Cfp: On Religion and Politics: Post- and Decolonial Interventions (ECPR General Conference, Hamburg 22-25 August 2018)

Cfp: On Religion and Politics: Post- and Decolonial Interventions (ECPR General Conference, Hamburg 22-25 August 2018)

Call for papers:
On Religion and Politics: Post- and Decolonial Interventions

ECPR General Conference, Hamburg 24-26 August 2018

Section: Revisiting Religion and Politics Research: Achievements, Critique, Future Questions

Panel Chair: Zubair Ahmad, BGSMCS, Freie Universität Berlin (zubair@zedat.fu- berlin.de)

Discussant: N.N.
Deadline: 4th February, 2018 Panel Description

Postcolonial and Decolonial analyses have developed an extensive and valuable body of scholarship. In doing so, they have problematized and critiqued the Eurocentric formation of colonial modernity, along with its forms of epistemic and sociopolitical violence, its contradictions, and contingencies. Furthermore, they have altered analytical avenues in order to critically reevaluate the persistence of Eurocentric hegemonies (normative assumptions, epistemological structures, and power effects) accompanying and underpinning our present. Whereas these scholars have significantly shaped disciplines such as history, comparative literature, anthropology, or the study of religion, it is remarkable how their contributions remain marginal, if not absent, within the study of politics.

Against this backdrop, this panel seeks to provide a forum for critically engaging with postcolonial and decolonial scholarship. It does this by specifically turning toward the, by now, famous dyad of religion and politics. Departing from the premises that European colonization has been a “major, extended and ruptural world-historical event” (Stuart Hall), postcolonial and decolonial interrogations have long suggested convoluted histories of religion and politics. The epistemic, conceptual, and effective formation and history of religion and politics, as a dyad, these scholars suggest, has taken place in close proximity with Europe’s colonial endeavors – their reverberation and duress haunting our very present. From knowing and governing the colonized and (post-)colonial Other to ordering the colony, religion and politics have a longer history and much more complex presence than the liberal paradigm of investigation usually suggests, or forces upon our very inquiries. Engaging with the relationship of religion and politics since the 1970s and 1980s, subfields such as comparative politics or political theory have neglected these and other postcolonial/decolonial insights while keeping colonial epistemologies, divisions, questions, and orders in tact.

In order to address this troubling state-of-affairs within the study of politics, the panel invites contributions from decisively postcolonial or/and decolonial perspectives. The overall aim is twofold: Firstly, to evaluate and problematize the hegemonic, and therefore persistent, analytical avenues taken within a more mainstream engagement with religion and politics and, secondly, to broaden the scope of engagement, depth, and analysis by introducing postcolonial/decolonial questions, epistemologies, modes of investigation, and problematizations to an important and still ongoing debate.

Please submit your abstract (350-500 words) to Zubair Ahmad (zubair@zedat.fu-berlin.de) no later than 4th February.

Zubair Ahmad
Doctoral Fellow
Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies
Freie Universität Berlin
Altensteinstraße 48 | 14195 Berlin

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