About the Conference
The Conference Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts: Models from the Past, Questions for the Future was co-hosted by the Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) and Simon Fraser University Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures (CCSMSC) as one of several academic events in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan, Chancellor of the University. In conjunction with this, it also forms part of the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the University.
The Conference focused on cosmopolitanism within Muslim contexts using a comparative and interdisciplinary framework, focusing on moments in world history where cosmopolitan ideas and actions pervaded specific Muslim societies and cultures. In particular, the conference explored the typologies and contexts of Muslim cosmopolitanisms and possible tensions or conjunctions with regional cultures, enclaves, or modern nation-states.
Cosmopolitanism more generally has become a key concept in recent times for the reconsideration of a variety of social and political issues. As a political idea, it stands in opposition to closed human group ideologies, and as a socially active practice, stands in the context of civilisations, where citizenship within a community carries movement across borders and openness to other ideas and cultures.
The Conference was held on the 21st of June 2008 at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada.