Call for Papers: Paris, France International Islamophobia Conference

Monday, Sep 30, 2013 - Monday, Sep 30, 2013

Call for Papers

From Racism to Islamophobia:
The State of the Research in Europe and the USA

CFP Deadline: September 30, 2013

Conference Date: December 12-13, 2013
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris

Jointly Sponsored by the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at
the Center for Race and Gender in UC-Berkeley and CADIS at the Ecole des Hautes
Etudes en Sciences Sociales -CADIS-EHESS

In the past 20 years, our understanding of “racism” has changed dramatically. In France the very term of “racism” is being gradually replaced by the term “discrimination based on origin”. Concomitantly with the development of research on discrimination, the research on Islam is equally expanding. It offers an image simultaneously broad and complex in terms of the historical, global and local representations of the forms of practice and identity of Muslims, in the ways the individuals confront the polemics around it, and in addressing its consequences in many aspects of social life. However, the question of discrimination based on religious convictions remains under-researched. When we explore the current French public debates, we notice that discrimination and religion appear more in opposition than in relation to each other. In addition, the entanglement between ethnicity, last names, skin color and religion through which the criterion of “origin” is socially constructed often contributes to the neglect of their specificities. Due to the growth and empowerment of the topic of islamophobia and the controversies it gives rise to, particularly in France, the purpose of this conference is to bring together researchers and research teams in all the disciplines of the social sciences (Sociology, Anthropology, Political Sciences, Economics, Law, History, etc.) to discuss the articulation between racism, discrimination and Islam.

This first inaugural conference will launch a cycle of encounters, research and events on the subject between the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project of the Center for Race and Gender in the University of California at Berkeley and the CADIS at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. The purpose of this exchange program is to evaluate the recent academic empirical research along three topics :

1) The first topic is related to international, national and disciplinary comparative research. From one country to another the reflections on the topics of racism, discrimination and Islam have different consequences and take extremely diverse paths. Comparing the different national contexts and experiences is crucial. For example, when the term « Muslim » is translated into the Anglo-American context to talk about the multiple events and expressions about the principal figure of alterity in France, its meaning in the French context refers to the maghrebian population or populations of maghrebian origin. So, the term points to different populations and diverse histories, depending on the national context. In addition, different disciplines in the social sciences have shown an uneven interest in these questions. The conference also aims to open up a dialogue among different disciplines in relation to the articulation between Islam, discrimination and racism.

2)The second topic consists in questioning the epistemological status of Islamophobia as a research topic. The idea is to discuss its epistemological position (central or peripheral) and presupposition in the research papers presented in this event. Moreover, we would like to explore the strengths and limits of this concept in relation to different national contexts. The paradigmatic character of the term “islamophobia” in the British context tends to reify it, while the difficulties to legitimate the term in the French context creates an infinite number of precautions that makes it almost impossible to use the term.

3) The third topic is dedicated to the exploration of the individual subjectivities and the way their lived experience evince a link between racism, discrimination and Islam in several areas of social life (institutional, workplace, public spaces, etc.). In other words, the logics of subjectivation and de-subjectivation in relation to the Self, politics, social life and the global articulated by the links between racism, discrimination and Islam.

Please send a title, a 300 word abstract and a short one paragraph biography by September 30th, 2013, to

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