Opportunities Digest (11 May 2012) – Conferences, Jobs, Degree Programmes and More…

11 May 2012 Issue

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In this issue:

  • Conference Announcements
  • Jobs
  • New Degree Programmes
  • Launch of the ‘Zaki Badawi Collection’ of Arabic books on Islam and the Middle East
  • Journals – advance notice
  • Call for Papers


Apologies for cross posting

Registration is now open for the 4th Exploring the Extraordinary conference, which will take place in York (UK) on the 21st-23rd September. Exploring the Extraordinary is an interdisciplinary network  for those  engaged/interested in research into the ‘extraordinary’ – topics often regarded as paranormal, supernatural, religious, transcendent, ecstatic, exceptional, mystical, anomalous, magical, or spiritual.

This year’s conference papers will include

*History, Spiritualism and psychical phenomena

*Parapsychological approaches to paranormal belief and experience

*Revenants in folklore and society

*Spiritual healing and landscape

*Magical performances, magical geographies

*Experiencing alternate realities and entity encounters

*Ghosts and place

*Music and the extraordinary

*Philosophy, the paranormal and questoning spiritual reality

*Extraordinary experiences, emotions and ethics.

For more information, please visit http://etenetwork.weebly.com or email ete.network@gmail.com

Exploring the Extraordinary is a not-for-profit researcher network run voluntarily, so we greatly appreciate any and all support.

Title: The Land in Between  Three Centuries of Jewish migration

to, from and across Moravia, 1648-1948

Date: 2012-06-04

Description: CFP: “The Land in Between Three Centuries of Jewish

migration to, from and across Moravia, 1648-1948” (Olomouc,

Czech Republic, Nov. 18-20, 2012) Organized by the Kurt and

Ursula Schubert Center for Jewish Studies, Palacky University,

Olomouc, Czech Republic; and the Jewish Studies Program,

Central  …

Contact: hechtlouise@yahoo.com

URL: judaistika.cz/

Announcement ID: 194394


Sufis and Scholars: The Development of Sufism in Britain

2 day conference to be held at Liverpool Hope University

25th and 26th May 2012

The conference will bring together a number of Sufi adherents and

scholars of Sufism to explore the development of Sufism in Britain.

Conference attendance is free but accommodation will need to be booked

in Liverpool.

Contact Ron Geaves, geavesr@hope.ac.uk or 0441 291 151 3036 to confirm




Yale University – Librarian for Asian Christianity


Please find details of a The Gladstone Post-Doctoral Fellow in Contextual Theology, UNIVERSITY OF CHESTER, below

( 1st October – 15th December 2012)

Work within a collegial department with a thriving research culture

Support and advice on publication from a mentor

Free accommodation, breakfast and an evening meal at Gladstone’s Library Hawarden

Office space at the University of Chester

Full access to the library resources at Gladstone’s and the University of Chester

Possibility of a small stipend to cover expenses

Opportunities for paid teaching

Background  Details:

Theology and Religious Studies at Chester is fast becoming one of the leading centres nationally and internationally for contextual, practical and public theologies. This Fellowship has emerged as a result of a partnership between the University of Chester and Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden. The successful Fellow will reside at Gladstone’s Library and have full access to their facilities while also working during the week at the University’s main campus in Chester.

The Fellow’s principal task will be to engage in research activities leading to one major publication and will receive support from the academic team at Chester in achieving that goal. For example, this may involve writing up your PhD for the purposes of publication or writing a journal article based on a new piece of research. The Fellow will also participate in the organization of a 24 hour conference at Gladstone’s Library in an aspect of contextual, practical or public theology (to be negotiated). Any other tasks will be negotiated with the successful candidate.

Applications are welcome from candidates who are within three years of completion of their doctorate. This will normally have been within any aspect of contextual theology (broadly defined), and your proposed research output(s) during the period of the Fellowship should also be in contextual theology. It is expected that the appointed Fellow will be in residence at Gladstone’s Library for the duration of the Fellowship.

Application Process:

Informal Enquiries to: Dr Wayne Morris: w.morris@chester.ac.uk

Applications should be sent by email to Dr Wayne Morris and include:

A full ‘Curriculum Vitae’

List of ‘Publications to Date’

A covering letter detailing how you will utilise the fellowship to develop a research publication (e.g. journal article, getting your PhD ready for publication)

The closing date for applications is 1st June 2012. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview which will take place at Chester before 1st July 2012.


Registration for the four new Master programs in the study of religion at the University of Groningen is still possible for EU students until 15 May 2012. I would be grateful if you could forward this information to students who might be interested in the program, either in its one-year version or in its two-years version (Research Master).

The University of Groningen offers the following programs in the study of religion, all of them newly designed:

1. Religion, Conflict and Globalisation

2. Concealed Knowledge: Gnosticism, Esotericism and Mysticism

3. Origins of Abrahamic Religions: Texts and Contexts

4. Religion and the Public Domain

Zaki Badawi Collection

You are invited to attend the launch of the ‘Zaki Badawi Collection’ at the Boole Library, University College Cork, Ireland.

