellectual life in the region, specifically the sweeping theses of intellectual marginality and decline grounded in dichotomies like canon vs. commentary, rationalism vs. mysticism/scripturalism, Arabic orthodoxy vs. Persian/Indian cosmopolitanism, and their projection onto the source material at face value, i.e., as exhaustive binaries that tend to obfuscate actual disciplinary frameworks, literary practice, and transmission of knowledge.  While there is growing consensus that the postclassical intellectual currents were longer lasting and more intricate than previously believed, the variegated details of this past pose new methodological challenges.

The conference invites current research on Muslim intellectual history in Mughal South Asia across areas like philosophy, theology, astronomy, rhetoric, jurisprudence, hadīth, tafsīr, Perso-Sanskrit interactions, infrastructures of knowledge production. The event will be hosted at U.C. Berkeley on October 6-7, 2023, with travel and accommodation covered for visiting participants.  Abstracts must be received by June 23.  Selected applicants will be notified by July 7.  Each participant will have 45 minutes to present (including Q&A).  The final articles will be published as a special issue or volume edited by the organizers.  The submission deadline for articles is March 15, 2024.

·       The conference will be held on October 6-7, 2023 at the University of California, Berkeley.

·       Abstracts of 300-400 words must be sent to ali_syed@berkeley.edu no later than June 23, 2023.

·       The deadline for complete articles is March 15, 2024.

·       Expenses for travel and accommodation will be covered for visiting participants.

The event is sponsored by Berkeley’s Center for Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (CMES) and the Institute of South Asia Studies (ISAS)

Contact Info

Asad Q. Ahmed: asad.ahmed@berkeley.edu

  1. Shiraz Ali: ali_syed@berkeley.edu

Daniyal Channa: dchanna@berkeley.edu

Contact Email:

ali_syed@berkeley.edu

About Ali Teymoori

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