Date: 19 March 2018 – 23 March 2018
Address: National Historical Museum of Albania, Sheshi Skënderbej 1, 1000 Tirana.
The Tirana Spring School will be organised by NISIS in collaboration with IISMM/EHESS, CNMS (Marburg University), CSIC, and IAKSA (Instituti i Antropologjisë Kulturore dhe Studimit të Artit, ASA) , and will take place at the National Historical Museum of Albaniain Tirana.
Space, Place and Dwelling is the theme of the Spring School to be held in Tirana, Albania, in March 2018. Spatiality is an underrated but very fundamental aspect of religious practice and religious reasoning. According to Tweed (2006), religious practice comes down to basically two forces: crossing and dwelling. Terrestrial crossing refers to physical movement, such as pilgrimage, certain spatial rituals, and spiritual travel indicating a movement across time and place. Corporeal crossing refers not only to the religious understanding of life cycles and modes of temporality, but also to the embodied limits and constraints in life and the concomitant registers of meaning provided by religion to confront them. Cosmic crossing refers to transcendental dynamics of boundaries, and to the religious language that provides meaning to crossing. We could also think of movement that is not religiously inspired but may well impact on notions of religion. Migration, displacement, or refugees for religious reasons.
Dwelling, on the other hand, involves three overlapping processes: mapping, building and inhabiting. Mapping refers to orientation and the location of the individual in a cosmos. It also refers to registration and order building by authorities, including narratives that envision ideals about origin, presence and future. Building is the next step signifying the productive work of making a home and producing locality. The third step, inhabiting, refers to processes of how people inhabit created life-worlds and how they live by these imagined geographies.
Spatiality is about how religious traditions formulate notions of home and community, the inside and the outside, but also about movement, transgression and direction. In short, spatiality of whatever sort is social action that unfolds within Muslim traditions. Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca,hijra, the obligation to move to places under Islamic law, ziyara, the visiting of shrines, and rihla, the quest for knowledge, are Islamic obligations. But also the qiblah, the direction for ritual prayer, the mosque literally meaning ‘place of gathering’, and the concept of Dar al Islam as against the placeless ummah, the global community of believers, point at specific understandings of place and mobility. Also ‘static’ practices such as retreat, hermitage, reclusion or confinement as forms of self-discipline have a clear spatial dimension.
The speakers of this year’s Spring School are:
Nathalie Clayer (CNRS, EHESS)
Dick Douwes (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
Suraiya Faroqhi (Ibn Haldun University, Istanbul)
Araceli González Vázquez (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones cientificas, CSIC)
Dorian Koçi (National Historical Museum of Albania)
Enis Sulstarova (University of Tirana)
Oskar Verkaaik (University of Amsterdam)
Armand Vokshi (Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism Polytechnic University of Tirana)
More information about the keynote lectures and other programme details can be found in the programme booklet.