Department of social anthropology seminar with Brian Silverstein

The Department of Social Anthropology has the pleasure to invite you to
this week's seminar. Prof. Brian Silverstein from the School of Anthropology, University of Arizona, will present the following paper:

The Discipline of Others: Making Islam a Religion in Turkey


Ottoman reformers beginning in the eighteenth century reasoned for their work on grounds internal to Islamic traditions. These changes eventually were among important conditions of possibility for the country’s secularism. Given this genealogy, the status of even the absence of practices or institutions commonly seen in other parts of the Muslim world could itself be understood as falling within Islamic traditions. While the common anthropological and historical exercises of interpreting dramatic cultural and historical differences are usually exceptionally difficult, pushing up as they do against the thinkable, I suggest that it may at times be even more difficult to conceptualize historical and cultural differences when the ground of those differences overlaps with one’s own.

Brian Silverstein is Assistant Professor in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Islam and Modernity in Turkey, forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan. His work has also appeared in journals including Cultural Anthropology, Comparative Studies in Society and History and Anthropology Today.

All are welcome!