About the Conference
In his seminal Islam: The View from the Edge, historian Richard Bulliet focused on Islam in Persia, suggesting that the study of Islam from the margins or edges, rather than center, offers newfound opportunities for the field. Shahab Ahmed’s posthumous What is Islam? offers a similar critique of Islamic studies, suggesting a geographic and temporal shift from what, he argues, has been central to the formation of Islamic studies as an academic field. The study of Ibadism offers an opportunity to interrogate the study of Islam, where Ibadism takes shape on the edge or periphery, both intellectually and geographically. Recently Cyrille Aillet in his edition L’Ibadisme dans les sociétés de l’islam medieval, re-argues that a detour through the edge (“le detour par le marges,” p. 5) is conducive to the construction of a plural history and the recognition of polycentrism in Islam.