Transdisciplinary Areas of ExcellenceCitizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging

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Collaboration grant awards

The following two projects have been awarded funds in 2014, provided by the Binghamton University Road Map through the Provost's Office and the Division of Research with the goal of encouraging faculty to develop collaborative projects that stimulate the advancement of new ideas that can build Binghamton University's expertise toward a national reputation in the broad area of citizenship, rights and cultural belonging. This competitive, peer-reviewed program is providing initial support for proposed long-term programs of collaborative research that have strong potential to attract external funding.

  • Pakistani Christians: Perspective on Violence, Belonging, and Citizenship

The focus will be on Pakistani Christians' experiences of multi-layered violence, constructions of citizenship, and perspectives on belonging as religious minorities in an Islamic society. This preliminary study will involve oral history and ethnographic interviews with 15 research participants of varied class backgrounds (8 of whom will be women), and a mapping, utilizing a human rights perspective, of policy initiatives and advocacy measures that target or encompass the lives of Pakistani Christians. A key feature of the study will be the attempt to gain an understanding of how class and gender structure peoples' constructions of realities and identities. The analysis will be multi-layered and take place at the intersection of several disciplinary boundaries – anthropology, sociology, history, and political science, and it will also derive its parameters from interdisciplinary fields such as cultural studies, women's studies, and social welfare studies. The study will shed light on a significant facet of the workings of a geopolitically strategic society, even as it will point the way to future directions for funded research.

Principal investigators/departments: Lubna Chaudhry, Department of Human Development, and Josephine Allen, Department of Social Work

  • Accessing the Late Ottoman Empire: Transliteration and Translation of Ottoman Legal Codes Dealing with Citizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging

The enormous transformations of the Ottoman Empire during the nineteenth century are essential to understanding the creation and development of the contemporary Middle East. It was during this era that modern concepts of citizenship, ethnicity, mass politics, representative government, constitutionalism, equality, individual rights, and liberty entered the vocabulary and mentality of all levels of Ottoman state and society. These concepts were worked out and legislated by the Ottoman government and society in very public ways through the codification of Islamic civil and criminal law and the adoption and adaptation of Western legal concepts and procedures. Ottoman authorities promulgated a constitution and legislated enormous amounts of laws in an attempt to transform the empire into a modern nation-state. This corpus of legislation was serially published as the Düstur throughout the nineteenth century and is essential to understanding how Ottoman society and politicians conceptualized issues of citizenship, rights, and cultural belonging in this incredibly diverse empire first from a legislative perspective and then from local perspectives as populations engaged these new laws for their own use and benefit. The long term goal of this project is to transliterate and translate all of these legal codes and legislation from Ottoman Turkish (written in Arabic script) to a Latin script and then to English, digitizing these transliterations and translations, and making them open source so that these texts are freely available to the public, thus facilitating research, comparison, and collaboration across disciplines and continents.

Principal investigators/departments: Kent Schull, Department of History, and Dina Danon, Department of Judaic Studies

Last Updated: 6/16/14