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Call for Papers: Secularism as a Value, Princeton, New Jersey, May 4-6, 2023

March 1, 2023

Secularism is a central feature of many constitutions. Over the last several decades, critical scholars have mounted highly effective challenges to secularism – arguing that it is ethnocentric and oppresses minorities. But the rise of populist and authoritarian nationalism movements, which have co-opted religious institutions and traditions, has given legal and political guarantees of secularism a new salience. These developments make understanding secularism, and whether and why it is valuable, particularly important.

This two-day workshop aims to create a forum for scholars (including graduate students) to offer and obtain feedback on new or ongoing theoretical accounts of secularism as a legal and political value. The workshop will be an opportunity to bring new voices and perspectives on secularism into conversation with the work of more established scholars. Importantly, it will be an opportunity for cross-disciplinary discussions on secularism. We aim for the workshop to extend beyond the typical legal jurisdictions studied (France and the US) to particularly invite theoretical scholarship on legal and political secularism in jurisdictions in South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

We invite the presentation of work at all stages, including short papers or synopses, article-length drafts and book proposals. Please upload a single file containing a CV and an abstract of under 500 words to https://www.dropbox.com/request/AcxZUxRXJIWUYdc1FW0h by 1 March 2023. Please include your last name in the file name. 

The workshop will be held between 4 and 6 May 2023 in Princeton, New Jersey. Limited funds are available to support speakers’ travel costs. Online participation will be considered where speakers are otherwise unable to attend.

Organisers: Dr Nathaniel Mull, Princeton Writing Program and Professor Farrah Ahmed, Melbourne Law School and the Princeton University Center for Human Values. This workshop is sponsored by the Princeton University Center for Human Values.


March 1, 2023
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