Sessions Information

  • January 6, 2017
    9:00 am - 10:30 am
    Session Type: Section Programs
    Session Capacity: N/A
    Hotel: Hilton San Francisco Union Square
    Room: Golden Gate 3
    Floor: Lobby Level
    Islamic law is rapidly expanding as a subject of interest and availability at American law schools and universities. A preliminary survey of law school curricula show that over four dozen law schools have offered courses in Islamic law in the past fifteen years alone. (And another several dozen universities have done the same). Moreover, in the past two years, the nation’s two leading law schools have launched new or renewed centers dedicated to the academic study of Islamic law. At the same time, more and more students are completing JD/PhDs in the study of Islamic law. All of this attention to Islamic legal studies in the academy deserves some reflection as law schools enter the 21st century. Some twenty years ago, the AALS Section on Islamic Law examined what was then an expansion of the field of Islamic legal studies, emerging with a symposium that detailed the state of the field in helpful ways for the 20th century curriculum. Since, the field has grown exponentially, as has the law school curriculum, making it worth revising the how and why of Islamic legal studies in the 21st century law school in an increasingly globalized world. This session will aim to explore and critically evaluate the growth of Islamic legal studies in American law schools with an eye to assessing challenges and opportunities for that field in a modern law school. We expect that contributions will range from assessing demand and interest, pedagogical methods, and the availability of teaching materials and legal sources together with opportunities for collaborative work on digital platforms (with possible attention to the new initiative at Harvard Law School, SHARIAsource – designed to provide a platform for sharing content and context about Islamic law). Contributions should also devote attention to the areas in which the study of Islamic law intersects with other fields of study in comparative and international law, legal history, and other relevant fields (e.g., comparative constitutional law, international business transactions, and comparative legal history of crime, torts, and governance in the U.S., China, Egypt and elsewhere).

    The session will be a roundtable featuring select section Islamic law teachers who will present on challenges and opportunities that arise in Islamic law pedagogy in the 21st century law school. We plan also to open up a call for papers to include new faculty teaching in this area, with a goal of producing a symposium journal issue on the current study of Islamic law. The session will be followed by a formal panel discussion on comparative constitutional law in South Asia. 
Session Speakers
University of Warwick School of Law

Southwestern Law School

University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Harvard Law School

Whittier Law School

Session Fees

Fees information is not available at this time.