About Princeton Islamic Studies Colloquium

Fall 2014 Events



Next Event: Thursday, 9/18 - "Transmitting a Revival"

Thursday, September 18, 2014
12.00-1.20 pm
Jones 102
Presenter: Aaron Rock-Singer (NES)
Paper title: "Transmitting a Revival: The Negotiation of Mass Religious Education in Egypt, 1976-1981"
Discussant: Max Weiss (HIS/ NES)

A light lunch will be served

Extra-institutional Islamic education in Egypt today is ubiquitous. Open-air booksellers hawk subsidized religious pamphlets and fatwa collections which compete alongside an amalgamation of foreign and domestic satellite television channels. Local Islamic associations and mosque offer lectures and classes while state-run public schools (known as "civil" schools) provide a daily religious curriculum. Scholars such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi and lay preachers-turned-televangelists such as ‘Amr Khaled speak to a transnational audience through satellite television. How did religious education become so easily available? This chapter interrogates the origins of this development between 1976 and 1981 and argues that a broad decentralization of religious transmission emerged primarily from the shift of Islamist elites away from public religious education reform and only secondarily from technological change, the pedagogical logic of state-sponsored education and the grassroots da‘wa efforts. In doing so, it challenges previous studies which place the latter three factors as central and seeks to restore historical context and agency to these actors, elite and non-elite, and the multiple projects of religious transmission that they inaugurated.


About the PISC

The Princeton Islamic Studies Colloquium is a forum for discussion and peer review of graduate students' research projects and guest scholars' works-in-progress in the field of Islamic Studies. The Islamic Studies Colloquium formed in the spring of 2009 with the hope of encouraging an interdepartmental discussion and circulation of ideas among graduate students and professors with an interest in Islamic Studies.

The colloquium meets once or twice a month over lunch to discuss a pre-circulated paper, and all attendees are expected to have read and reflected on the paper beforehand. A discussant initiates the conversation with a summary of the work in progress' main argument, taking care to identify what the piece contributes to current scholarship as well as the potential for further development. Following the author's response, a moderator conducts an hour of mediated discussion. The forum is led and organized by graduate students.

PISC is supported by the generosity of Princeton University's Department of Religion, the Department of Near Eastern Studies and the Center for the Study of Religion.

Please contact pisc@princeton.edu for more information.


Fall Schedule 2014

              All meetings will take place in Jones 102 at 12pm. A light lunch will be served.

9/18 - Aaron Rock-Singer (NES)
Transmitting a Revival: The Negotiation of Mass Religious Education in Egypt, 1976-1981

10/2 - Emily Goshey (REL)
Intimate Circles and Exclusive Networks at Saudi Islamic Universities

10/16 - Nebil Husayn (NES)
Enmity for Ali and His Family: The Discourse between Anti-Alid and Anti-Shī‘ī Sentiments

10/23 - Cecilia Palombo (NES)
“How Can We Be Idolaters?” Representing Christians as Pagans Between Byzantium and Islam (6th-7th centuries)

11/6 - Megan Brankley Abbas (HIS)
The Struggle Against Intellectual Dualism: Western Education and Islamic Religious Authority in late Colonial Indonesia

12/4 - Brahim El Gualbi (COM)
The “Self” and the “Other” in the Prison Poetry of Abū Firās al-Hamadani (al-Rumiyyāt) and al-Mu‘tamid ibn ‘Abbād (al-Aghmatiyyāt)


Last updated: September 2014.