Training Scholars to Study Non-Scholarly Life

Geer, Benjamin. (2019) Training Scholars to Study Non-Scholarly Life. In: Teaching Islamic Studies in the Age of ISIS, Islamophobia, and the Internet. Bloomington, pp. 35-49.

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In the scholastic fallacy, the researcher explains the actions of people in non-scholarly situations by projecting scholarly thinking onto them. After introducing the concept and discussing a recent example from Islamic studies, I suggest that certain social structures may make this error more likely. Focusing on the case of research in Egypt, I argue that degree programs are not designed to enable students to learn Arabic as a second language well enough to do research that involves talking with people there. Egyptian state institutions also restrict both ethnographic and archival research. These obstacles are likely to deter research on ordinary social practices, on vernacular cultural production, and on archival materials, and to favor research on canonical texts. Moreover, in a field such as Islamic studies, in which researchers can produce work that responds to the demands of non-specialist audiences, students may be tempted to overgeneralize from these texts, e.g. by relying on them to draw conclusions about Islam in general. I suggest ways for universities and faculty to help students avoid these pitfalls.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Fakultär assoziierte Institutionen > Digital Humanities Lab > Imaging software/databases (Rosenthaler)
UniBasel Contributors:Geer, Benjamin Lewis
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Publisher:Indiana University Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:08 Feb 2019 14:43
Deposited On:08 Feb 2019 14:43

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