The Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School invites applications for Visiting Fellowships for the 2016-2017 academic year. The purpose of the Visiting Fellows Program is to provide opportunities for outstanding scholars to undertake research, writing and scholarly engagement on Islamic law in ways that span traditional and interdisciplinary academic disciplines consistent with the Program’s mission. We are particularly interested in promising scholars whose work combines interdisciplinary excellence in Islamic legal studies, with research interests in legal history, law and society, or select themes in both that relate specifically to the digital humanities. Harvard Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program is dedicated to promoting research and providing resources to advance the academic study of Islamic law, with an emphasis on legal history, law and society, and comparative law.
ILSP welcomes applicants with a JD, SJD, PhD or other comparable terminal degree from any field of study who are interested in spending a year in residence at Harvard Law School working on outstanding scholarly projects relating to one of ILSP’s three research streams for the 2016-2017 academic year. We seek applicants from a diverse range of backgrounds, academic traditions, and scholarly interests. Women and minorities are especially encouraged to apply.
Fellows will be expected to participate in Program activities and contribute to the intellectual life of the Program in general, including presentation of an original paper at the Program’s Fellows Workshop Series. Depending on the preference of the supervising Director, Visiting Fellows may spend up to 25% of his or her time on projects related to the Program. Fellows’ own research should be related to one of three research streams below.
Stream 1. Islamic Law and Legal History. This stream covers both intellectual and social history, of any period: early, medieval, or early modern. It will include subjects ranging from studies of Islamic legal theory and legal interpretation, legal maxims, and substantive law to legal institutions, judicial procedure, and important figures in Islamic legal history.
Stream 2. Islamic Law and Society. This stream covers anthropological, sociological, and political scientific approaches to the study of Islamic law in contemporary times. It may cover themes in Muslim-majority countries or Muslim-minority countries, and may be transnational or comparative in scope. Such subjects may include, for example, Islamic constitutionalism and comparative constitutional law, sociology of Islamic law, and legal ethnography.
Stream 3. Islamic Law Themes in Digital Humanities. This stream is not limited to a particular subject matter or period. The purpose is to collect and critically analyze scholarly resources, and make both the sources and the analysis available to the scholarly community through an online platform supported by ILSP. Sample areas of focus include: Islamic finance, Islamic family law, and Islamic criminal law.
To apply for an ILSP Visiting Fellowship for 2016-2017, please submit the following materials via the online application form:
- a curriculum vitae
- a recent publication or a writing sample (approximately 25 pages in length). All publications or writing samples should be in English.
- a research statement, not to exceed 1000 words, that: 1) describes the proposed work during the fellowship period. The proposal should outline a specific research project that can be accomplished during the Fellow’s residence at Harvard Law School; 2) sets forth a specific work output for the completed project (e.g., book, article, database/website entries); c) identifies a research stream(s) in which the applicant’s research falls.
You will be asked to arrange that TWO letters of recommendation be sent directly from your referees to the Program via our online application system. The application form includes a separate link for you to provide your referees. If more than two letters are sent, there is no guarantee that all letters will be read.
All applications must be received no later than November 13, 2015 via our online application form. Letters of recommendation should be sent directly from the referee to the Program via the online system. Late applications will not be considered.
Note: When you access the application form, you should be ready to enter all request information and to upload all supporting documents (CV, research proposal, and publication/writing sample), as the form cannot be saved.
Applicants may expect emailed notification of Fellowship decisions by the end of December.
Funding and Facilities
Fellows will receive a stipend of up to $40,000 for a full academic year appointment. ILSP will pay the monthly Law School appointment fee for the duration of a Fellow’s stay at the Program, which will ensure, among other things, library access to all Harvard University libraries, access to University recreational facilities (for an additional fee), an email account at the Law School, membership in the Faculty Club, and free admission to University museums. Visiting Fellows will receive an office at ILSP or in the Harvard Law Library.
Terms of Appointment
Visiting Fellows are appointed for an academic year (9 months). The Program will also consider semester-long appointments for a four-month term: Fall (September 1 to December 31) or Spring (February 1 to May 31). Appointments of shorter lengths will only be considered on an exceptional, case-by-case basis.
With exceptions for a limited amount of personal and professional travel, Visiting Fellows are expected to be in residence at ILSP throughout the term of their appointment in order to foster an intellectual community, share ideas, and contribute to Program projects and events.
ILSP does not provide housing. No housing should be expected in University apartments or dormitory rooms, for which Harvard faculty and students have priority. Accepted fellows are encouraged to seek outside housing several months before arriving in Cambridge, preferably in person. For assistance with accessing online resources for area housing, please contact ILSP staff.
All visiting fellows must show proof of having adequate health insurance. Those who do not already possess such insurance can access information on obtaining Harvard Affiliate Health Insurance at the Harvard University Health Services website. A less expensive plan, available by the month, has been negotiated by Harvard’s International Office for international scholars.
Visiting Fellows may audit one course in any unit at Harvard University on a non-credit basis per semester, with permission of the instructor. There is no tuition charge for auditing courses. Visiting Fellows do not have faculty status. Appointment as a Visiting Fellow does not entitle the individual to participation in any Harvard degree program.
Fellows may apply for membership in the Harvard Faculty Club. The Club serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Friday. There is no membership fee and members are billed monthly for meals taken at the Club.
Fellows may take advantage of a wealth of cultural and academic extra-curricular offerings available to the Harvard community on a daily basis. Visiting fellows should come prepared to share their professional experience and expertise, and will have opportunities to meet other scholars through functions organized by numerous groups and programs at Harvard Law School and other parts of the University.
For any questions or for further information, please address queries to the Islamic Legal Studies Program at email@example.com or +1.617.496.3941.
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