Islamic Law + History + Data Science @ MESA 2020 The Middle East Studies Association’s (MESA) Annual Meeting is currently underway from October 5 through October 17, 2020 and now completely virtual! The Program in Islamic Law (PIL) has curated a roundup list of panels related to Islamic law/Islamic history and data science/digital humanities. Upcoming presenters include PIL editors and partners in data science projects with two main sessions that showcase developments in the field: Maxim Romanov (University of Vienna) on Big Data and Mega Corpora in Middle East Studies (10.08.20 at 1.30p) as a part of panel highlighting digital corpora and emerging software tools that facilitate historical analysis; and Maxim Romanov together with Sarah Bowen Savant (Aga Khan University-ISMC) showcasing the power of digital humanities to transform our understanding of the social and cultural history of the Middle East (10.15.20 at 11a), including a close look at training data sets marking chains of transmission (isnads) and a new approach to master chronicling Islamic history. Other presenters have included PIL editors Mairaj Syed (University of California, Davis) on Cities of Hadith: A Big-Data Approach applying computational and statistical methods of analysis on the data found in the Gawami al-Kalim hadith software to quantify and locate in space and time hadith transmission in early Islamic history; Najam Haider (Barnard College / Columbia University) on a panel Promoting Public Scholarship in Middle East History. For a full roundup of Islam & Data Science, Middle East Medievalists, and Harvard faculty and affiliates at MESA, see the full roundups here.
CONTENT: Kariye Museum Conversion Alongside the now infamous decision to convert the Hagia Sophia into a mosque, Turkish President Recep Erdogan issued Presidential Decision Number 2840 to transfer the management of a second site, the Kariye Museum, the Ministry of Religious Affairs to similarly restore it as a mosque. His executive decision followed on a November 2019 Turkish Council of State Court Decision Annulling a Cabinet Decision of 1945 Converting the Kariye Mosque into a museum; that decision held that there had been a contravention of the waqf (trust) deed that had dedicated the building as a mosque. Read more on the Islamic Law Blog case roundup on the Turkish Decision on the Kariye Mosque.
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