Research

Call for Papers for Upcoming Book on Global Islamophobia 

GU-Q Associate Professors of History, Dr. Abdullah Al-Arian and Dr. Karine Walther

Georgetown University in Qatar announced a call for papers for a new book project titled Global Histories and Practices of Islamophobia that aims to contribute new and original research on the understanding of Islamophobia by examining its historical roots in diverse global contexts.

Seeking a multidisciplinary approach and led by GU-Q Associate Professors of History, Dr. Abdullah Al-Arian and Dr. Karine Walther, the initiative is part of the research efforts at GU-Q’s Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS). The project seeks to draw together global, historical, theological and political dimensions to develop a cohesive picture of historical precursors to current Islamophobic practices. 

Dr. Walther noted that Islamophobia, a contemporary term used to describe anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic sentiments and actions, is a form of bigotry that has existed since the medievel period. Her research interest in the topic includes a book on the deep history of American Islamophobia and how negative perceptions of Islam and Muslims shaped U.S. foreign relations from the nation’s infancy through the first World War.

“Islamophobia is associated with the post 9/11 period, but it began well before, and goes beyond the U.S., and today, Islamophobia is becoming an increasingly relevant factor in shaping world affairs,” she said. “So as historians, we want to deconstruct this phenomenon in order to fully understand its relationship to its current iterations.”

Although Islamophobia has been receiving global media attention, scholarly research on the subject has only recently gained traction, said Dr. Al-Arian. “Over the last decade, we’ve seen an increase in the literature around the question of Islamophobia. We are encouraged by the tremendous interest both in terms of the public discourse and the academic scholarship trying to think about longer historical trajectories that showcase the continuities between earlier practices that weren’t identified as Islamophobia at the time, but have helped impact and shape the way Islamophobia has manifested today.”

Both scholars point to current news headlines about anti-Muslim practices and policies, including across Europe, India and China, as well as within Muslim-majority countries where it’s used to deligitimize the popular uprisings of the Arab Spring. 

These issues along with a range of topics will be covered in the book, including historical practices of Orientalism, state policies on immigration, gender and Islamophobia, post-colonialism, state-led policies of discrimination against Muslims, practices of ethnic cleansing, and the relationship between Islamophobia and the rise of the national security state.  


The deadline for paper abstract submissions was March 15, 2022. Details about the call for papers can be found on the university’s website, or by contacting  cirsresearch@georgetown.edu.