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Spring 2015


Dr. Samy Ayoub (Visiting Professor - UCSB)

Rethinking Legal Authority and State Power: The Case of Early Modern Islamic Jurisprudence

Friday, May 1st / 4:00pm / HSSB 4080

At the intersection of religion, law, and the state lies the opportunity to explore the impact of the state on the legal order. This talk will shed light on such an impact through an examination of authoritative legal works from the 16th –19th  centuries CE, highlighting the understudied late Muslim jurists (al-mutaʾakhkhirūn) in the early modern period. I demonstrate how these late jurists develop their own identities, opinions, and consensus in relation to earlier opinions. This talk will also challenge the status quo of thinking about state power and legal authority in Islamic Studies by showing how late Muslim jurists assign probative value and authority to Ottoman state orders and edicts. This is reflected in the state’s ability to settle juristic disputes, to order specific opinions to be adopted in fatāwā (advisory legal opinions), and to establish its orders as authoritative and final reference points. The incorporation of state orders within authoritative legal commentaries, treatises, and fatāwā collections is made possible by what I identify as a turn in legal culture that embraced the indispensable nature of the state in the law-making process. 


5th Annual Islamic Studies Graduate Student Conference

"Constructing & Contesting Islam in Contemporary Contexts"

May 9th and 10th at the Mosher Alumni House

The Graduate Students in Islamic Studies are pleased to announce the 5th Islamic Studies Graduate Student Conference, which examines the function of contestation of practice, authority, and interpretation in the constitution of competing visions of normative Islam. The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Charles Hirschkind, which is entitled "Reflections from Granada on the Place of Islam in Europe."


Katherine Strange Burke (UCLA)

Early Islamic and Crusader Ceramics from Jaffa: Continuity and Change

Friday, May 15 / 12:00 PM / HSSB 4080

The political transition from Egyptian to Frankish rule at the Mediterranean port of Jaffa at the turn of the twelfth century CE was abrupt. But the ceramic record illustrates strong continuity in regional imports with an increase by the end of the century in those from Byzantine-controlled areas. As the Kingdom of Jerusalem became entrenched in the Levant, Jaffa’s trading contacts widened. Even after Acre supplanted Jaffa as the port of Jerusalem in 1192, Jaffa seems to have retained much of its importance as an importer of fine tablewares from around the Mediterranean, and of grain from the Black Sea. 

Dr. Burke has researched, excavated, and traveled in Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey. As the medievalist for the Jaffa Cultural Heritage Project, she has been constructing a ceramic typology for the Early Islamic and Crusader periods, using previously unpublished finds, and supported by grants from the NEH, the Fondation Max van Berchem, and the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. Her book, The Sheikh’s House at Quseir al-Qadim: Documenting a Thirteenth-century Red Sea Port is forthcoming from the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

Sponsored by Ancient Borderlands Research Focus Group, Center for Middle East Studies, Department of History, Department of Anthropology


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Summer Intensive Arabic - 2015

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