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Conference | Network event

NISIS Network Day

Friday 20 January 2017
Old Observatory
Sterrenwachtlaan 11
2311 GW Leiden

The theme of the fifth annual NISIS Islamic Studies Network Day is: 'Polder Islam 2017'. Several speakers will give lectures on topics related to this theme, and in the afternoon a panel discussion will be held. For the time schedule please see the programme of the Network Day

The NISIS Islamic Studies Network Day provides an excellent opportunity for PhD candidates and students to acquaint themselves with the newest developments in the field of Islamic studies and to exchange information and experiences with colleagues and specialists. This event is open to all. To attend, please register by sending an email to nisis@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Theme - Polder Islam 

Dutch society is engaged in a heated and polarised discussion on Islam; often without taking the voices of Muslim citizens seriously. For the Islamic Studies Network day 2017, NISIS has asked (Muslim) participants from different backgrounds (e.g. academia, politics, journalism) to discuss their views. NISIS aims to bring together representatives from academia, politics, society and media in order to discuss relevant questions around this topic.

Questions such as the following will be addressed:
- How does the debate on Islam relate to and maybe effect Muslims’ sense and expressions of religiosity? 
- To what extent can their interpretation of Islam be understood as a ‘polder Islam;’ an Islam that might be at least partly shaped by the Dutch context?
- To what extent may Dutch society expect religious groups to adapt, and to what extent does such an adaptation entail a compromise towards religious practice and/or to identity?
- How do Muslims combine their Muslim identity with other identifications as Dutch citizens? More concretely: In what ways  do they wish, succeed, or fail to insert their Muslim identity in their participation in Dutch society as Dutch citizens?


Nadia Bouras - "The Origin of a Moroccan ‘Polder Islam’ "

Nadia Bouras (Amsterdam 1981) completed her PhD-research on Moroccan migration and transnationalism from a historical and gender perspective. She currently works as a university lecturer at the History Department of Leiden University and as the representative of NIMAR, the Dutch Institute in Rabat (Morocco). She teaches courses in Moroccan history, migration, transnationalism, European politics and mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion.

Berna Toprak - "Why do we talk more about veiling than about the number of Muslim women in leadership positions?"

Berna Toprak is a researchmaster student Gender & Ethnicity at Utrecht University. She is particularly concerned with feminism in Muslim communities and to what extent the emancipation debate in the Netherlands is inclusive of the perspective of women of color.

Umar Mirza - title t.b.a. 

Martijn de Koning - “Challenge, Complicity and Change – Academic research with Muslims and the regime of surveillance: time for new questions?”

How can Muslims integrate into society, how can a Dutch Islam emerge, how do Muslims identify as Dutch citizens (if at all)? These are only a few of the questions that dominate the debates on Islam and Muslims. In this lecture I will argue that these questions are only part of the story and that this one-sidedness is part of the issue we should address: how a regime of surveillance has emerged and how researcher risk becoming part of the security gaze.

The racialized security gaze results into a politics of general suspicion affecting all Muslims or people marked as such and the questions we ask as academics contribute to that. The regime of surveillance expresses, as I will show, a discomfort of being observed, gazed and held accountable as well as attempts to evade the disruption of daily life. Although researchers can never completely avoid to be part of the hegemonic gaze on minority groups, we should however recognize the problems that come with putting the burden of the security gaze upon Muslims and leave the dominant frames unquestioned.

Martijn de Koning works at the Department of Islamstudies of the Radboud University Nijmegen and the Department of Anthropology of the University of Amsterdam. He has published on religious identity of Moroccan-Dutch youth, the Salafism phenomenon, Muslim militant activism, anti-Islamophobia activism and racialization. In Nijmegen, he teaches about migration and transnationalism and Islam in Europe. In Amsterdam, he is currently involved in a project on Muslim Marriages and the NWO funded project Forces that bind and/or divide.

Hanina Ajarai - "I don't hate gay people"

Hanina Ajarai is a Dutch journalist, she has a weekly column in AD. Before that she worked as an editor at nrc.next. She studied Arabische Talen en Culturen at Leiden University. In 2006 she wrote "Land van Werk en Honing" with Marjolijn van Heemstra in which first generation Moroccan-Dutch women recount their migrationstories. ​

Call for applications poster presentations

During the network day, junior researchers are given the opportunity to present their research on posters, which will be on display throughout the day. PhD candidates and research master students, whose research focuses on the study of Muslims, Muslim societies and Islam in the broadest sense of the word, are invited to apply for a poster presentation. 

The poster (A3 size) should contain the following information:
- title;
- supervisor(s) involved in research;
- short description of research topic;
- short biography;

PhD candidates and research master students, whose research focuses on the study of Muslims, Muslim societies and Islam in the broadest sense of the word,  are invited to apply for a poster presentation by sending a short biography (including current affiliation) and short abstract of their research (300 words max) to nisis@hum.leidenuniv.nl. NISIS junior members automatically qualify for participation, but need to register by sending an email to nisis@hum.leidenuniv.nl. The deadline for application is Monday 2 January 2017.
The deadline for handing in posters (A3 size, pdf format, by email) is Sunday 13 January 2017 at the latest, so that NISIS can take care of printing. 

NISIS junior members have the opportunity to gain 1 EC for their succesful participation in the Network Day. In order to receive 1 EC, participants must prepare a poster presentation and show active participation. 

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