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Middle East Studies for the New MilleniuInfrastructures of Knowledge$
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Seteney Shami and Cynthia Miller-Idriss

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781479827787

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479827787.001.0001

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Islamic Studies in US Universities

Islamic Studies in US Universities

(p.320) Chapter Eight Islamic Studies in US Universities
Middle East Studies for the New Milleniu

Charles Kurzman

Carl W. Ernst

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes the locations and contexts for the development of Islamic studies in US universities. It attributes the field's growth in part to exaggerated concerns about national security. It criticizes the field's location within institutions, pointing out that across time—from the first departments of Oriental and Near Eastern studies to more recent interdisciplinary programs and departments—Islamic studies programs have been constrained by the field's institutionalization within the academy. The chapter traces the development of Islamic studies within various departments, such as Near Eastern languages and civilizations or religious studies. It suggests that the area studies framework can also impose constraints on Islamic studies if it is not attentive to issues that cross geographic boundaries, such as centuries-old migration in and out of the region, the transregional character of religious movements, and the importance of global communication.

Keywords:   Middle East studies, Islamic studies, US universities, national security, area studies

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