IIIT Islamic Studies Junior Faculty Workshop

The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) invites applications for its inaugural Islamic Studies Junior Faculty Workshop. The workshop is designed to provide a forum and support for junior faculty in Islamic Studies and related disciplines, and to help them navigate the straits of tenure-track and junior faculty life – both personally and professionally. This 2-day workshop will be held at IIIT office in Herndon, VA. The workshop will take place over two full days on May 25 and 26 (Wednesday and Thursday) 2016. Participants are required to attend all sessions.

Faculty Mentors:
Prof. Abdulaziz Sachedina (George Mason University)
Prof. Asma Sayeed (UCLA)
Prof. Jonathan Brown (Georgetown University)
Dr. Jamillah Karim (independent scholar, formerly at Spelman College)

Workshop Description and Purpose:  
The inaugural IIIT Islamic Studies Junior Faculty Workshop will bring together junior scholars of Islam (post PhD but not yet tenured) and senior faculty mentors for a candid, substantive, and meaningful conversation on various professional and pedagogical aspects and challenges of being a junior scholar of Islam in North American colleges and universities. We imagine this to be a workshop that generates important conversations and possible breakthroughs on pressing questions of navigating the academy as a junior scholar of Islam.
The workshop will strive to engage the following pertinent topics:

  • Designing and teaching courses on Islam in increasingly diverse and at times conflicting undergraduate classrooms
  • Navigating the questions of violence, race, the Israel-Palestine conflict and other controversial questions as untenured scholars on college campuses
  • Balancing and negotiating personal research and teaching with the public projections and responsibilities that come with being a scholar of Islam in the post 9/11 context
  • Addressing specific challenges associated with being a junior female scholar of Islam with respect to research, teaching, and both formal and informal advising
  • Tackling obstacles posed by academic norms of socialization, such as in academic conferences, for many Muslim scholars of Islam

These are all issues that are much discussed, debated, and talked about in private conversations and hallways but rarely in the form of a systematic, formal, yet candid fashion. That is precisely what this workshop aims to accomplish. IIIT, as a premier institution that is at once closely connected to Western academia and to Muslim communities worldwide, represents the ideal forum for this kind of a conversation. In addition to generating an important and much needed dialogue, through this workshop we also hope to build a community and network of junior and senior scholars to serve as a peer support group for many years to come. The format of the workshop will be largely interactive with a mix of individual reflections, group discussions and exercises, and faculty mentor talks.