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Islamic Literature in Albanian Language 1945-2022:

Production and dissemination of Islamic knowledge at the periphery

Conference

Durres, 30 Sept.-2 Oct. 2022


Call for papers

Two developments in the past two decades have brought Islamic literature among European Muslim communities to the centre of scholarly attention. The first one was the awakening of local Islamic identities in the wake of global outreach of different Muslim groups who have often used books as a vehicle to spread their ideas. Literally, tons of Arabic and occasionally English books were imported into Eastern Europe after 1990. Dozens of titles have been translated, occasionally written, printed and distributed gratis in thousands of copies. Salafi books enumerating major ‘errors’ in the local understanding and practice of Islam have regularly been followed by counter-literature, original or translated, defending the local practice. This debate often led to examination of Islamic education institutions curricula, textbooks and required reading lists.

The second factor is the securitisation of all things Islamic. It is common to presume that Islamic literature plays a major role in the radicalisation process. Some countries have established extensive lists of forbidden books. Others have desisted from such medieval practices but have been equally concerned. This ongoing debate has motivated a closer examination of Islamic literature in Albanian language as it has often been at the centre of various debates about foreign influence on local Islamic practice.

Islamic literature in Albanian language since 1990 could be examined from a number of angles. First, it can be compared in quantitative terms to the period before 1990 as well as to the literature in languages of other native European Muslim communities (e.g., Bosniaks, Tatars, Pomaks). Second, one could compare publications of the major Islamic organisation in the country, i.e., the Islamic Community with those of private publishers, both commercial and non-profit ones. Three, it can be analyzed according to the topics covered and orientations of its authors. When doing that, noting absent themes, authors and schools of thought is as important as identifying the most frequently published authors. Four, one may talk about general characteristics, problems and perspectives of publishing Islamic literature in Bosnian.

This conference examines Islamic literature in the Albanian language between 1945-2020 in quantitative and qualitative terms. The key aim of the conference is to explore how the freedom to produce Islamic literature among the Albanians has resulted in myriad engagements with wider Islamic literature. By doing this the paper explores one facet of how post-Communist Albanians relate to the broader Islamic “umma” and its implications for Islam in Europe.


The main topics of the Conference

Contributions are invited to address any aspect of the main theme including but not limited to the following topics:

  • Quantitative analysis of Islamic literature production 1945-2022
  • Dominant themes and authors
  • Religious textbooks vs other types of literature
  • Translation movement (in Quran, Tafsir, Hadith, Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Sira, etc.)
  • Classical vs contemporary book translations
  • Quality of translations and publications
  • Consumers of Islamic literature
  • The impact of Islamic literature relative to other means of transmission of Islamic knowledge such as mosque attendance, informal networks or new media
  • The future of Islamic literature in Albanian at home and in the diaspora

Other important info

  • The language of the conference is English
  • The abstracts and draft papers will be evaluated by the scientific committee
  • The papers should be between seven and nine thousand words long
  • Travel and accommodation costs of the selected paper presenters will be covered
    by the organizers (one person for multi-authored presentations)

 

Inquiries, abstracts and papers should be sent to

office@cns.ba


Important dates

  • Deadline for abstract submission: 1 July 2022
  • Notification of the acceptance of the abstract: 15 July 2022
  • Submission of full paper: 1 September 2022
  • Conference dates: 30 September – 2 October 2022

Scientific committee

  • Dr. Ardian Muhaj, Director, AIITC, Tiranë, AL
  • Prof. Dr. Ahmet Alibašić, Director, Center for Advanced Studies, Sarajevo, BiH
  • Prof. Ass. Dr. Ramiz Zekaj, Director, IETT, Tiranë, AL
  • Prof. Dr. Fahrush Rexhepi – Dean of FIS, Prishtina, KS
  • Prof. Dr. Shaban Sulejmani – Dean of FSHI, Shkup, NM
  • Mr. Sabri Bajgora – Director of Research Institute on Islamic Studies, Prishtina, KS

Organizing committee

  • Anisa Hykaj, Coordinator of the Conference, Tiranë, AL
  • Asmir Aljić, Secretary, CAS, Sarajevo, BiH
  • Resilda Muça, Secretary, IETT, Tiranë, AL
  • Resul Alić, Assistant Secretary, CAS, Sarajevo, BiH

Organised by
Albanian Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (AIITC), Tirana
Center for Advanced Studies (CAS), Sarajevo
Institute of Education, Heritage and Tourism (IETT), Tirana

In cooperation with
International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), USA
Center for Cross-Cultural Understanding “Horizonti”, Montenegro