Professor Alison Scott-Baumann (University of Derby and University of Lancaster)
There are several powerful narratives that make it difficult for researchers to develop research projects in Islam without bias and stigma. This is true, to an extent, of all research projects, as we all start with conjecture and hypothesis. However, Islam and Muslim matters are currently being invested with considerable amounts of ‘baggage’ that preclude both research clarity and an ethical approach. I will argue that the political counter-terror agenda, securitisation legislation (such as Prevent) and pervasive, negative media coverage should be challenged, instead of amplified by large grants being made available for the study of these topics from an uncritical standpoint.
Professor Alison Scott-Baumann is professor and senior researcher at University of Derby in the Centre for Society, Religion and Belief and Visiting Research Fellow at Lancaster in the PPR Department. She works on Western philosophy, especially Paul Ricoeur and his contemporaries and has applied philosophy for over fifteen years to various social justice projects, including sitting on Dr Siddiqui’s government review of Islam in Universities and leading the Department of Communities and Local Government review of Muslim Faith Leader Training. (2008-2010). Alison is a member of the national HEA Islamic Studies Network and sits on the Advisory Board, seeking to promote HE for women and better access to Arabic (two recent HEA projects). She is a member of the Conseil Scientifique of the Fonds Ricoeur and visits Paris regularly to work in the Ricoeur archives. Alison has recently published her second monograph, on Ricoeur and the negation of happiness, London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.