Fri 27 May 2016 | NISIS Islamic Studies Network Day | ‘War in Syria: dynamics, and the consequences for Europe’ | Leiden University

On Friday 27 May 2016, the fourth annual NISIS Islamic Studies Network day will be held at Leiden University. This year’s theme is: ‘War in Syria: dynamics, and the consequences for Europe’. The Islamic Studies Network Day is part of the NISIS Training programme.  

Time: 09.30 – 17.30, followed by drinks.
Venue: Matthias de Vrieshof 2, room 004 (Witte Singel 25, Leiden). 
Please register by sending an email to NISIS. Please note the number of places is restricted.

The deadline for application for poster presentations by junior researchers (PhD candidates, (research)MA students) is 1 May 2016. Please apply by sending an email to NISIS. For more information, please see below.

Theme: War in Syria: dynamics, and the consequences for Europe

The war in Syria, which started with peaceful demonstrations in the spring of 2011, has resulted in the death of more than 250.000 people, more than 4.6 million people fleeing the country, and another 6.6 million people internally displaced (Source: UN OCHA, UNHCR). Many different factions and coalitions are fighting the regime of president Assad, IS and each other. The conflict is complex and difficult to grasp. Public debate and media coverage on this issue often lacks depth and often provides a simplistic representation of current events. A striking example is the way in which the issue of refugees entering Europe is heatedly discussed in public debate and media, with concerns being voiced regarding the Islamic background of this group of refugees, and fear for possible negative consequences for the Netherlands, as well as for “Europe”.

During this Network Day, NISIS would like to broaden and deepen the discussion on the current situation in and around Syria and the refugee crisis in Europe. How can we gather reliable information on the conflict, and how can the issue be represented and understood? Different keynote speakers will approach this topic from different areas of expertise; such as history, law, social sciences, Middle Eastern studies and journalism. In this interdisciplinary way, we will shed light on current developments from an academic perspective, examining and challenging current narratives in public debate and media.


For the programme please see: Programme of the NISIS Islamic Studies Network Day.

Keynote speakers

Merel Eimers (University of Amsterdam) - "Religion, Surveillance and Safe Spaces. Churches and Conversions during the Asylum Process and Chaplaincy in Immigration Detention in the Netherlands"

Heleen van der Linden (VU University Amsterdam) - "Representation of the refugee crisis in public debate and academia: statistics versus the identifiable victim"

Ozan Ozavci (Utrecht University) - "Beyond Borders: Informal Empires, Security and the Syrian Civil Wars, 1860-2016"

Carolien Roelants (columnist and ex-Middle East editor, NRC Handelsblad), "How not to solve Syria"

Jan Jaap de Ruiter (Tilburg University) - "Muslim refugees in Europe: Islam and democracy reconciled?"

Tom Zwart (Utrecht University) - "Bringing Muslims and the Majority Closer Together"

Panel discussion

As part of the afternoon programme, a panel discussion will be held. The central question which will be discussed is: Can and should journalism and science contribute, in public debate and academia, to a balanced representation of the developments in Syria and possible consequences for Europe?

This panel will be chaired by Petra de Bruijn (director ad-interim NISIS). Participants of the panel will be: Dick Douwes, Joris Rijbroek, Carolien Roelants, Jan Jaap de Ruiter, Thijl Sunier, Tom Zwart. There will be plenty of room for debate and interaction with the audience.

Poster presentations junior researchers

One of NISIS' primary targets is to provide a platform for a new generation of scholars in Islamic Studies, where they can present their research to colleagues and specialists in the field. The Islamic Studies Network Day provides an excellent opportunity for PhD candidates and research master students to acquaint themselves with the newest developments in their field of study and to exchange information and experiences with colleagues and specialists. 

NISIS junior members, and other PhD candidates/(research) master students with topics related to the field of Islamic Studies, may present their own research through poster presentations which will be up for viewing during the coffee and lunch breaks. If you want to give a poster presentation, please apply before 1 May 2016 by sending a short biography, including your current affiliation and an abstract of your research (max 300 words) to NISIS.

NISIS junior members automatically qualify for participation, but are required to register by sending an email to NISIS.

If you are selected for presenting you will have to hand in your poster to the NISIS office before Monday 23 May. The NISIS office will take care of printing.

Last Modified: 18-05-2016