Call for Papers – “Muslims and Education” CIMS Workshop

Since 2015, the CIMS platform has successfully brought together Muslims of different persuasions – primarily the mainstream Sunnī and Shīʿī schools – to appreciate each other’s perspectives on various historical and theological issues.  
The inaugural CIMS Academic Workshop taking place between Monday 6th March –  Tuesday 7th March 2023, seeks to advance discussions into the academic arena on issues that affect Muslims collectively and tackle the challenges in an impactful manner. 

About the Workshop

The Inaugural Annual CIMS Academic Workshop, hosted by Al-Mahdi Institute (AMI), provides a forum for considering issues related to Muslims and education. The theme for this opening workshop is deliberately broad, as it aims to encompass a range of matters concerning Muslim communities in the West when it comes to the various contexts of education.

One of these educational environments is represented by the centres of traditional learning across the different Muslim denominations; be they the Dūr Al-ʿUlūm, which have their roots in Deoband, the Ḥawzāt ʿIlmiyyah in the Shīʿī context, or the Madrassahs operating in the Islamic ‘diaspora’. In addition to these, the last three decades have seen the emergence of Muslim colleges, delivering traditional Islamic studies at higher education level, focusing on various schools within Islam in academic learning settings.

Furthermore, mosques, Islamic centres and pulpit platforms have become institutions through which Muslim practitioners, Imams and Shaykhs, are able to disseminate Islamic teachings. This stage has traditionally been, and largely remains, a means of pedagogical learning. In contemporary times, however, the suitability and efficacy of the traditional pulpit platform has come into question, considering the evolving needs of Muslim communities, particularly in the West.

Aside from Islamic education, Muslims are also involved in environments of secular learning, higher education and university campuses, wherein they face challenges by virtue of their Muslim identities. These include various instances of Islamophobia and the problem of securitisation of Muslim students. In addition to these external hurdles, sectarianism is a problem that Muslim students can sometimes face from fellow Muslims of different persuasions.

Call for papers – Points to consider

The workshop invites paper proposals directly engaging with questions related to Muslims in various educational settings. Proposals in the following areas are particularly welcome: 

  • Empirical studies giving insights into institutions of traditional Muslim learning, irrespective of the denomination they focus on. These institutions may include Islamic seminary-type environments, more academically orientated colleges, and Islamic centres and madrassahs.
  • Insights from Muslim practitioners with respect to their own challenges as well as the evolving needs of the communities they serve.
  • Findings from ethnographic research on Muslim students in higher education. The workshop would be further interested to accept papers exploring issues of Muslim identity in higher education and its intersection with the issue of gender. 

The inclusive model of the workshop is pleased to host presenters from diverse traditional seminary and academic backgrounds, alongside relevant practitioners, from a range of disciplines. As has become an effective format in other workshops convened at AMI, discussions will be positioned alongside contributions from broader historical, jurisprudential and anthropological approaches – thereby enriching a multidisciplinary understanding of contemporary outlooks dealing with Muslims and education. 

All accepted applicants will have their accommodation and board arranged by AMI, in addition to the travel logistics also being borne for presenters from the UK and the EU. 

Application Requirements

In submitting an application to present at the workshop, applicants also commit to submitting a 6,000-10,000 word article four months after the workshop, as listed below: 

Proposals for a single presenter should include the following: 
  • Tentative title and Abstract (400-word limit).
    • The deadline for abstract submission is Friday, 9th December 2022
    •  Successful applicants will be notified by Friday, 16th December 2022
  • Applicant’s brief bio and CV (maximum two pages highlighting the applicant’s publications and recent professional positions) 
  • Applicant’s contact information.
  • Proposals and queries should be sent by e-mail to: Muhammed Reza Tajri: [email protected]

Full Article Paper (Post-Workshop)

  • Final papers are to be submitted by Monday, 3rd July 2023, in line with the house style of AMI Press. 
  • Authors should review the editor’s comments and recommendations and then resubmit articles. The outcome of the editor’s review will be communicated to the authors by Monday, 14th August 2023.
  • Presenters whose articles are successfully completed for publication will be granted an honorarium.