Battle of the Historians: Last December we launched our Roundtable on Islamic Legal History and Historiography featured on the Islamic Law Blog. The Roundtable was prompted by three major shifts in the study of Islamic law and history: the rise of digital humanities, an increase in the publication of handbooks, and new attention to more expansive categories of study, such as legal canons. This online discussion brought together leading and emerging scholars of Islamic law and history to weigh in on diverse approaches to questions of method and meaning in Islamic law and legal history. From start to finish, we published 21 essays , culminating in a Live Roundtable Webinar in March to highlight and discuss the various ideas real-time. We divided the online conversation into three panels, each covering a major theme from the online Roundtable. Michael Cook, Najam Haider, Carl Petry, Yossef Rapoport, Marina Rustow, and Elizabeth Urban took part in the first panel on Legal texts as sources, where they discussed disciplinary differences in approaching sources and gave advice to legal historians-in-training. Ersilia Francesca, Rob Gleave, Haider Hammoudi, Marion Katz, and Sohaira Siddiqui debated Approaches to fiqh texts on the second panel. Finally, Metin Cosgel, Bogac Ergene, Irene Kirchner, and Intisar Rabb outlined new work on Quantitative methods: Computational approaches to Islamic Law and history, where they discussed what can be gained by blending quantitative and digital methods with traditional approaches. The full webinar is now available at the PIL website and Vimeo.
See the full newsletter.