History Department
History Department

IHS Workshop: ”The Cultural and Intellectual Origins of al-Sadr’s Islamic Economics,” by Janine Jones, University of Texas at Austin

Mon, March 26, 2018 | GAR 4.100

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

About this workshop: This paper is a shortened and revised excerpt of a chapter from my dissertation, “Rethinking Money: The Formative Years of Islamic Finance, 1900-1970." It sets the stage for a later examination of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr's pioneering theological framework for Islamic economics. Examining the cultural and intellectual climate of the early-to-mid twentieth century transnational Shiite community, this chapter uncovers the environment that gave rise to the initial idea of Islamic finance, thereby introducing the conditions for its salience, urgency, and popular appeal. Tracing the conditions for the intellectual development of this economic question, it centers on 1) the transformation in Shiite education in the early-to-mid twentieth century; 2) transnational theological development in the form of a renewed movement for inter-sectarian rapprochement; and 3) the rise of a Shiite communist movement in the context of broader mid-century Iraqi interest in communism. I have picked selections of this chapter in the hopes of getting feedback / advice on ways to better approach this thorny and complicated set of historical changes in book form in a way that is engaging and accessible for both specialists and non-specialists.

Janine Jones (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2017) is a modern Arab intellectual historian focusing on the intersection of religious and intellectual thought, with special interest in economics and gender. Her dissertation examines the rise of Islamic finance in the Arabic-speaking world through the writings of Iraqi Shiite cleric Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, arguing that Islamic finance gained resonance and regionwide appeal as a decolonial discourse. Among other awards, Janine is the recipient of several FLAS fellowships as well as a CAORC/CLS scholarship for Arabic language study. She is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Historical Studies at the University of Texas at Austin in 2017-2018.

Tracie Matysik
Associate Professor of History
The University of Texas at Austin

Free and open to the public. RSVP required. To RSVP and receive a copy of the pre-circulated paper, please email Courtney by 9 a.m., Friday, March 23.

Sponsored by: Institute for Historical Studies in the Department of History

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