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“Muslim Geographies,” a conference and public lecture organized by
Richard Phillips (University of Liverpool) with support from the Economic
&Social Research Council (ESRC Research Grant RES-000-22-1785), took
place on 4-5 April 2008 at Liverpool University and the Merseyside Maritime
Museum. The event had several goals: to draw together and advance
geographical research involving Muslims, provide a forum for debate about
the spaces that shapeMuslimlives, and establish informed dialogue between
Muslims and non-Muslims as well as between academics and activists.
These goals were pursued through a public lecture and debate, to which
members of Muslim, activist, and other local communities were invited. To
make the conference as inclusive as possible, the eventwas free, some of the sessions were held off-campus, and researchers in architecture, sociology,
religious studies, anthropology, public policy, geography, and other disciplines
were invited to participate.
The opening session, “Envisaging Geographies of, for, and byMuslims,”
traced current trends and future directions in geographical research involving
Muslims. Peter Hopkins (Newcastle) presented, and the ensuing discussion
featured panelists Claire Dwyer (University College London), Ayona Datta
(London School of Economics), and Kevin Dunn (New South Wales). The
panelists complicated the term Muslim geographies by acknowledging the
heterogeneity of Muslims’ experiences and identities and expressed concern
about how academic research represents Muslims. Nevertheless, they identified
the purchase of geographical research on key areas of Muslim life,
including their integration, relationships, surveillance, and identities ...