Critical Muslim Studies: Decolonial Struggles and Liberation Theologies Granada, Spain – June 18 – June 29, 2018

Critical Muslim Studies is inspired by a need for opening up a space for intellectually rigorous and socially committed explorations between decolonial thinking and studies of Muslims, Islam and the Islamicate. Critical Muslim Studies does not take Islam as only a spiritual tradition, or a civilization, but also as a possibility of a decolonial epistemic perspective that suggests contributions and responses to the problems facing humankind today. It offers an opportunity to interpret and understand Muslim phenomena in ways that does not reproduce Eurocentrism, Islamophobia or takfiri exclusivism.

The Granada Summer School began in 2011 as a means of acknowledging the linkages between the conquest of Granada (Al-Andalus) and the conquest of the ‘Americas.’ Towards the end of 1491, Granada, the last independent Islamicate polity in Iberia, was conquered. In 1492, Columbus in search of the riches of Asia arrived in what became the Americas. In a space of 11 months the foundation of a new world order was laid. While Columbus’s voyages are seen as being of world historical importance, the fall of Granada has been consigned to a mere footnote in world history. Furthermore, these two events are conventionally separated not only in terms of the significance accorded to each, but also in disciplinary categories, so that, it is possible to study one without any consideration of the other. These separations reflect epistemic Eurocentrism.

Granada is the site not only of the processes that led to the establishment of a Western world order but also to the displacement of the Muslim world system. As such, it is a natural venue for the development of Critical Muslim Studies, which sets out to explore the consequences of placing Muslims, Islam and the Islamicate within the context of a “modern/colonial capitalist/patriarchal western-centric/Christian-centric world-system.”

The summer school, now in its seventh year, has established itself as the primary centre in the world for Critical Muslim Studies. The school welcomes participations from Muslim and non-Muslim heritages and associations. The seminar will be held in the Escuela de Estudios Arabes. This year’s instructors include internationally recognized scholars and intellectuals from a range of disciplines:

Salman Sayyid – Hatem Bazian – Ramon Grosfoguel
Houria Bouteldja – Farid Esack – Asma Lamrabet – Santiago Slabodsky
Nelson Maldonado-Torres – Arzu Merali – Tajul Islam
Asma Barlas – Saadia Benmakhlouf


Videos from previous years talks:

Tariq RamadanSalman SayyidRamon Grosfoguel
Farid EsackSantiago SlabodskyTom Reifer

The course covers several topics such as Introduction to Critical Muslim Studies, Islamic Theology of Liberation, Islamic Decolonial Pedagogy, Inter-Faith Dialogues, Women and Islam, and Islamic Spirituality. The focus of the course is to inquire into Islam as a postcolonial/decolonial perspective. This description is meant to give you a brief idea of the broad scope of topics covered during the two week Summer School.



As Critical Muslim Studies program has developed. A number of publications associated with faculty of the Summer School have appeared. These provide outlets for debate, discussion and further research on topics and themes associated with the Summer School.

Decolonial Studies/ Postcolonial Horizons

Islamophobia Studies Journal

ReOrient: The Journal of Critical Muslim Studies



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