The late Dr Mohammed Zaki Badawi KBE as Chief Imam of the London Central Mosque and founder of the Muslim College in London made important contributions to the development of British and European Islam. In addition, he was a strong advocate and passionate practitioner of interfaith dialogue.

The substantial Arabic library of Dr Badawi has been given to the University College Cork Library on an indefinite loan. The acquisition of the ‘Zaki Badawi Collection’ provides Ireland with a unique research facility. The University College Cork Library now possesses the most comprehensive and extensive collection of Arabic books on Islam and the Middle East in Ireland to be used both by academic researchers and the public. The collection also provides an opportunity for researchers and the public to study the life and works of Dr Badawi and to honour his immense contributions to Islam in Britain and Europe as a whole.

The collection will be officially launched on 24 May 2012 at University College Cork, 6pm, Boole Lecture Theatre 2 (on main campus).

Prof Tariq Ramadan of Oxford University will give a lecture on Dr Badawi’s contribution to European Islam to launch the collection.



Preternature Volume 3:1. The Early English Witch

The publication of early witchcraft texts created witches by creating controversy about them. Witch-dramas, pamphlets, testimonies about witch-encounters, sermons, and accounts of trials published the anxieties, recounted the long standing suspicions, and sensationalised the physical manifestations that made women into witches. Sometimes accompanied by woodcuts, many texts insisted on the reality, materiality, and immediacy of witches and their familiars. In these, the early modern witch was represented as both a perpetrator of violence and the victim of it. The early modern witch is a fascinating enigma: a legal entity and a neighbourhood resource or nuisance, she purportedly engaged in natural and supernatural forms of wisdom with the potential to heal or harm others, or even herself. The words she spoke, mumbled could become malefic by intent, if not by content. According to the sensationalist constructions of witchcraft, her body was contaminated by the magics she used: she fed familiars with blood, grew spare parts, could not weep, and would not sink. In accounts focused on bewitchment and possessions, the witch vomited pins or personified pollution and a culturally legitimate cunning-person such as a physician or minister or exorcist acted as curative. Despite the skepticism about witches that followed Reginald Scot’s assertions and the decline of legal examinations trials, the early modern witch has remained a vital force in the cultural imagination. Witchcraft remain the focus of academic articles, scholarly volumes, digital resources, archaeological digs, children’s and teenage fiction, popular media and museum studies.

This issue of Preternature, in association with the “Capturing Witches” conference, invites contributions from any discipline that highlight the cultural, literary, religious, or historical significance of the early modern witch. Contributions should be roughly 8,000 – 12,000 words, including all documentation and critical apparatus, and adhere to the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (style 1, employing endnotes). Contributions must be submitted through the Preternature CMS.

Queries about journal scope and submissions can be made to the Editor, Dr. Kirsten C. Uszkalo. Queries concerning books to be reviewed can be made to the Book Reviews Editor, Dr. Richard Raiswell. Queries concerning this special volume can be sent to Professor Alison Findlay and Dr. Liz Oakley-Brown

Full journal style guides are available at http://preternature.org. Information on the early English witch can be found at the WEME project at http://witching.org. Details on the “Capturing Witches

Preternature is a bi-annual publication, published through Penn State Press, and available in print or electronically through JSTOR, Project Muse, and as a Kindle e-book.


The Mohammed Arkoun Doctoral Scholarship

In recognition of the late Professor Mohammed Arkoun’s contribution to the the field of Islamic Studies and allied disciplines, the Institute of Ismaili Studies has established a new scholarship entitled “The Mohammed Arkoun Doctoral Scholarship”.


Mohammed Arkoun (1928-2010), originally from Algeria, was for many years Professor of History of Islamic Thought at the Sorbonne University in Paris. He was an original voice in this field, developing a critical approach to the history of Islam as well as contemporary evaluations of the field in both theological and academic writings on the subject. In particular, he advocated joint use of historical research and concepts from modern linguistics and social sciences with the aim of creating a new discipline of an anthropological history of Islam. He saw this as a further means to a unified science of religion embracing at least all faiths of ‘Mediterranean’ origin as well as modern secular ideologies, which in his view deserved an equally critical examination.

These ideas were disseminated through his many writings, lectures and informal addresses and communication. Mohammed Arkoun was also a keen contributor to practical projects aiming at cultural and intellectual inquiry about the Muslim world. Pre-eminent among these was the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. He also taught at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, of which he was one of the Governors for many years, up to the time of his death.

The doctoral scholarship will be awarded once every four years for a four-year period to a graduate student pursuing research in the field of Islamic Studies, preferably in areas and on questions which are of importance to Professor Arkoun’s work. These include (but are not limited to):

-simultaneous attention to historical and modern issues in Islamic thought and society.

