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Islam, Objects, and Everyday Life

December 6, 2019 - 9:00am to December 8, 2019 - 1:00pm

What makes an object Islamic? How do everyday items of use, wear, devotion, and observation help us understand the various modes of Muslim materiality? This workshop is designed to deepen and integrate the thoughts of contributors to a volume on Islamic objects. Each participant approaches the question of materiality in Islamic contexts through a single object: West African prayer beads, a widely circulated image of a young Prophet Muhammad, the uniform worn by Nation of Islam women, a cistern that provided water to a diverse community, a lamp central to Bektashi practice, a standard (ʿalam) used by South Asian Shi'is, a coin marked by fish, the tablets used in learning the Qur'an, images of the Prophet’s sandal, a lapel pin worn by Five Percenters, an amulet used to heal and bless, and others. These examples from the USA, South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East represent multiple ways of materializing faith and life, thereby challenging many of the available theoretical models of material culture.

Open to affiliated faculty and students only. Registration required.

List of Participants

Anna Bigelow, Stanford University

Aomar Boum, University of California, Los Angeles

Joyce Flueckiger, Emory University

Anna Gade, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Kambiz GhaneaBassiri, Reed College

Christiane Gruber, University of Michigan

Michael Muhammad Knight, University of Central Florida

Ousman Murzik Kobo, The Ohio State University

Scott Kugle, Emory University

Roxani Margariti, Emory University

David Morgan, Duke University

Karen Ruffle, University of Toronto

D. Fairchild Ruggles, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Mark Soileau, Hacettepe University

Kayla Renee Wheeler, Grand Valley State University