Call For Papers


Respect Graduate School, Inaugural Conference

“Islam in America: Civic and Religious Youth Identities”

October 21-22, 2017

** NOW ACCEPTING PAPERS **

Respect Graduate School is calling for papers to participate in our inaugural conference, “Islam in America: Civic and Religious Youth Identities.”  The conference welcomes critical discussions around one of the most pressing issues in our society: facilitating the productive development of multiply-cultural youth across various communities of faith.  We wish to attract papers that analyze those spaces, practices, and concepts that provide youth hailing from religious communities with the tools for healthy self-development and constructive socio-civic contribution.  We wish to identify the specific challenges facing youth of faith in America today, such as obstacles in our educational institutions, the gender gap and institutionalized patriarchy, racism and white supremacy, making the most of the social media, and navigating the social activism landscape.  Building on Homi Bhabha’s notion of ‘third spaces’ (1991), the conference aims to bypass the inside-outside dichotomy that continues to frame much academic and social discourse on cultural experiences.

Islam in America aims to create a learning community platform and welcomes papers addressing various religiously-identified youth groups.  We are soliciting balanced participation by diasporic Islamic communities – immigrant-origin as well as Black American and Latino American – in conjunction with other faith communities.  It is our hope that such a collaborative learning effort will actuate a cross-pollination of best-practices and theoretical, conceptual richness for understanding and cultivating healthy and productive religious and civic identities for youth.  To this end, we welcome papers from across all academic disciplines.  Drawing on either scholarly literature or community involvement, we invite contributions from researchers and practitioners to offer new concepts, case studies and models, or to share experiences in families, schools and communities that can facilitate healthy youth development.  Papers may address: How can culturally or linguistically diverse youth hailing from religious communities build integrated identities and become productive citizens?  How can we go beyond cultural conflict models to explore complex religious and civic identities?

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Bilingual and bicultural competencies
  • Immigrant v. Indigenous religious authority
  • Pedagogies and habitus: religious/spiritual education, formal and informal
  • Reflections on the Gender Gap, or how patriarchy continues to control our institutions
  • Ongoing dialectic between integrationist and assimilationist approaches
  • Youth spaces of interfaith activity
  • Immigrant youth, social change, and activism
  • Sexual freedom as religious and/or civic identity
  • Positive/negative roles of social media in civic and religious youth narratives
  • Best practices in education and community building
  • Communal expectations and social conformity

Now accepting papers! Please submit an abstract of up to 500 words with your full name, paper title, academic institution, and department or community/faith organization, along with contact information, to zkhan@respectgs.us.  This CFP is open to undergraduate and graduate students, community organizers, activists, and organizers, members of clergy and congregations, educators, university faculty, and scholars.  Several conference papers will be selected for academic publication.  A limited number of travel scholarships are available for presenters.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Ingrid Mattson will be delivering the keynote address for this conference.  Dr. Mattson is currently the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College in Western Ontario.  She previously served as Director of the Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary and was the founder and former Director of their Islamic Chaplaincy Program.  She was the Associate Editor of The Muslim World and has contributed dozens of scholarly publications on topics such as Muslim ethics, Qur’anic interpretation, environmental responsibility, women, and family law, etc.