Local and global Islamophobias - Workshop in Oslo
This workshop is for invited researchers only.
Islamophobic discourse is global but takes a variety of local expressions across the world today. Research literature about the problem is growing, but few studies look at the comparative and global aspects of the issue.
Islamophobia is a contested concept and for simplicity we follow Bleich (2011) and define Islamophobia as “indiscriminate negative attitudes or emotions directed at Muslims”. See aso Lopez (2011) for questions of definition. Negative attitudes and emotions directed against Muslims are expressed in different local languages using different symbols and narratives according to time and place, but there are also common themes. We ask two separate but related questions.
Firstly, we want to know to what extent similar patterns can be identified between various local Islamophobic discourses and how these should be studied comparatively. What are the similarities and differences across different political and cultural contexts? How do specific religious/cultural traditions inform local Islamophobias? What are the required research methods to understand patterns?
Secondly, we ask how local and global expressions of Islamophobia relate to each other. In particular, we are interested in knowing more about how key local “entrepreneurs” or “mediators” – individuals, groups, organizations - connect local and global Islamophobic discourses across various media.
Instead of only focusing on Islamophobias in the West, as most research has done, we want to bring in new knowledge about how indiscriminate negative attitudes or emotions directed at Muslims take shape in other cultural contexts, including, but not limited to, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and a range of Christian societies. Papers will look at Islamophobic discourses from a comparative perspective and at mediation and translation between local and global discourses. Papers may present research findings, but this is an exploratory workshop that seeks to define important questions for future research and delimit new ways of studying the dynamics of local and global Islamophobias.
Bleich, Erik (2011) What is Islamophobia and How Much Is There? Theorizing and Measuring and Emerging Comparative Concept, American Behavioral Scientist, 2011, Vol.55(12), pp.1581-1600
Lopez, Fernando Bravo (2011) “Towards a definition of Islamophobia: approximations of the early twentieth century” Ethnic and Racial Studies Vol. 34, No 4, pp. 556-573