Professor Fethi Mansouri was recently invited to present the keynote address at the ‘2nd International Conference of the Australian Association for Islamic and Muslim Studies’ (AAIMS), hosted by the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University, in partnership with Alfred Deakin Institute.

In his paper, ‘On the Discursive and Epistemological Categorisation of  Islam and Muslims in the West: Religion, Politics and Social Relations’, Professor Mansouri reflects on the ethical and epistemological challenges in research agendas focused on Islam and Muslims as minoritised in Western contexts. Of particular interest is the nature of constructing Muslims and Islam as at once problematic categories of circulating  discourse as well as salient units of analysis in research framings.

The paper incorporates three main levels of analysis, namely the ideological/political, the discursive and the epistemological.  In invoking these three overlapping levels of framing, and on the basis of recent research, Professor Mansouri examines how questions of race, religion and politics have been deployed to reinforce rather than challenge certain essentialist/orientalist representations of the other.