Friday, June 29, 2012

Back from Leeds

by Salman Hameed

I was at the University of Leeds for a conference/workshop for the last couple of days - and did not get a chance to post much from there. Part of the blame goes to the fact that I was traveling only with an iPad, and the internet access to the rooms required an ethernet cable connection :( . Oh well...

I also had a chance to give a talk, Making Sense of the Rise of Islamic Creationism in UK, jointly hosted by the Philosophy Department and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Leeds. The Q/A session was lively and enjoyable. Following the talk, I had some great conversations with, Sean McLaughlin, and his students from Turkey and Indonesia. This is one of those moments when you realize the importance of talks in academic departments. Sean is an anthropologist who has been working on ethnography of contemporary Muslim societies (check out his edited volume with Jocelyne Cesari: European Muslims and the Secular State; and more recently with Kim Knott: Diasporas: Concepts, Intersections, Identities). In particular, his focus is on South Asian Muslim immigrants to UK, and understanding their religious practices and the formation of their identity. His research is a fantastic compliment to our own work on understanding the reception of modern science in Muslim societies. Furthermore, a number of his students are working on understanding religious practices in various Muslim societies (including, amongst Muslims in Leeds), and I'm looking forward to these forthcoming works.

This fall, we will also be starting a regular colloquium series (once a month) at the Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Societies (SSiMS) at Hampshire College. These talks will be directed more at the faculty and students and hopefully will compliment our annual Hampshire College Lecture Series on Science and Religion

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