Re-examining the place of textuality in Islamic Studies

The Social Life of Islamic Texts and Concepts

Basit Iqbal


Joud Alkorani

August 16, 2021


Professor Basit Iqbal explores methodological debates in anthropology that have centered on the varying role of texts. The conversation turns to the difference between an anthropology of Muslims and an anthropology of Islam; the vexed disciplinary relationship between theology and anthropology; and the capacity of textually-grounded concepts to offer unexpected perspectives. He recounts how the role of texts in his own ethnographic project shifted and also impasses he now faces in the writing of violence.

Host: Joud Alkorani
Recorded: Dec 25, 2020

Basit Iqbal

Basit Kareem Iqbal is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at McMaster University. His book manuscript in progress, based on ethnographic fieldwork in Jordan and Canada, is titled “God Grants Relief: Tribulation and Refuge after the Syrian Uprising.” His publications have appeared or are forthcoming in Qui Parle, Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, Anthropological Theory, The Journal of Religion, and The Muslim World, among others.

Joud Alkorani

Joud Alkorani is a PhD Candidate at the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, where she is also affiliated with the Center for Diaspora and Transnational Studies. Joud is also currently a Dissertation Fellow at the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. An anthropologist by training, Joud’s current project is an ethnography of how neoliberal economic and social policies shape the everyday lives of migrant Muslim women in Dubai. Her research lies at the intersection of diaspora and transnationalism, religion and spirituality, and the modern Middle East.

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