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Rethinking Encounters: Islam and the West -1 Day Workshop & Book Launch (Prof Samer Akkach) – 7 July 2015 @ Adelaide Convention Centre

Organised by the Centre for Asian and Middle Eastern Architecture (CAMEA), Faculty of the Professions

The idea of “encounter,” whether at the social, cultural, religious, or intellectual level, has, implicitly or explicitly, always been hinged on the notion of “difference.” Difference is what provokes curiosity, fascination, confrontation, animosity, and togetherness, and what makes an encounter exciting, noteworthy, and significant. Yet difference, assumed or real, tends to separate, disconnect, and distance; it stimulates, reifies, and even glorifies distinction, so that the dynamic of encounter can be justified and maintained. But what happens when difference dissolves in the closeness of an encounter, or is consumed in the intensity of familiarity? What happens when distinction is not, or no longer, the stimulating factor in an encounter, when similarity and togetherness become the underlying motivation, or when indifference, disinterest, and apathy take over? This one-day workshop will examine historical encounters of Islam and the West in their multiple intellectual, cultural, and spatial settings in search for new modes of understanding and enabling possibilities of creative exchange; followed by a Book Launch, Samer Akkach.

Download the program guide.

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