BRITAIN AND THE MUSLIM WORLD:
17-19 April 2009
The School of Arts, Languages and Literatures, University of Exeter
in association with
The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Sponsored by The British Academy
and at the University of Exeter:
The Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies
The Centre for Maritime Historical Studies
The Migration Research Network
This conference aims to explore the historical impact of cross cultural encounters between the Muslim World and Britain by bringing together writers, established scholars, younger researchers, public intellectuals and members of the media to present and discuss cutting edge research on the question of how past relations have brought us to our current situation, and to propose directions for necessary further consideration and research. At present, scholarly knowledge of the multiple encounters between Britain and the Muslim World is dispersed among specialized academic disciplines and so largely unavailable to the media and general public. A key aim of the conference is to assemble specialists from all academic fields-history, international relations, finance, law, economics, politics, sociology, anthropology, migration and diaspora studies, gender studies, art history and design, music, and comparative literatures-and to bring them into dialogue while exploring ways of making their combined knowledge more generally available than it is at present in order to develop a deeper public understanding of the long cultural interaction between Islam and Britain.
Open to the public, day one of the conference will feature ‘conversations’ on cultural interactions-Chris Morris and Amanda Burrell will discuss reporting Islam to British audiences; Ahdaf Soueif and Maureen Freely will discuss Islam, women and fiction; Nadje Al-Ali and Ghada Karmi will discuss Islam and women’s life-writing; Simon Broughton will screen the documentary film ‘Sufi Soul’ presented by William Dalrymple and discuss musical fusions. Two subsequent days will feature keynotes and panels focusing on such themes as Medieval and Early Modern Beliefs about Islam, Material Cultures between Britain and the Islamic World, the British Novel and Islam, British Muslim Identity Politics, Britain and the Indian Ocean, Britain in the Islamic Mediterranean, and Historical Dimensions of the ‘Assimilation’ and ‘Multiculturalism’ Debates with specific regard to Muslim Women in Britain. Keynotes will be delivered by Nabil Matar, a leading authority on attitudes to Islam in early modern Britain, and by Humayun Ansari, who was awarded the OBE in 2002 for his contributions to higher education and race relations.
This conference will play a leading role in advancing appreciation of how the history of relations between Islam and Britain has not always been one of inevitable conflict, and seeks to broaden public understanding of how cultural life both throughout the Muslim World as well as in Britain has been shaped and enriched by centuries of cross-cultural interactions.
Speakers include: Khalid Bekkaoui, John Tolan, Zahia Salhi, David Thomas, Souad Eddouada, Robert Irwin, Nadje Al-Ali, Ali Ansari, Reina Lewis, Philip Mansel, Andrew Wheatcroft, Humberto Garcia, Rajani Sudan, Ziad Elmarsafy, Matthew Dimmock, Bernhard Klein, Stephanie Jones, Abdul Haq Compier, Robert Gleave, Ian Jenkins, Abid Masood, Donna Landry, Gerard Weigers, Om Prakash, Amit Bein, Maartje van Gelder, Amina Yaqin, Peter Morey, Tariq Ramadan, Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Bernadette Andrea, Rehana Ahmed, Florian Stadtler, Maureen Mulligan, Daniel Vitkus, Marta Warat, Claire Chambers, M.A. Kevin Brice, Ahmed Masoud, Paul Starkey, Umar Ryad, Talip Kucukcan, Abraham Thomas, Justin Meggitt, Stefan Schmuck, Anna Suranyi, Georgina Lock, Paul Robertson, Briony Llewellyn, William Facey, Janet Starkey, Hugh Goddard, Chloe Houston, Jody Mellor, Teresa Heffernan, Sahar Abdel-Hakim, Vincent Biondo, Nurfadzilah Yahaya, Athar Murtuza