The aim of the Critical Muslim Studies program is to explore the consequences of placing Muslims, Islam and the Islamicate within the context of “modern/colonial capitalist/patriarchal western-centric/christian-centric world-system” that begins to emerge after fall of Granada and Columbus’s voyage in search of riches in Asia.
This recontextualization does not only invite a re-telling of contemporary developments in the fields of politics, spirituality, theology, gender, racism, ethics, economics, but also raises questions about adequacies of disciplinary categories deployed in that re-telling. Western linear and Eurocentric historiography has been central in providing world-historical narratives that conceals its philosophical, economic, and scientific debt to Islamicate societies and cultures. The radicality of this Critical Muslim Studies re-contextualization of the Islamicate arises from the way in which epistemological and socio-cultural considerations are foregrounded in considerations of Muslim experiences and Islamicate phenomena.
This summer school is not a space for critiques of Islam from a Christian-centric, Western-centric perspective of the hegemonic Eurocentric fundamentalist form or of the subaltern Islamic fundamentalist variety.
The Granada Summer School program is structured around six major orientations:
- A rejection of Eurocentrism in in its varied formulations: philosophical, cultural, geopolitical, patriarchal, and socio-economic.
- A critique of Orientalism and its reproduction both in conventional social science (especially in its positivist framings and methodologies) and in reactionary literalist readings of the Islamic traditions and Islamicate history.
- An exploration of decolonial thinking not simply to translate contemporary Muslim experience as manifestation of ‘wretched of the Earth’ but also to deepen and radicalize decolonial thought as a consequence of its engagement with the Islamicate.
- A cultivation of a liberation theology configured around Islam. The program will privilege critical responses from within the Islamic tradition of thought to the challenges posed by the way we live today.
- A development of post-Madhabi perspectives on Islam and Islamicate phenomena that denaturalize rather privilege sectarian divisions. The program explicitly rejects attempts to essentialize divisions between Sunni and Shia both intellectually and politically.
- An embrace of the diversity of Islamicate heritage and it engagement with scholarship from other traditions and positions.