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IISS Graduate Symposium: Topics in Vernacular Islam

Monday, April 4, 2016
12:30-4:30 PM
East Conference Room, 4th Floor Rackham Graduate School (Horace H.) Map
As we envision it, Vernacular Islam is every expression of Islam within the Islamicate world. The focus of our definition is on the domestic and functional—versus the rigid and standard—aspects of the term vernacular. Being a social and expressive faith, there are no practices of Islam nor are there Muslim communities that do not fall under the umbrella of vernacular. Thinking about the vernacular for us also describes a phenomena in Muslim societies wherein particular Islamic expressions position themselves in relation to an imagined standard or orthodoxy on a social, political, economic, and historical level. In the words of Tom Pepinsky, “All Islam is vernacular Islam. All of it. Wahhabis and Salafis in the Arab Middle East are just as much products of particular historical moments and sociopolitical contexts as are other Sunni Muslims who don’t happen to speak a form of Arabic as their native language (to say nothing of Ibadis, Ismailis, Alevis, etc.).”

Speaker Schedule:
12:30 - 1:00 pm: Welcome and Keynote Address with Alexander Knysh
1:00 - 1:30 pm: Emma Nolan-Thomas (U-M)
1:30 - 2:00 pm: Dr. Philipp Bruckmayr (University of Vienna)
2:00 - 2:15 pm: Break
2:15 - 2:45 pm: Paul Love (U-M)
2:45 - 3:15 pm: Jonathan Allen (University of Maryland, College Park)
3:15 - 3:45 pm: Sara Katz (U-M)
3:45 - 4:30 pm: Q&A
View speaker abstracts here:

Please refer any questions to

The Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies Seminar (IISS) is the only academic forum at the University of Michigan that engages students and faculty who are interested in the study of Islam and Muslim societies in an interdisciplinary and cross-regional conversation. Following our inception in the winter term 2010, IISS has grown to include a large number of both student and faculty participants. They represent a wide range of departments and programs including American Culture, Anthropology, Architecture and Urban Planning, Asian Languages and Cultures, History, Law, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Musicology, Natural Resources and Environment, Near Eastern Studies, Political Science, Romance Languages and Literatures, South Asian Studies, and Southeast Asian Studies.
Building: Rackham Graduate School (Horace H.)
Event Type: Conference / Symposium
Tags: Muslim, Religious
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Global Islamic Studies Center

The Global Islamic Studies Center organizes a number of public events each year such as lectures, conferences, and films, many in collaboration with other U-M units. Please use our searchable events calendar for information about upcoming programs sponsored by GISC and the Interdisciplinary Islamic Studies Seminar (IISS).