IN SUMMARY :: MESA Panel on Islamic Law as Early International Law

At the MESA Conference on November 20, SHARIAsource Editor Will Smiley served as discussant for a thematic conversation on “International Law, Sovereignty and Subjecthood in the Late Ottoman Empire.” Building on a conference held at the CUNY Graduate Center and an earlier thematic conversation at last year’s MESA, the panelists discussed how the Ottoman state and its subjects engaged with European international law, particularly around questions of nationality—who was “Ottoman” or “foreign,” and how did identities and their meaning change when these terms were defined with reference to European treaties and treatises? Faiz Ahmed (Brown University), Lale Can (City College of New York), David Gutman (Manhattanville College), Will Hanley (Florida State University), and Chris Low (Iowa State University) addressed these issues by drawing on their respective contributions to a forthcoming issue of the Journal of the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association. The roundtable aimed to offer new perspectives on a growing subfield, with important implications for both the study of Middle Eastern history and the history of international law itself.