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Workshop: Religion and Nationalism

This workshop is open to all who explore the relation between nationalism and religion in the modern world from the nineteenth century to the present.  The workshop aims to transcend the opposition between religion and nationalism and explore their interaction contextually. What are the changing forms of religion and nationalism through time, and under what local or global circumstances do they become conflicting or mutually reinforcing rubrics for action and identity?

The workshop will be opened by a keynote on "Reluctant Nationalists, Imperial Nation State and Neo-Ottomanism: Turks, Albanians and the Antinomies of the End of Empire" by Nader Sohrabi (convenor of the workshop):

The last years of the Ottoman Empire witnessed intense interaction of religion and ethnicity.  During these years ethnicity vied to become the primary identity frame among the Muslim publics by subsuming religion under it.  Between 1908-1918, the Young Turks set out to rescue and regenerate the empire through onerous state-building and mild ethnic Turkist/nation-building demands that sought to create an imperial nation-state.  The Albanians resisted, but did so through unstable coalitions that wavered between religiosity and ethnicity.  Nonetheless, over time the coalitions broadened to include north and south, overcame religious differences between the Muslim, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian Albanians, and ultimately tempered religion in favor of ethnicity.  Albanian language was touted as the common bond.  When the war broke out, Albanians had already made contingent plans to break off from the empire, even if reluctantly, in response to geopolitical insecurities, and only as an ethnicity in the making.  Affinities between Albanian and Arab nationalism at the end of empire are also explored.

All presentations will take place in room 5.55 (Strohsackpassage, Nikolaistraße 8-10). They are public and listeners are welcome!

Thursday, 14 December

05:00 p.m.

Nader Sohrabi
Reluctant Nationalists, Imperial Nation State and Neo-Ottomanism: Turks, Albanians and the Antinomies of the End of Empire (Keynote)

Friday, 15 December

09:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Setting Secular State into Plural Religious Society of Indonesia

Muchamad Ali Safa'at
Islam, Nationalism, and Secularization in Indonesia

Mascha Schulz
’Secular’ and ‘Holy’ Space: The Affective Geographies of Sylhet

Jeta Abazi Gashi
Religious Extremism and the New Media in Albania and Kosovo

12:30 - 02:00 p.m.
Lunch Break

02:00  - 05:00 p.m.

Markus Dreßler
Physical and Epistemic Violence against Alevis in Modern Turkey

Mohammad Magout
Construction of Islam and Arabism in al-Nahḍa

Hakob Matevosyan
Armenians of Eastern and Central Europe: Competing Visions of Armenianness