Islamic Law at MESA 2022! (A PIL Guide)

The Program in Islamic Law (PIL) has curated a list of panels from the Middle East Studies Association‘s (MESA) 2022 Annual Meeting schedule that are related to Islamic law and history, and data science. MESA’s fifty-sixth annual meeting will be held between December 1 – 4, 2022. The full program is available here. Register here. Is there a session missing that you’d like to see here? Send us a note at

  • [Session I-06] – December 1, 2022 @ 3:00 p.m: Mothers and Matrilineal Lineages in the Early Islamic World. Organized by Robert Haug, sponsored by the Middle East Medievalists (MEM). Discussant: Alison M. Vacca, Columbia University. Robert Haug, University of Cincinnati, Dajjāja bt. Asmā’ al-Sulamī: A Basran Matriarch; Elizabeth Urban, West Chester University, Maternal Kinship Ties in Ibn Sa‘d’s Ṭabaqāt; Alyssa Gabbay, UNC Greensboro, Mu‘awiyya as Ibn Hind: Maternal Ascription in Early Islam; Leone Pecorini Goodall, University of Edinburgh, Ummahāt al-Khulafāʾ: Matrilineality and caliphal succession in the Marwānid period.
  • [Session II-02] – December 1, 2022 @ 5:30 p.m: Big Data and Mega Corpora in the Middle East Studies. Organized by Charles Kurzman, UNC Chapel Hill and Richard Nielsen, MIT. Rochelle Terman, University of Chicago, Islamophobia and Media Portrayals of Muslim Women: Computational Text Analysis of US News Coverage; Peter Verkinderen, AKU-ISMC, IslamAtlas: An Overview; Mustafa Yavas, NYU Abu Dhabi, Framing Struggles and the Gezi Park Resistance: Mapping the Field of Political Opinion in Turkey.
  • [Session II-07] – December 1, 2022 @ 5:30 p.m: Between Family and State: Children and Youth as Subjects of Concern. Organized by Reda Rafei, sponsored by the Association of Middle East Children and Youth Studies (AMECYS). Chair: Dylan James Baun, University of Alabama in Huntsville. Reda Rafei, Texas Tech University, Al-Haz al-Awfar wa al-Ghibta al-Rajiha: Parents and the Wellbeing of Children in the Second Half of the 18th Century Ottoman Tripoli through the Sijillat of the Islamic Sharia Court; Atacan Atakan, University of Arizona Exploration of the Dim Fringes: Children’s Sexuality, Gender, and Corporeality in Ottoman Empire during the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries; Melis Sulos, CUNY Graduate Center Performative Construction of Childhood Samar Nour, University of Toronto “Mental Hygiene” and Child Governmentality in Egypt.
  • [Session II-15] – December 1, 2022 @ 5:30 p.m: The Entanglement of Islam and Christianity: Inclusion, Diversity, and Justice. Organized by Alexander Shepard. Chair/Discussant: John Walbridge, Indiana University Bloomington. Alexander Shepard, Indiana University Bloomington, The Portrayal of Jesus in Usul Al-Kafi; Azadeh Aghighi, Indiana University Bloomington, The People of the Book and Shiʿism: The Image of Ahl al-Kitāb in Nahj al-Balāgha; Eduardo Acarón-Padilla, Indiana University Bloomington, (Re)Imagining Timur: The Poetics of Representation and Divine Kingship in ‘Abd-Allah Hatifi’s and Christopher Marlowe’s Books of TimurSeyed Amir Asghari, Indiana University Presence, Manifestation, and Visitation in Abrahamic Religions: The Notion of “Presence” in Shi’ism; Ahmed Hassan, Indiana University, Judaism, Christianity and Islam in Local History of Egypt.
  • [Session IV-07] – December 2, 2022 @ 11:00 a.m: The Diversity of Ottoman Legal Discourse: Overlapping Property Claims and the Land Regime in the Ottoman Empire. Organized by Abdurrahman Atcil and Christopher Markiewicz. Abdurrahman Atcil, Sabanci University, Jurisprudence as the Language of Opposition in Early Modern Egypt: Egyptian Scholars and Ottoman Tax Reform; Evgenia Kermeli, Hacettepe University, Retaining and Expanding Monastic Waqf Land in the Early Modern Ottoman Empire; Malissa Taylor, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Ibn ‘Ābidīn and the widening consensus on miri land law: where does one find the law of miri land?; Christopher Markiewicz, University of Birmingham, Ottoman Fatwas and the Controversy on Taxing Egyptian Waqf Lands in the Sixteenth Century.
