Representing Islam on UK University Campuses: negotiating research and identity within a securitised educational environment.

Man near wall

Tuesday 26 March

4.30pm - 6pm

SAB003, King Alfred Quarter, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, SO22 4NR

Prof. Mathew Guest (Durham University) - Representing Islam on UK University Campuses: negotiating research and identity within a securitised educational environment.

This paper reflects on findings from a project - ‘Representing Islam on Campus’ – that explores how Islam and Muslims are represented within contemporary UK universities. Taking account of the institutional diversity within the UK Higher Education sector, the present paper highlights the various ways in which universities accommodate the needs of student welfare, navigate the norms of legitimacy within programme curricula, and comply with central government legislation that fosters the securitisation of Islam. Within this complex of institutional accommodation, a key trope emerges that configures religion not so much as an irrelevance or oddity, as in the past, but as a focus of risk. I will trace how this pattern is manifest within UK university contexts and reflect on how the management of associated risk becomes a feature of both student life and a challenge to academic research.

Prof. Mathew Guest is Professor in the Sociology of Religion in the Department of Theology and Religion, Durham University. His research interests include the evangelical movement in the UK, religion and generational change, and the English university as a site of religious activity, the last of these being the subject of a series of collaborative research projects supported by the AHRC and other funding bodies. Recent books include Death, Life and Laughter: Essays on Religion in Honour of Douglas Davies (ed. with Martha Middlemiss-Le Mon, Routledge, 2017), Christianity and the University Experience: Understanding Student Faith (with Kristin Aune, Sonya Sharma and Rob Warner, Bloomsbury, 2013) and Religion and Knowledge: Sociological Perspectives (ed. with Elisabeth Arweck, Ashgate, 2012).

For further information please contact Neil.Messer@winchester.ac.uk

Theology, Religion and Philosophy

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