CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT & CALL FOR PAPERS

MUSLIM FUTURISM:

DEFINITIONS, EXPLORATIONS, AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS

 

MIPSTERZ, in partnership with Colorado College, Duke University, University of Miami, Columbia University, and the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, is pleased to host a virtual conference to take place between January 21-23, 2022, entitled: “Muslim Futurism: Definitions, Explorations, and Future Directions.” MIPSTERZ is a nonprofit arts and culture collaborative focused on curating, enabling, and amplifying Muslim creative voices.

 
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 THIS CONFERENCE 
  AIMS TO : 

  • Define Muslim Futurism as an idea, aesthetic, and framework
     

  • Explore the potential, reach, and intersection of Muslim futurism(s) in imagining a
    Muslim future

     

  • Provide and develop ways to expand our knowledge on Muslim futures
     

  • Be simultaneously rigorous and accessible to a broad audience

 

Muslim Futurism attempts to imagine a utopian future free from the hegemonic and oppressive realities of anti-Black racism, Islamophobia, orientalism, homo-trans phobias, sexism, ableism, settler colonialism, nationalism, imperialism, militarism, supremacy-nativism, and
everything in between. Inspired by and building upon Afrofuturism, we hope to create conversations centered on five themes:
imagination, identity, community, resistance, and liberation. We have broadly defined these themes here:
 

“Imagination” examines the expression of cultural aesthetics and celebrations of joy related to a utopian future as reflected in science-fiction, surrealism, magical realism, mythology, and fantasy.
 

“Identity” examines identity creation and the effects of hegemonic structures on personhood, dignity, and thriving in all forms (gender, sexuality, racial, cultural, social, economic, etc).
 

“Community” explores social variables that have led to the coalescing of individuals around shared values (e.g. cosmopolitanism, social consciousness) and the contribution of the individual. 
 

“Resistance” aspires toward a Muslim future free from oppression and draws parallels to the anti-racist, social/gender justice, and progressive struggles and movements against colonialism, imperialism, white supremacy, and other forms of systemic oppression.
 

“Liberation” borrows from liberation movements (Islamic, Latinx, Black, indigenous, etc.) to illustrate what a “free” existence and utopia mean and for whom. 

 

CALL FOR PAPERS

Potential paper topic examples include:

  • Differences between an Islamic, Islamicate, and Muslim future: how normative, metaphysical, and descriptive definitions shape our understanding of various futurisms

  • Revisiting “Sultana’s Dream”: historical analysis and exploration of themes and ideas in contemporary Muslim science fiction and fantasy literature

  • Muslim joy and imagination as resistance and liberation: envisioning Muslim joy as part of future freedom

  • From the Night Journey to Islamic mysticism: poetic discourses, visions, and dreams in the construction of a fantastical Muslim Future

  • Collective and equitable imagining: whose Muslim future? Who is included and who gets to decide?

  • Islamic allegory and allusion in Dune, Star Wars, and other sci-fi fantasy works: an examination of the use of Islamicate culture as integral to non-Muslim American speculative futures and its impact on the Muslim imagination

  • Do Muslim cyborgs dream of an afterlife? An Islamic bioethics perspective on post-humanism

  • Where's the Qiblah in virtual reality? Envisioning Muslim cyber-"space"

  • A new Nation: Malcolm X, Noble Drew Ali, and Elijah Muhammad’s visions of a Muslim future

  • Are there Muslims in the future? Examining how oppressive forces and insidious forms of hatred impact futuring, imagination, and identity construction 

This is not an exhaustive list, and we encourage a diverse interpretation of the conference topic. We welcome submissions by academics, philosophers, theologians, essayists, storytellers, educators, students, artists, and working groups. 
 
This is an academic conference held with the goal of translating these ideas to a wider public. To that end, abstract and paper submissions will be held to standards of relevance to Muslim futurism, coherence and clarity of argument/topic, and accessibility to non-expert audiences.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

 

Please upload a 300-word abstract of the paper you plan to present to our online form by August 1, 2021. If selected, a 15-minute presentation will be due by October 1, 2021 and a final paper (3,500 to 5,000 words) will be due by December 1, 2021. Presentation details will be communicated following acceptance.

 

We welcome non-text-based submissions. To that end, use the submission form to describe your work and what form it will take.

Of note, co-authors are welcomed, but a corresponding/presenting author should be identified and be available to present the work. The work should be original and not previously published elsewhere. 


We plan to make all presentations available as part of an online archive and all presentations will be recorded. The archive will be digitally available and be incorporated as programming for an immersive art experience; more information can be found at muslimfuturism.com. Additionally, we plan to collate all presented papers in the form of an edited collection. If this collection comes to fruition, we hope that all presenters will publish their work with us. 

Abstract submissions are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted!

 

HOW TO REGISTER

Attendance is free and open to the public. Details on how to register for the virtual conference will be forthcoming. To stay informed, please sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram/Twitter for regular updates. The conference agenda will be posted on our website once abstracts are selected. 

Please contact us with any questions via email at info@mipsterz.com

 

SPONSORS & ORGANIZERS

Support for this conference as part of the ALHAMDU immersive art experience is provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art’s Building Bridges Program. Additional support provided by the Arabic, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies group at Colorado College, Duke Islamic Studies Center at Duke University, the Department of Religious Studies and Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Featured Speaker Series in Islamic Studies at the University of Miami, Center for the Study of Muslim Societies under the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, and the Center for Afrofuturist Studies.