ISIS Conference – Studying Islam: Text and Context

On Friday April 16th, the Interuniversity Research School for Islam Studies (ISIS) organises its opening conference ‘Studying Islam: Text and Context’.

ISIS is a collaboration of eight Dutch universities that all attach great importance to the study of Islam. Its main aim is to combine the social scientific approach to the study of Islam, which has been greatly stimulated over the last years, with the more classical humanities approach, so that they can enhance one another. In its formation, representatives of various disciplines have been engaged, taking into account the importance of the historical perspective and study of the historical development of Islam. It is hoped that an inclusive approach will deepen the understanding of Islam in The Netherlands considerably.

During the conference, lectures will be delivered by anthropologist Prof. dr. Brinkley Messick, who focuses on writing and reading as cultural phenomena in his research on Muslim societies, and Professor of Law Shaheen Sardar Ali, whose research interests include international law of human rights; women’s rights; public international law; Islamic law and jurisprudence; gender and the law; and constitutional theory and alternate dispute resolution. Studying Islam: Text and Context

* Date 16-04-2010

* Time 13.30 – 17.00

* Venue: VU University Auditorium,


13:30 Reception

13:45 Welcome address by conference chairman Thijl Sunier

14:00 Opening speech by a representative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

14:15 Lecture by Brinkley Messick – Islamic Texts: the Anthropologist as Reader

15:00 Coffee break

15:30 Lecture by Shaheen Sardar Ali – Teaching and Learning ‘Islamic Law’ in a Globalised World: Some Reflections and Perspectives

16:15 Plenary discussion in response to the lectures

Discussants: Ruud Peters and Maurits Berger/Nico Landman

17:00 Drinks


Brinkley Messick
Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University, New York. Author of The Calligraphic State: Textual Domination and History in a Muslim Society (University of California Press, 1993). He is currently at work on a book on the doctrine and court practice of shari’a law in the prerevolutionary twentieth century Islamic state of Yemen.

Shaheen Sardar Ali
Professor of Law at Warwick University, UK. Author of Indigenising Development Processes: Some experiences on development and good governance in the NWFP of Pakistan (Oxford University Press, 2008). Her teaching and research interests include International Law of Human Rights, Women’s Human Rights, Children’s Rights, Public International Law, Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, Gender and the Law, Constitutional Theory and Alternate Dispute Resolution.

Registration: To register for this conference, please send an email with your name and affiliation to

Directions to conference venue VU Auditorium

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