Roundtable on Method and Meaning in Islamic Law and History: Online Dec 2020-Feb 2021; Live in March 2021  Last December we launched our Roundtable on Islamic Legal History and Historiography featured on the Islamic Law Blog. This Roundtable brought together leading and emerging scholars of Islamic law and history to weigh in on diverse approaches to questions of history and historiography, method and meaning in Islamic legal history. Professor Intisar Rabb wrote the Roundtable’s introduction to set the stage; in it, she succinctly introduces the themes and purpose of the roundtable, highlighting the most significant developments in the field from the mid-19th century to the present. Throughout the month of January, we’ve published eight new essays in the Roundtable. New contributing scholars include: Sohaira Siddiqui (Georgetown University in Qatar), Metin M. Coşgel (University of Connecticut), Boğaç A. Ergene (University of Vermont), Hiroyuki Yanagihashi (University of Tokyo), Marion Katz (New York University), Carl F. Petry (Northwestern University), and an interview with Wael Hallaq (Columbia University). Check out the two most recent contributions: an interview with Michael Cook (Princeton University) titled “Simplicity, Creativity, Lucidity as “Method” in the Study of Islamic History: An Interview with Michael Cook,” and a post by Marina Rustow (Princeton University) titled “Islamic law and the documentary record before 1500: Unsolved problems and untried solutions.” Visit the Islamic Law Blog for new posts throughout February and register to participate in the March live Zoom Roundtable event, where 20 of the contributing scholars will square off. All publications and events are public and of open digital access. 


CONTENT:  Ayodhya Mosque One aim of SHARIAsource is to archive contemporary primary sources in support of research on salient topics. One set of sources pertains to the ongoing legal debates surrounding the disputed land in the Ayodhya region in the District of Faizabad, India, where the 16th century Babri masjid once stood. In recent news, the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation‘s futuristic design of the new Ayodhya Mosque, planned to be built on the site of the Babri Masjid that was demolished in 1992, sparked debate in the country. This mosque will be built on a 5-acre plot of land that was given to the Sunni Waqf Board following the 2019 Supreme Court decision regarding the disputed land. The court decided that the 2.77 acres of land be transferred over to a governmental trust for the purpose of building the Ram Janmabhoomi temple and an alternative 5 acres of land be given to the Sunni Waqf Board in order to build a mosque. This decision overturned the 2010 decision by the Allahabad High Court to divide the disputed land among three litigants. Our portal houses the 2019 Supreme Court case, as well as the 2010 Allahabad High Court case that it overturned. 


CONTEXT:  Spring Calendar of Events We are pleased to announce an exciting lineup of virtual events this Spring 2021! Our ongoing Roundtable on Islamic Legal History and Historiography will culminate in  a live discussion on the work of contributors and offer a chance to reflect on the larger themes, questions, debates, and conclusions that came out of the online Roundtable. Next we have the Islamic Legal Genres monthly workshop, convened by Intisar RabbHakki Arslan, and Necmettin Kizilkaya which will explore the definitions and diversification of genres in Islamic law during the 14th to 19th centuries CE. Also occurring monthly is our Islamic Law Speaker Series, which provides a forum for established and emerging scholars to talk about their recent scholarship, works-in-progress, or developments in the field. This series continues this Spring with presentations by scholars Sohaib Baig and Issam Eido. For video casts of past events, visit the the PIL website and Vimeo. Last but not least in our Spring lineup of events is the Islamic Law, Data Science and AI Lab. This lab will focus on emerging tools in the Islamic digital humanities / data science space, and to developing new components of our in-house data science tools. Stay tuned for more! 


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