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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

Everyday Ethnographies: Encountering Islam and Muslims

Cross-cultural encounters in daily life can take on the qualities of ethnographic experience, as we come to see through the eyes of the “cultural Other”, whether in multicultural societies like the US, or in time of war. Such “everyday ethnographies” reveal complex human negotiations, reflections upon the significance of sameness and difference, and the importance of humanity, sincerity and tolerance. This panel reveals non-Muslims’ encounters with Muslims in socially problematic circumstances, suggesting the transformative value of the “ethnographic stance” in negotiating tolerance and accommodating, even embracing, cultural difference. Dr. Carl Davila frames the panel topic by meditating on fieldwork in Morocco and experiences with American Muslims there. Through anecdotes, the notion of “ethnographic stance” is put forward, whereby cross-cultural encounters can be transformed from “problematic” to “productive”.

Presenter: Carl Davila (Faculty)
Topic: Anthropology
Location: 218 Hartwell
Time: 9:20 am (Session I)