Middle East and Islamic Studies
College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Call for Applications: Book Review Colloquium at Fall For The Book 2017

fftb logoThe Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University invites applications from advanced graduate students for a Book Review Colloquium on Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies to be held on October 12, 2017 at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA in cooperation with the Virginia-based Fall for the Book festival. The Colloquium panels will be open to the public to foster recognition for the books under examination and broader engagement with non-academic audiences.

Objective

The Colloquium invites advanced graduate students in social sciences and humanities to present book reviews of recent noteworthy publications in the broader field of Islamic and Middle Eastern studies. The Colloquium will enable graduate students to engage with leading academics in their respective fields. It will also bring a critical and informed discussion of recent notable books to the attention of broader audiences attending the Fall for the Book festival.

In 2016, the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies launched an online publication, Maydan, fully dedicated to the broader field of Islamic Studies with the recognition that academic scholarship is currently in need of publications that further disseminate research in this field of inquiry. The Book Review Colloquium on Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies aims to foster a dedicated effort toward establishing a lasting conversation between academic and lay readership.

Presenters are expected to submit book reviews of recently published (October 2014 - May 2017) books in the broader field of Islamic studies, inclusive of all disciplinary backgrounds. Each review should focus on a single monograph. Presentations are expected to engage with the broader literature on the subject with reference to at least two books on the broader theme. We encourage applicants to think in regards to three components that should be present in a successful book review: Context, Content and Critique. Participants will receive detailed and informative feedback from a leading expert in one of our three thematic foci areas.

Edited volumes and reference works remain outside the scope of this Colloquium.

2017 Themes

There are three broad themes around which book reviews will be accepted for the Fall 2017 iteration of the Book Review Colloquium. The applicants are encouraged to examine the Book Display section of Maydan for a selection of books on each theme.

  1. Islam in North America: The last few years have seen an impressive amount of publications on various aspects of the American Muslim experience. The ongoing political atmosphere has only intensified the importance of this emerging field of inquiry. From performance studies to detailed ethnographic accounts, from pedagogical perspectives to questions of security, American Muslims have been studied with multiple theoretical and methodological lenses.
  2. Islamic Law: How Islamic law, both ancient and modern, relates to multiple areas of inquiry has created one of the most impressive volumes of academic production. And yet, broad audiences remain largely un- or mis-informed about Islamic law. A great number of publications in the last three to four years, some with implications across borders and societies, have examined dynamics that shape the complex processes with which Islamic law is understood and applied in contemporary societies.
  3. Islam, Globalization and Cosmopolitanism: Citizenship debates and cultural manifestations of ethno-racial identities, in addition to global trends around poverty, environmentalism, and rights-based discourses, have produced a number of works that contextualize connectivity, theoretical frames employed in social sciences and the role of Islam in both historical and contemporary contexts. This theme seeks to bring forth cross-disciplinary perspectives and particularly welcomes those interested in arts, multiple geographical contexts and historiography.

Application Process

Interested candidates should submit the following: 1) A 500-word abstract that presents a justification for the selection of the work under examination; 2) A short writing sample (5 pages max.) on the broader theme of the selected book; and 3) A 2-page max resume.

All three documents should be emailed to Ahmet Selim Tekelioglu at atekelio@gmu.edu as a single PDF file by June 15, 2017. The subject line of the email should follow the following format: [LASTNAME, BOOK REVIEW COLLOQUIUM 2017].

Final products will be considered for publication on Maydan. The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University will offer a $100 honorarium to the authors of reviews that are selected for publication.

Each colloquium participant will be reimbursed up to $600 to cover travel and accommodation costs.

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