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Boundaries, Flows, and the Construction of Muslim Selves through Architecture: special issue of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture

Type: Calls For Papers [View all]
Posted by: University of Kansas
Deadline: Mon, October 30th, 2017

Special Issue: Boundaries, Flows, and the Construction of Muslim Selves through Architecture 

Thematic volume planned for June 2019
Proposal submission deadline: October 30, 2017

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This special issue of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture takes as its starting point how a new sense of ‘boundary’ emerged from the post-nineteenth-century dissolution of large, heterogeneous empires into a mosaic of nation-states in the Islamic world. This new sense of ‘boundary’ has not only determined the ways in which we imagine and construct the idea of modern citizenship, but also redefines relationships between the nation, citizenship, cities and architecture. Whereas political debates today question the compatibility of Islam with the concept of the nation-state, the construction of the twentieth-century Islamic world was embroiled in debates around the nature of the modern state itself. Such debates oscillated between Islam as a political ideology and Islam as a personal belief system. These debates were often troubled by novel uses of ‘boundary’ in both physical and conceptual forms linked to the phenomenon of the nation-state. These boundaries were further challenged by flows of persons, materials, and ideas that destabilized the political configuration of the nation-state itself.

Hence, in this special issue of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture we invite papers that bring critical perspectives to our understanding of the interrelation between the accumulated flows and the evolving concepts of boundary in predominantly Muslim societies, and within the global Muslim diaspora. This special issue seeks to investigate how architecture mediates the creation and deployment of boundaries and boundedness that have been devised to define, enable, obstruct, accumulate and/or control flows able to disrupt bounded territories or identities. More generally, it proposes to explore how architecture might be considered as a means to understand the relationship between flows and boundaries.
The concept of boundary is further intricately entangled with the concept of flows. In the era of global flows of information, commodities, resources and people, boundaries work together with flows as two corresponding factors in constructing the spatial experience of Islamic societies. Several issues nevertheless complicate the relationship between boundaries and flows. For instance, Muslim diasporic movements, through voluntary migration seeking a better life elsewhere or forced displacement due to war, genocide or climate change, challenge our normative view of Islamic architecture outside of the normative Islamic world. The Muslim diaspora creates its own niches that confront and conform to complex global flows of socio-cultural dynamics, ranging from hate crimes and political resentments to a global awareness of diversity and minority.
The focus of the contributions to this special issue of IJIA should follow these variant forms of disruptive flows and address the question of how architecture – defined broadly – creates nuanced definitions of Muslim selves. With an objective to better understand how, in the age of global capital, architecture mediates the forces that constitute flows and boundaries, the contributions should address architecture not only as the byproduct of socio-political forces, but also as the active promulgator of those forces. 

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Posted on Thu, August 10th, 2017
Expires on Mon, October 30th, 2017

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