A revitalized ILSP opened the academic year with two new Co-Directors and a wide variety of new programs, events, and opportunities to engage in program activities. We have two new Co-Directors, Professor Intisar A. Rabb and Professor Kristen A. Stilt. Both come with new ideas to invigorate the study of Islamic law for specialists and comparatists alike. We intend to collaborate with other programs and professors at Harvard Law School, the wider Harvard University community, and the broader academic world on ILSP programs and projects.
We have a pared down and more purposeful fellowship program, to which we are excited to welcome this year’s very talented cohort. Additionally, we are keen to create opportunities for students and scholars to engage in ILSP projects, workshops, and conferences. For students, one example is the “Digital Islamic Law Lab,” a seminar scheduled for the Spring and designed to provide an opportunity for targeted, supervised research and contributions to one of ILSP’s exciting new projects, “SHARIAsource.” For scholars, we plan to convene those interested in early Islamic legal history to share work on themes related to courts and judicial procedure in the medieval Muslim world.
SHARIAsource will be a centerpiece of ILSP, a new initiative that will provide an online portal to scholarly resources and analysis on Islamic law globally, in cooperation with scholars of Islamic law and related fields of comparative law and policy. SHARIAsource will partner with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University for development and technical architecture, and also rely on the advice of the MIT Center for Civic Media. We look forward to working on SHARIAsource in the coming months and years, and involving interested students, scholars, and other collaborators in the process.
In addition, Kristen Stilt brings new interests in human rights and animal rights as well as in the intersection of law and advocacy in the Muslim world more generally. A workshop next year will bring together academics and activists working in the area of family law, and a new seminar scheduled for the Spring will focus on difficult questions that arise at the juncture of international human rights law and some interpretations of Islamic law. We will also begin planning for a major conference on animals, law, and religion.
These initiatives and events will be broadcast via our new website and social media outlets, and managed from our newly renovated quarters in Austin Hall.