Congratulations Class of 2021! A Remote Year in Review: Congratulations to the Class of 2021! Going remote last March first gave us the opportunity to be innovative as we shifted online, expanding our many resources and programming to an even wider community. As we conclude a full year during these unprecedented times, we want to reflect on all of the exciting programs and events that came to light this year, some of which are still underway at the Program in Islamic Law.
The start of the term began with the Roundtable on Islamic Legal History and Historiography on the Islamic Law Blog. From start to finish, we published 21 essays, culminating in a live webinar that highlighted the diverse approaches to questions of method and meaning in Islamic law and legal history. Soon thereafter, we kicked off the year-long monthly workshops on Islamic Legal Genres monthly workshop, convened by Intisar Rabb, Hakki Arslan, and Necmettin Kizilkaya, to explore the definitions and diversification of genres in Islamic law during the 14th to 19th centuries. This Spring has so far featured scholars Murteza Bedir, Mohammad Fadel, Sohail Hanif, Ahmed El Shamsy, and Samy Ayoub, with more in the months to come. 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, also continued this Spring with presentations by scholars Sohaib Baig and Issam Eido sharing their forthcoming scholarship.
Then there are the (particularly exciting!) data science initiatives. The SHARIAsource Portal added more curated special collections alongside its cache of primary sources of Islamic law contributed by scholar-editors and libraries around the globe. We developed two new data science tools this year— soon to be made public: Courts & Canons (CnC) and SearchMonger— and continue collaborative work on eScriptorium and the related CorpusBuilder. These three projects result from collaborations that we believe will revolutionize the field by facilitating new research and insights into Islamic law and history. Stay tuned for summer news as we embark on exciting next steps: opening up each project to researchers, editors, and data scientists ready to join the growing community around them. First stop: check out Omar Abdel-Ghaffar and Jamie Folsom will be presenting our Courts & Canons (CnC) project at the Digital Humanities Summer Institute. Next: check out the Lab sessions you missed at the Islamic Law, Data Science and AI Lab, convened by Intisar Rabb and Zahra Takshid, where scholars, students, and professionals highlighted emerging data science tools for Islamic use and watch out for news of the next Lab sessions featuring our in-house data science tools.
In short, we’ve been up to a lot! All of this has been achieved with the continuing support and engagement of both the local community – including students of the Class of 2021 – and members of the global community, such as yourself. Thank you!
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