-harnessing the tools of the social sciences and humanities (notably, linguistics, sociology and anthropology) to the study of thought and culture in Muslim societies;

-consideration of theoretical frameworks for a critical understanding of religious thought and imaginaire in Muslims communities and other ‘Societies of the Book’.

This Scholarship will cover both tuition fees and personal expenses , up to the amount of GBP 25,000 per annum, for a maximum of 4 academic years.

Deadline for applications: 15 July 2012

Applications should be sent, in English, to Dr Omar Alí-de-Unzaga at scholarships@iis.ac.ukwith the following documentation in PDF format:

  • covering letter;

  • doctoral research proposal (maximum 2000 words);

  • applicant’s current CV;

  • a writing sample (between 10-25 pages)

  • letter of acceptance from the university where the applicant intends to study.

In addition, the applicant must arrange for three academic reference letters to be sent directly to the above address. Applicants who have already commenced their doctoral studies will be required to submit two academic reference letters AND a letter of good standing from the applicant’s principal academic supervisor.



Call for Papers

for a special issue for the Journal of Muslims in Europe

“Europe with or without Muslims – narratives of Europe”

Guest editors:             Göran Larsson, University of Gothenburg

Riem Spielhaus, University of Copenhagen

We are seeking papers for a special issue of the new double blind-peer reviewed Journal on Muslims in Europe by BRILL to come out in Spring 2013. This special issue seeks to take up tensions in conflicting stories about and different perspectives on Europe’s history and identity that present Europe without Muslims or contrastingly portray Muslims as part of Europe’s past and present.

Under the headline “Europe with or without Muslims – narratives of Europe” we aim to bring together a number of perspectives from multiple disciplinary fields such as history, religious studies, cultural anthropology, political science and sociology in an analysis of diverging accounts and notions of Europe over time and places throughout the continent, open as well to external perspectives. The initial question thereby is, what role Islam and Muslims have played and still play in the imagining of what Europe means. (See more details on different possible themes for contributions below.)

This way we aim to direct our view at the nexus between constructions of Europe and developments within contemporary European Islam providing space both for a critical review of academic approaches and the development of new impulses for future research.

Besides empirical papers we strongly encourage theoretical papers that challenge current research on Islam and Muslims in Europe and reflect on the own position of the researchers and his or her contributions to the construction of Europe and the role and function of Islam and Muslims.

We invite papers that address one of the topics of two sessions described below. Deadline for sending your abstracts: July the 1st, 2012<https://secure.mail.ibt.ku.dk/owa/UrlBlockedError.aspx>. Accepted participants will be notified by July 20, 2012<https://secure.mail.ibt.ku.dk/owa/UrlBlockedError.aspx>. If your paper is accepted, you must submit the final paper (max 10,000 words inclusive of footnotes) by 20 October 2012<https://secure.mail.ibt.ku.dk/owa/UrlBlockedError.aspx>.

Applications to submit a short paper should include: 1. Proposer’s name and affiliation, 2. a title for the paper, 3. a ca. 500 word abstract.

All abstracts and paper should be written in English.

Time frame:

Deadline for abstracts (ca. 500 words)                               1.July 2012

Deadline for sending final papers                                        20.October 2012

Publication                                                                           15.March 2013

Paper proposals should be send electronically in Microsoft Word formats to Göran Larsson, University of Gothenburg: goran.larsson@religion.gu.se<mailto:goran.larsson@religion.gu.se> and Riem Spielhaus, University of Copenhagen: rsp@teol.ku.dk<mailto:rsp@teol.ku.dk>.

For this special issue we invite papers on the narratives imagining Europe with and without Muslims analyzing contents, actors and setting of those narratives that relate to one or several of the following questions:

  1. Localizing debates connecting Europe and Islam:

•     In what way are debates about Europe and its identity mentioning the European past with reference to Muslim’s presence in Europe on the local, regional, national or European Union level? How do these different levels (local, regional, national, transnational) intersect?

  1. Imagining Europe without Muslims:

•    What are the main patterns of the dominant constructions of Europe’s heritage like notions of a Judaeo-Christian heritage? Where and by whom are these narratives told? To what extent are they embedded in European integration or projects of community or nation-building?

  1. Narratives of Europe inclusive of Muslims:

•    In what cases is the Muslim history of Europe used as counter narrative to question the construction of Europe as a Christian continent? What groups of people insist on an imagination of Europe with Muslims? How are these narratives used to strengthen a feeling of belonging and responsibility of current Muslims?

  1. Contextualizing Islam debates in European history of thought:

•    Is it possible to make any comparison between current debates about Islam and Muslims and previous debates about ties between religions and national identities e.g. different Christian denominations in early modern Europe?

  1. Imagining Europe from outside:

•    How is the relationship between Europe and its Muslim inhabitants viewed beyond the Mediterranean? Do accounts of European history and presentations of the contemporary Europe from within and without bear considerable differences?