Liberalism and Islam in contemporary global literature (BRAIS Conference, University of Edinburgh, June 2022)

Priyadarshini Gupta's picture
Call for Papers
January 15, 2022 to January 28, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Religious Studies and Theology, Race / Ethnic Studies, Literature, Islamic History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies

Post-9/11 interdisciplinary scholarship has considered questions of Islamophobia, Islam’s incompatibility with the democracy, Muslims as either ‘victims’ or ‘perpetrators’, or Muslims responding or adapting to the Muslim demonization in and outside the Muslim world. But there is little to no scholarship on how Islam in everyday life shapes or is shaped by western liberalism in post-9/11 global fiction. To that effect, this panel aims to understand the complicated relationship between liberalism and Islam through contemporary Muslim literature. It also seeks to understand the ways in which contemporary fiction and its depiction of “acceptable” Islam have Orientalized Muslims in a post-9/11 economy.

This panel will discuss the ways in which liberalism manufactures a certain vision of Islam, one that promotes a Western creed of equality, liberty, and acceptability even after being vulnerable to Islamic terrorism. Liberalism also shapes global trends of secularism, terrorism, and migration in relation to Islam. Therefore, this panel complicates and uncomplicates the relation between western liberalism, orientalism after 9/11, and Muslim identity politics through literary productions. Topics include but are not limited to:

  1. “Every day Islam” in Literature
  2. Liberalism and Orientalism
  3. The relation between piety and its performance in Muslim everyday life in Literature
  4. Neo-Orientalism in global literature.
  5. Muslim identity politics and liberalism in western spaces. 

Please send a 300-word abstract with a short bio to Priyadarshini Gupta at by the 28th of January, 2022.