Symposium on the Politics of Time, Material Culture and Islamic Religiosity
About: This symposium brings together scholars who work on different regions of the historic and contemporary Middle East and Islamicate world in order to explore how history-making as a modern intervention has transformed the everyday lives of people through refiguring religious and political realities on the ground. It further seeks to interrogate the processes by which material culture, time and Islam as a discursive concept and practice are co-constitutively reconfigured, their institutional possibilities and the dynamics through which such interactions generate multiple temporal experiences of history even while articulating distinctive epistemological, temporal and cultural worlds. In exploring the imagined ends and practical means of these political and social projects of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the symposium aims to make disciplinary connections between history, religious studies, comparative literature, archaeology, anthropology, development studies, post-colonial research, heritage and material culture. This general orientation facilitates the exploration of how material objects, images and sites are enfolded into authoritative practices of historicity and time in the twentieth and twenty first centuries in ways that question the naturalist assumptions of the linearity and developmentalist trajectory of the modern nation-state.