  • [Session IV-08] – December 2, 2022 @ 11:00 a.m: Rulers and Scholars in the Premodern Islamic World. Organized by Han Hsien Liew, sponsored by the Middle East Medievalists (MEM). Discussant: Hayrettin Yucesoy, Washington University in St. Louis. Mohammed Allehbi, Vanderbility University, The Shurṭa in al-Andalus: An Alternative History of Islamic Criminal Justice; Kameliya Atanasova, Washington and Lee University,  ‘Army shaykhs’: Ottoman Sufis on the Battlefield; Han Hsien Liew, Arizona State University, Legitimizing Politics: Ibn al-Jawzī’s Reassessment of Ruler-Scholar Relations; Karen Taliaferro, Arizona State University, Will the Real Scholar Please Stand Up? Dialectic and the Mutakallimūn in the thought of Ibn Rushd.
  • [Session V-16] – December 2, 2022 @ 1:30 p.m: Data in the Middle East Classroom. Organized by David Joseph Wrisley, organized under the auspices of the Committee for Undergraduate Middle East Studies (CUMES). Chair: David Joseph Wrisley, NYU Abu Dhabi. Jihan Mohammed, Michigan State University, Studying Sectarianism in the Middle East: An Overview and Critique of the Methodologies and Methods; Mai Zaki, American University of Sharjah, Modern Arabic literature as data: Lessons and possibilities; Amin Marei, University of Pennsylvania, Online learning for all “Arabs”: Examining the pedagogical approach of a cross-cultural Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) for multicultural “Arab” learners; Sara Ann Knutson, University of British Columbia, Towards a Pedagogy of Data and the Digital in the Middle East Classroom; Suphan Kirmizialtin, NYU Abu Dhabi, Decolonizing Digital Sources for the Middle Eastern History Classroom.
  • [Session VII-18] – December 3, 2022 @ 8:30 a.m: Islamic Law and Jurisprudence. Kamal Gasimov, University of Michigan, Adam’s Fall as An Origin of Social Order: ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Sha‘rani (d. 973/1565) on Genealogy of Islamic Law, Human Deficiency, and Salvation; Rezart Beka, Georgetown University, Articulations of the Jurisprudence of Reality in Contemporary Islamic Thought; Latifeh Aavani, Harvard University, The Making of the Concept of Modern Law (qānūn) During the PreConstitutional Period in Iran (1850-1900); Mohannad Abusarah, University of Toronto, Back to the Origin: Modern Islamic Reformation’s Break with the Tradition.
  • [Harvard / CMES MESA Reception] – December 3, 2022 @ 8:00 – 10:00 p.m.: A reception organized by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. The address is Governor’s Square 12, Sheraton Denver Downtown, 1550 Court Place, Denver, CO. Contact Liz Flanagan at elizabethflanagan[at] with questions.
  • [Session XI-16] – December 4, 2022 @ 8:30 a.m: Islamic Law, Theology and Philosophy. Annalise Pforr, Hellenic College Holy Cross, Texts, Practices, and Embodied Experiences: Religious Experience in the White Monastery of 4th Century Upper Egypt; Mina Khalil, Harvard Law School, Making Society: Doctrinal Shifts on the Eve of Transformation in Nineteenth-Century Ottoman Egypt; Rachel M. Scott, Virginia Tech, Mutual Aid: Reading Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s Treatise on Friendship with an Anarchist Lens; Zain Alattar, UC Berkeley, The Avicennian and Akbarian turn in Shiite Theology: an analysis of two sections of that ‘Ali ibn Sulaymān al-Baḥrāni’s (d. ca. 1274 CE) al-Ishārat wa-l-Tanbhīhāt; John Walbridge, Indiana University Bloomington, Rediscovering Suhrawardi: The Evidence of Manuscripts and Texts; Pouyan Shahidi, Indiana University Bloomington, From experimentation to discovery: Ibn al-Haytham’s color analysis in celestial natural philosophy.
  • [Session XIII-10] – December 4, 2022 @ 1:30 p.m: Bringing in the Other Islamists – comparing Shia and Sunni Islamism. Organized by Jeroen Gunning and Morten Valbjorn. Chair: Morten Valbjorn, Aarhus University. Younes Saramifar, Aarhus University/Vrije Universieteit Amsterdam, We are History: Historical Affect, radical cosmologies and militancy in the MENA region; Courtney Freer, Emory University, An Islamist Disadvantage?: Revisiting Electoral Outcomes for Islamist Parties in the Middle East; Toby Matthiesen, Ca’ Foscari University, Comparing State Sponsorship for Sunni and Shii Islamist movements; Raphaël Lefèvre, Aarhus University/Oxford University and Jeroen Gunning, Aarhus University/London School of Economics, A Regional Jihad? The Transnational Dynamics of Shia Islamist Armed Groups; Andrew Leber, Tulane University and Morten Valbjorn, Aarhus University, What We Talk About When We Talk About Islamists.

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