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Call of Applications: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action: Early Stage Researcher, Mediating Islam in the Digital Age

June 15, 2019

The MIDA-project rests on the premise that digitisation and technological innovations have a tremendous impact on Islam, the effects of which are diverse and ubiquitous. They include first and foremost modes of expression and communication of religious messages and traditions and modes of engagement with society. Digitisation and concurrent innovations as they emerged in the past decades belong to the list of comparable fundamental technological transformations in human history such as the invention of paper, printing technology, steam power, electricity and telecommunication, which constituted major upheavals, even if these were not experienced in all societies and by everyone at the same time, in the same way.

It is commonly recognised that the digital revolution will indeed deeply transform human societies, much as the industrial revolution did in the nineteenth century. However, the rapid changes that are currently taking place generate a sense of loss of control and instability among the general public, politicians, journalists, academics, and, not least, among Muslims themselves. The spread of modern digital media and new technologies of communication, production and dissemination, prompts researchers and social actors, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to make sense of, and understand these developments. Consequently, they have shaken up Islam as a field of academic study and have impacted on the ways Islam is to be studied in the future. The specificity of the current digital revolution calls for a re-evaluation of past situations and reflection on future prospects.

MIDA assesses these developments in all their dimensions by formulating three major questions.

How does digitisation :

  • shape Islam (i.e. beliefs, practices, societies, activism, political organisations, social institutions, and outlooks);
  • modify the relation Muslims have with their past;
  • modify and reorganise scholarship and research on Islam.

Project descriptions:

  • From oral command to written memories. A case-study: one of the first Arab Muslim autobiographies, ‘Abd Allâh b. Buluggîn’s Memoirs, 11th century
  • Islamist movements in Morocco in their ‘other languages’: uses of the Arabic and Berber vernacular varieties in the digital spheres
  • Dubbing or subtitling? The socio-cultural context of exported Turkish television series
  • Mosque architecture and scripture in the contemporary Muslim world
  • The commodification and displacement of waqf portable assets from the 18th century onwards
  • Wartime photography and portraiture in Khomeini’s and post-Khomeini Iran
  • Constructing and deconstructing Islamic authority and knowledge online and offline: competing Muslim discourses in the Moroccan diaspora in Europe, in particular the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany
  • Networks of transmission of Islamic knowledge and mobility patterns of scholars in the pre-modern world
  • Mecca between photography, phonography and motion picture in the colonial period
  • Loss, memory and mobilisation: al-Andalus on the Internet

The online application form allows applicants to upload their master’s degree certificate, CV, one reference letter, two-page proposal, and motivation letter.