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Call for Papers: Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean

The Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations invite proposals for paper presentations on Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean: Diversity and Pluralism, Past and Present

This conference aims to explore the diversity of Muslim cultures prevalent in the Indian Ocean region where, historically, Muslims have interacted for centuries with each other and with other peoples and cultures. Islam not only provided the scaffolding that facilitated cultural exchanges but was also the pivot for transforming local societies. The conference seeks to bring together experts from different disciplines and backgrounds including archaeologists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, and scholars of related disciplines to explore various facets of this diversity. This conference marks a reconnaissance of the Indian Ocean not as a periphery but as a center for the study of Muslim cultures.

Indeed, over the past couple of decades, significant new research has been undertaken across East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent leading to fresh insights on a number of facets of Indian Ocean cultures. Some of these studies were written about the Indian Ocean on the longue durée and other studies were focused on local and regional histories.

Cultural encounters across the Indian Ocean down the centuries have given rise to cities, towns, ports and other constructions and artefacts which, while remaining distinctive in themselves, also exhibit layers of shared features. They manifest the craftsmanship and values of their creators, peoples whose diversity is almost proverbial. Similar endeavors are present in almost all aspects of human creativity through contact, including religious beliefs and practices, literature, architecture, trade, cuisine, textiles and fashion, etc.

Cultural contacts, exchanges and networks were facilitated by the sea as a link between these diverse worlds. Like the Mediterranean – so well studied by Fernand Braudel – the Indian Ocean is a rich contact zone that is central to the understanding of cultural diversity in this vast region.

Important Dates

Conference Dates: September 12-14, 2018

Submission Deadline: September 30, 2017

Venue: Academic Building, 10 Handyside Street, Kings Cross, London N1C, UK

The Call for Papers is open until 30 September 2017. If you would like to submit a proposal for this conference please follow the instructions.

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