Category: Uncategorized

Call for Proposals: Merlin Swartz Award in Islam and Muslim Studies

October 27th, 2014 in News, Uncategorized

The Merlin Swartz Award in Islam and Muslim Studies was established in 2014 to recognize a Boston University faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in teaching and research on Islam or Muslim Studies, broadly understood, by providing support to advance his/her teaching or scholarship to support a specific project.

The award is open to all faculty ranks at BU, including lecturers and tenure-track and tenured professors, and to faculty in any discipline from any BU school or college.  Tenured and tenure-track faculty are eligible to propose support for a research, pedagogical, or curricular project; faculty on the lecturer track are eligible to apply for a pedagogical or curricular project. The funds may be used to support all appropriate expenses to advance the project. All funds must be expended within 12 months of receipt. For the 2014/15 competition, proposals of up to $5,000 will be considered.

The Dean of CAS will select the recipient(s) through a competitive process in consultation with the Director of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations.

The annual recipient(s) will be chosen through a competitive process. A complete proposal includes:

An up-to-date C.V
• A brief (3pp. max) project proposal outlining the nature of the project, its significance, how it relates to   the proposer’s previous work, and what work will be completed during the funded period. Research proposals should touch on how the proposed project might have an impact on the proposer’s teaching.
• A budget statement that indicates the amount of the request, how the funds will be used, and that lists what other funds, if any, are to be used for the project.
• In the case of teaching projects — course development, pedagogy projects, or other curricular projects, the proposal requires a statement from the relevant chair or director (or, in non-departmentalized colleges, dean) indicating the importance of the proposed project for the teaching mission and plans of the unit and how the project will be implemented and sustained (for example, how often the course will be taught). The chair/director/dean should also approve the budget and verify that the proposer is the appropriate person to undertake the project.

Proposals should be submitted electronically to the Dean of CAS at no later than February 2, 2015.  The recipient(s) will be announced by March 6, 2015. Please label each attachment with your last name and the portion of the proposal (e.g. CV, Budget, Proposal,  Teaching). There may be multiple recipients as long as the total budget of all projects together does not exceed $5,000.

Professor Merlin Swartz is a renowned scholar of Islamic Studies who inspired, taught and mentored generations of students at Boston University between 1973 and his retirement in 2008. He authored 5 books, 28 papers, 94 book reviews and 13 articles related to the Intellectual History of Medieval Islam, and was the winner of five grants including the Fulbright Research Grant in Islamic Civilization. Professor Swartz attended Eastern Mennonite University (BA, 1955), Goshen College (BD, 1960), and Harvard University (PhD, 1967). Besides teaching at Boston University, Professor Swartz has taught at the American University in Beirut, Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies and University of Singapore.  The Merlin Swartz Award was established in 2014 to honor Merlin Swartz for his scholarly achievements and his mentorship of students.  Anyone who would like to help support the future of this award should contact Steve Kean (

New Persianate Travel Writing Publication from MS Faculty

May 29th, 2013 in Uncategorized

9780674073340Muslim Studies Faculty Associates Sunil Sharma and Roberta Micallef (Modern Languages and Comparative Literature) have recently edited a book published by Harvard University Press’ Ilex Series, titled On the Wonders of Land & Sea: Persianate Travel Writing.  The publication initiates a comparative study of non-European travel writers in the eastern Islamic or Persianate world from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. The essays in this volume discuss travel narratives by male and female Muslim and Parsi/Zoroastrian travelers in the Hijaz, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Europe. Focusing on the literary and linguistic aspects of the travelogues, the essays reveal links to traditional forms of narrating travel and the introduction of hybrid forms of discourse. The authors’ methodological approach situates the texts in their socio-historical contexts and the travelers in their geographical locations, taking into account their gender and national identity. Each essay investigates a Muslim or Persianate traveler, whether sojourning in Europe or another part of the eastern world, and explores how the narrator represents what she or he sees while questioning the social and historical transformations accompanying modernity. The aim of this collection is to take a step toward a more sustained critical discussion of travelogues by Muslim travelers in dialogue with other Muslim, Persianate, and European travelers.

For additional information: