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Dartmouth professor Dale Eickelman named a 2009 Carnegie Scholar

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 04/14/09 • Media Contact: Sarah Gomez (603) 646-3661

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Dale Eickelman
Dale Eickelman, the Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations at Dartmouth, (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Dale Eickelman, the Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations at Dartmouth, has been named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Eickelman was selected for what the corporation calls his “compelling ideas and commitment to enriching the quality of the public dialogue on Islam.” The project Eickelman will pursue with the support of the scholarship is entitled, “Mainstreaming Islam: Taking Charge of the Faith.”

Eickelman was selected as one of 24 scholars who will receive two-year grants of up to $100,000 from the foundation. He is the second member of the Dartmouth faculty to receive this honor in as many years. In 2008 Susannah Heschel, the Eli Black Professor in Jewish Studies and professor of religion, was named a Carnegie Scholar.

"I am honored that the Carnegie Foundation has chosen to support my work,” said Eickelman. “This fellowship will enable me to continue my existing research on the evolving conversations about Islamic practice and tradition, and to pursue exciting new opportunities in related fields. The goal is to enlarge our understanding of how Muslim thought is changing and being changed by some of the same forces that are affecting other traditions and belief systems in the 21st century.”

Building upon his fieldwork and past research in Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, Eickelman’s Carnegie project will explore the impact educated Muslims are having on rethinking Islamic thought and practice. Eickelman’s work will present a more complex analysis of those reformers who are rethinking religion outside of traditional boundaries, or are shaping new social movements. Eickelman will share his research through publication of a book and will participate in related activities, reaching a wide audience of key stakeholders interested in shaping Muslim world developments.

The 2009 Carnegie Scholar awardees are the fifth class to focus on Islam since the program began in 2000, bringing the number of Carnegie Scholars focused on this topic to 117. Commenting on the 2009 Carnegie Scholars and this aspect of the program’s work, Carnegie Corporation President Vartan Gregorian said, “We are cultivating a diverse scholarly community spanning a range of disciplines with the expectation that their voices will help Americans develop a more complex understanding of Muslim societies here and throughout the world--revealing Islam's rich diversity. Only through vibrant dialogue, guided by bold and nuanced scholarship, can we move public thinking into new territory.”

Eickelman’s previous scholarship has focused on the role of intellectuals in Islamic society, education, media and communications. Over the course of his academic career, Eickelman has authored or edited over a dozen books and has published nearly one hundred and fifty journal articles or book chapters. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago, an M.A. in Islamic Studies from McGill University and is a 1964 graduate of Dartmouth.

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