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Islamic Law Speaker Series: “The Imam of the Christians: The World of Dionysius of Tel-Mahre, c. 750–850” with Philip Wood, Program in Islamic Law, May 14, 2024 @ 12:30 – 1:30 pm

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On Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at 12:30-1:30PM US EST via ZoomPhilip Wood (Aga Khan University) will give a book talk on The Imam of the Christians: The World of Dionysius of Tel-Mahre, c. 750–850 (Princeton University Press, 2021) as part of our Islamic Law Speaker Series. This book examines how Christian leaders adopted and adapted the political practices and ideas of their Muslim rulers between 750 and 850 in the Abbasid caliphate in the Jazira (modern eastern Turkey and northern Syria). Focusing on the writings of Dionysius of Tel-Mahre, the patriarch of the Jacobite church, Wood describes how this encounter produced an Islamicate Christianity that differed from the Christianities of Byzantium and western Europe in far more than just theology. In doing so, Wood opens a new window on the world of early Islam and Muslims’ interactions with other religious communities. Register today!


PIL–LC Research Fellowship Application, 2024-2025, February 15, 2024

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In collaboration with the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School is pleased to invite applications for the 2024-2025 PIL–LC Research Fellowship (due: February 15, 2024). This newly offered fellowship is designed to provide an intellectual home to promising young scholars in Islamic legal studies, to advance their research, and to contribute to the intellectual life of the Program, the greater Harvard community, and the Library of Congress community. The unique opportunity afforded by this joint fellowship award allows the selected fellow to pursue independent research on Islamic law and history that utilizes the extensive collections of the Harvard Libraries and the Library of Congress. The PIL–LC Research Fellowship award is a full-time residential fellowship at Harvard Law School (for nine months, during the academic year) and at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress (for three months, the following summer).

Successful applicants will have completed an advanced degree (JD, PhD, or SJD) before the start of the fellowship, and plan to pursue a scholarly research agenda in Islamic law that engages legal history, law and society, or comparative law approaches. Fellows will receive a stipend for the duration of the fellowship.

To apply for this fellowship, please submit the following materials via the research fellowship online application form by February 15, 2024:

1. a curriculum vitae

2. a research proposal consisting of

  • a single-paragraph abstract of your proposed research
  • a research statement, not to exceed 1500 words (3 single-spaced pages), and
  • a bibliography of works you have consulted that describes the proposed work during the fellowship period.

The proposal should outline research in your area of expertise or interest related to contemporary or historical issues of Islamic law that can be accomplished during the fellowship term; projects are to utilize the Harvard and Library of Congress collections to advance a novel contribution to scholarship through research in Islamic law, with a legal history, comparative law, or law and society approach.

3. an explanation of why Harvard/PIL and the Library of Congress are the required venue for your research (e.g., identification of specific Harvard/PIL resources and Library of Congress collections that are necessary to pursue the research project)

4. a writing sample of no more than 25 pages in length, in English (which can be a recent publication or unpublished work; works-in-progress are especially welcome)

5. 3 reference letters from recommenders who are to upload letters directly at the referee link.

A panel of scholars at both Harvard and the Library of Congress will review your application materials. The panel will consider your application in relation to numerous other proposals. Evaluation criteria will include:

  • The significance of the contribution that the project will make to knowledge in the field
  • The quality or the promise of quality of the work
  • The quality of the conception, definition, organization and description of the project
  • The likelihood that the applicant will complete the project
  • The appropriateness of the research for Harvard/PIL resources and the Library of Congress collections

Please ensure that your references have ample time to consider and comment on your proposal. Letters of reference are more highly regarded if they address the specific proposed activity and how well the candidate is suited to undertake it, as opposed to letters that verify character, limit comments to previous work, or make only general observations on the topic.

Following a process of committee review, applicants will be notified of decisions in March 2024.

Deadline: February 15, 2024

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Islamic Law Speaker Series: “The Rise of Critical Islam: 10th-13th Century Legal Debate” with Youcef L. Soufi, Program in Islamic Law, March 5, 2024 @ 12:30 – 1:30 pm

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The Rise of Critical Islam: 10th-13th Century Legal Debate

This event will take place via Zoom.  The link is available here.

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Islamic Law Speaker Series: “The Transition of Ottoman Land Law: Theory and Practice between 16th-18th Centuries” with Fatma Gul Karagoz, Program in Islamic Law, April 9, 2024 @ 12:30 – 1:30 pm

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Islamic Law Speaker Series:: Fatma Gül Karagöz (2023-2024 PIL-LC Fellow)

The Transition of Ottoman Land Law: Theory and Practice between 16th-18th Centuries

This event will take place via Zoom.  The link for this event is available here.

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Roundtable: Islamic Land Law, Program in Islamic Law, Harvard Law School, February 21, 2024 @ 12:30 – 1:30 pm

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WED 21 FEB 2024 | 12.30-1.30 | via Zoom

Event::Roundtable on Islamic Land Law

The roundtable focuses on the transformation of the Ottoman land system in the 19th century, particularly examining the 1858 Land Code (Kanunname-i Arazi) and its impact on land laws in the Ottoman Empire’s successor states. With case studies focusing on Bosnia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia, the roundtable will explore how these changes influenced the balance between labor and capital, the privatization of estates and agricultural lands, the legal rights of landholders, and the link between land ownership and sovereignty. The discussion aims to understand continuity and change between Ottoman and successor state legal systems by analyzing bureaucratic interactions and the use of Ottoman and European legal sources. By also considering the political and economic reasons behind these legal changes, including how new administrations used them for nation-building, the roundtable offers new perspectives on legal continuity and adaptation in post-Ottoman regions.

The link for this roundtable is available here.

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SHARIAsource Lab :: Hackathon: Arabic OCR Community Scribes, Program in Islamic Law, March 2, 2024 @ 12:00 – 4:00 pm

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On March 2 from 12-4pm US EST at the Program in Islamic Law’s office in Austin Hall and via Zoom, our SHARIAsource Lab will lead a Hackathon: Arabic OCR Community Scribes event [registration link to come]. Join us for a chance to help write the next chapter in the history of the Arabic script where we bring our efforts together to finally develop a dependable program that will allow texts using Arabic script to be machine readable. This work in checking and reviewing documents will allow scholars to access, search and explore historical and contemporary documents like never before. No knowledge of coding or programming is needed but knowledge of Arabic script is a must to train the machine learning program to recognize them. Lunch will be provided for those who RSVP. Drop by for however long you can to meet, chat, and transcribe!

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Islamic Law Speaker Series: “Creating a new Criminal Law: The Military-Administrative origins of Siyasa” with Mohammed Allehbi, Program in Islamic Law, February 13, 2024 @ 12:30 – 1:30 pm

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Islamic Law Speaker Series:: Mohammed Allehbi (2023-2024 PIL-LC Fellow)

Creating a new Criminal Law: The Military-Administrative origins of Siyasa

The event will take place via Zoom.  Visit here for the link.