HUMN 3025 Conceptualising Islam

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102494

Coordinator Milad Milani Opens in new window

Description The 'Muslim question' has been a topic of interest to Western scholarship for over four hundred years. This subject introduces students to multidisciplinary approaches to the study of Islam and invites students to consider the construction and deconstruction of Islamic Studies as a field of study at various stages of history. The subject provides students with the opportunity to gain increased awareness of both the debates within the field and those that scrutinise the field. That is, becoming comfortable with interrogating the cluster of theoretical and methodological strategies for scholarly inquiry into Islamic Studies.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Discipline Sociology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject


Successful completion of 60 credit points of study in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Critically assess Islamic Studies scholarship from the past leading up to the present;
  2. Describe central thinkers and their works that have contributed to the development of the field
  3. Analyse the history of scholarship and approaches to the study of Islam and Muslims;
  4. Apply reflexive methodologies and theories to reading Islam in contemporary society; and
  5. Recognise key influences and changes in the history of field to the present age.

Subject Content

1.Situating Islam in academic discourse
2.Nineteenth and twentieth century scholarship
2.1 German Orientalism and Islamic Studies
2.2 European Orientalism and the Saidian reaction
3.The invention of geographies and rhetoric
3.1 'Normative' Islam
3.2 'Authenticity debate' in Islamic Studies
4.Identity formations
4.1 Islam and Muslim identities
4.2 Diversity in religious expression and practice
5.Theorising Islam
5.1 The insider-outsider debate
5.2 The role of critics and caretakers
6.The Historical imagination of the Muslim past
6.1 Muslim accounts of origin
6.2 Skeptical accounts of origin

Prescribed Texts

  • Ahmed, S. (2016). What is Islam? The Importance of Being Islamic. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Hughes, A. (2007). Situating Islam: Past and Future of an Academic Discipline. London: Equinox.

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