Islamic Law & History at the Middle East Studies Association Conference (2021): Session Roundup

The 2021 Middle East Studies Association (MESA) Annual Meeting is taking place on November 29 – December 5, 2021.  A complete program listing all the various sessions can be found here, and registration details can be accessed here.

The Islamic Law Blog has curated below a list of panels relating to Islamic law and history as well as those featuring scholars, fellows, editors, and students who are or have been affiliated with the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School, emphasized in bold.

November 29:

November 30:

December 1:

  • The panel entitled “[P6515] Manuscript Cultures in the Islamic World(December 1, 2021 @ 11:30 am) will “explore[] the potential of Arabic manuscripts as sources for telling the social and intellectual history of various communities in the Islamic world.” The session will be chaired by Ahmed El Shamsy (The University of Chicago).
  • The panel entitled “[P6619] New Perspectives on Early Modern Ottoman History(December 1, 2021 @ 2:00 pm) will host a range of presentations, including one on justice at the Ottoman Imperial Council.
  • The panel entitled “[P6521] Shia Ulama Between State Power and Sufism: Safavid to Modern Theories of Legitimacy(December 1, 2021 @ 2:00 pm) will try to answer the following questions: “How did Shia scholars conceptualize the relationship between religion and state? How did Sufis, understand their place with regards to the leaders of the time? How did the Shahs of Iran, who claimed Shia Islam as a basis for their reign, justify their monarchies? How do contemporary Shia authorities conceptualize the Islamic Republic and the guardianship of the jurist doctrine?”
  • The panel entitled “[P6406] The Late Antique in Early Islam: Pre-Islamic Heritage in Early Islamic Politics, Poetics, and Science(December 1, 2021 @ 2:00 pm) will “showcase the instances of continuity and change between late antiquity and early Islam in the contexts of tribal relations, politics, poetry, and even science.”
  • The panel entitled “[R6393] “The Old Women of Nishapur:” a Roundtable on Gender and Knowledge in Islam(December 1, 2021 @ 2:00 pm) “will discuss the different forms of religiosity and understanding that the texts assign to the old women, the bodily and intellectual capacities they attribute or deny them, the evolving use of gendered tropes, the historical context in which the texts were written and their current reverberations, establishing resonances and frictions between eleventh century Nishapur and twenty first century Montreal.” Rula Jurdi Abisaab (McGill University) will present a paper.

December 2:

December 3:

December 5:

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