Netherlands Interuniversity School for Islamic Studies


24 May 2019
13:30 - 17:00
University of Amsterdam, Roeterseilandcomplex A2.06

Workshop: “Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies in Dialogue”

Co-organised by the Amsterdam Centre for Middle Eastern Studies (ACMES) and the Netherlands Interuniversity School of Islamic Studies (NISIS)
24 May 2019, University of Amsterdam, 1:30-5pm

Islamic and Middle Eastern studies are cognate academic disciplines, but scholars in both fields often go about their research in relative isolation from each other. Various reasons account for this, not least institutional ones: Middle Eastern Studies and Islamic Studies tend to be associated with separate university units (and hence with different research methodologies), the former with area studies, the latter with religious studies and theology. Middle Eastern Studies emphasize the political, social and economic organisation of the modern and contemporary Middle East, while Islamic Studies include areas of the Islamic world beyond the Middle East and devote substantial attention to the formative and middle periods of Islamic civilisation. Most controversially, perhaps, the two disciplines tend towards divergent evaluations of the role played by Islam in the history and current configuration of the Middle East. Yet in spite of these dissimilarities, researchers in both areas, in many fruitful ways, benefit from each others’ work. This workshop seeks to facilitate conversations between researchers from both disciplines, by inviting Dr. Maaike Voorhoeve (University of Amsterdam), Dr. Farid Boussaid (University of Amsterdam), Prof. Thijl Sunier (VU Amsterdam) and Prof. Gerard Wiegers (University of Amsterdam) to reflect on common themes, and engaging the broader community of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies scholars in a conversation about their mutual perceptions and shared research interests.

You can register for this event by filling out this registration form. The registration deadline is 13 May.
For the course description, please click here.

Location: University of Amsterdam, Roeterseiland , Room REC A2.06.


13.30-13.40: Welcome by NISIS director Prof. Christian Lange

13.40-15.00: Session 1: Authority
Thijl Sunier (VU Amsterdam) and Farid Boussaid (UvA)

15.00-15.30: Coffee and tea

15.30-17.00: Session 2: Power
Maaike Voorhoeve (UvA) and Gerard Wiegers (UvA)

17.00: Drinks

Texts to be read in preparation

After the presentations there is time to discuss the papers in light of the assigned readings. Please send us an e-mail at if you would like to receive the readings in advance. We would be happy to share them with you.

Session 1: Authority

Maghraoui, Abdelsalam. “Political Authority in Crisis: Mohammed VI’s Morocco” Middle East Report, no. 218 (2001): 12-17.

Sunier, Thijl. “Moral Failure, Everyday Religion and Islamic Authorization.” In: Straying from the Straight Path: How Senses of Failure Invigorate Lived Religion, edited by Daan Beekers and David Kloos, 107-124. New York: Bergbahn, 2017.

Session 2: Power

Van Koningsveld, P.S. and Gerard Wiegers. “The Islamic Statute of the Mudejars in the Light of a New Source” Al-Qantara 17, no. 1 (1996): 19-58.

Dupret, Baudouin. “The Practice of Judging: The Egyptian Judiciary at Work in a Personal Status Case.” In: Dispensing Justice in Muslim Courts:
Qadis, Procedures and Judgments, edited by M.K. Masud, R. Peters and D. Powers, 143-168. Leiden: Brill, 2005.