Fall 2020 Calendar

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The Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School (PIL) is pleased to announce an exciting lineup of virtual events this Fall 2020. We hold myriad public events and provide other programming and support for students, research fellows, and scholars working in the field of Islamic legal studies, with attention to the intersection of those studies with data science.

About the Program. PIL is a research program dedicated to promoting research and providing resources for the academic study of Islamic law and history, using data science, through a host of online and offline platforms, including the following:

Professor Intisar Rabb leads the Program as Faculty Director and editor-in-chief of the Publications, along with Mona Rahmani, who serves as Associate Director. Find out how to connect! Subscribe for updates on events and publications by emailing us or visiting our website.


PIL convenes an Islamic Law Lecture Series that provides a forum for established and emerging scholars to talk about their own recent scholarship, works-in-progress, or developments in the field. Unless otherwise noted, all sessions will be convened and moderated by Sohaib Baig, the 2020-2021 Fellow at the Program in Islamic Law.

Nurfadzilah Yahaya, National University of Singapore
Discussant: Iza Hussin, University of Cambridge, Pembroke College
Tuesday, September 15  |  12:00-1:00PM EST  |  via Zoom

Join us for the Program in Islamic Law’s Academic Year 2020-2021 Book Talk Series launch! Prof. Nurfadzilah Yahaya (National University of Singapore, Dept of History) will speak on her new book, Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia. She will be joined by discussant Dr. Iza Hussain (University of Cambridge, Pembroke College, Dept. of Politics and International Studies), author of the book The Politics of Islamic Law: Local Elites, Colonial Authority and the Making of the Muslim State. Register here. *Registration required.


PIL @ the HLS Student Activities Fair
Thursday, September 17  |  7:30-9:30PM EST  |  via Zoom

The Program in Islamic Law welcomes students, new and returning, in a virtual open house. Join us to learn about the Program, opportunities for students, and meet others with similar interests. Registration required. This event is only open to HLS students and affiliates.

Elizabeth Urban, West Chester University
Tuesday, October 20  |  12:00-1:00PM EST  |  via Zoom

Prof. Elizabeth Urban (West Chester University, Dept of History) will speak on her recent book, Conquered Populations in Early Islam: Non-Arabs, Slaves and the Sons of Slave Mothers. She will be joined by discussant Prof. Matthew Gordon (Miami University, Dept of History). Registration required; details will be announced closer to the date.

Elias Saba, Grinnell College
Tuesday, November 17  |  12:00-1:00PM EST  |  via Zoom

Dr. Elias Saba (Grinnell College, Dept of Religious Studies) will speak on his book, Harmonizing Similarities A History of Distinctions Literature in Islamic Law. Registration required; details will be announced closer to the date.

Nathan Spannaus, University of Jyväskylä
Tuesday, December 1  |  12:00-1:00PM EST  |  via Zoom

Dr. Nathan Spannaus (University of Jyväskylä, Postdoctoral Researcher in Philosophy) will speak on his book, Preserving Islamic Tradition: Abu Nasr Qursawi and the Beginnings of Modern Reformism . He will joined by discussant Dr. Paolo Sartori (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Iranian Studies). Registration required; details will be announced closer to the date.


Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World at Harvard Law School – Indian Muslim Women’s Movement: For Gender Justice and Equal Citizenship

Wednesday, September 9  |  12:00-1:30PM EST  |  via Zoom

The webinar features Zakia Soman and Dr. Noorjehan Safia Niaz (Co-founders of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) and Co-authors of “Indian Muslim Women’s Movement: For Gender Justice and Equal Citizenship”) to discuss their activism and advocacy for women’s rights in a Muslim minority context including their strategic litigation efforts in the context of India’s constitutional framework and their recent successes. Alex McCarthy of Musawah, the global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim Family, will moderate the conversation. Register here.

Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program (AISP) – Library Resources for (Remote) Research in Islamic Studies

Friday, September 18  |  2:30-4:30PM EST  |  via Zoom

This workshop will cover topics including library resources for Islamic Studies at Harvard, resources during the pandemic and digital support, and searching Hollis as well as other databases. Presenters include Sarah DeMott (Middle East Liaison and Research Librarian, Lamont Library) and Emily Coolidge Toker (Learning Technology Specialist, Middle East and Linguistics Liaison, Lamont Library). Register here.


Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS), Data Science Services group / in partnership with the Harvard Business School, Research Computing Services group

Workshop Series through 20 November   |  via Zoom

The Data Science Services group at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS), in partnership with the Research Computing Services group at HBS, provide software workshops each semester that are available for free to members of the Harvard community. Full registration details are found on the DSS website.

Find information on other virtual global events in Islamic Law and digital humanities on the PIL calendar, updated regularly. 

Join the mailing list: pil.law.harvard.edu

 Contact us: [email protected]