Critical Approaches / Current Events About Critical Approaches Welcome to Mizan Michael Pregill September 29, 2015 Share Detail, Mīzān (The Balance), folio from the Kitāb al-Mawālid (Book of Horoscopes) of Abū Maʿshar, Cairo, 15th c. (Arabe 2583, f. 20v; courtesy Bibliothèque nationale de France) Welcome to Mizan, a new digital scholarship initiative housed in the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations at Boston University! Mizan is dedicated to fostering public scholarship and supporting research on Muslim societies across the world. Under the supervision of the Interlocutor and the Advisory Board, Mizan provides a platform for community outreach, engagement, and participation for scholars and students of Muslim societies and civilizations. In the languages of many Muslim societies the word mizan means ‘balance’ or ‘scale,’ and connotes judgment, discrimination, and equity. The image of the balance reflects the values on which our project is founded. We seek to bring a fair, unbiased perspective to bear on current events and contemporary debates concerning all aspects of Islamic history, religion, and culture. We encourage and contribute to informed public discourse by providing academic resources and accessible commentary on subjects of contemporary relevance and abiding significance. The Mizan initiative is distinguished by the broad-ranging interdisciplinary approaches we foster; the scholarly expertise we bring to commentary on current events and the study of the Islamic world; and the breadth of cultural expressions we investigate, bridging past and present, from classical literature, art, law, and devotional forms to contemporary pop culture. Mizan features three main channels of material: Here on the main project website (mizanproject.org), we will present discussions of current events; analysis of visual culture; features on libraries and archives with collections of significance to the study of Muslim societies; teaching resources and discussions of pedagogy; and original translations and analysis of primary texts from diverse sources. The project’s peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Mizan: Journal of Interdisciplinary Approaches to Muslim Societies and Civilizations, will be published twice annually beginning in Spring 2016. A third aspect of the project, Mizan Pop, will host features, stories, and videos pertaining to various aspects of popular culture throughout the Islamic world. In the coming weeks and months, we will present stories and features on subjects as diverse as the destruction of cultural heritage sites by ISIS; the visual culture of Amazigh nationalism and the celebration of a Jewish folk hero in Algeria; the Farkhunda Malikzada case in Afghanistan and the politics of lament; and the representational issues surrounding Muslim superheroes. We will also be announcing upcoming conferences and panels sponsored by Mizan, and post summary and video from past events sponsored by our project such as our April panel at Boston University’s Pardee School of Global Studies, “Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Islamic State”: To post comments on stories and features presented here, we ask that you join our community by registering here. Prospective contributors interested in writing for us are encouraged to contact the Interlocutor here. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook. The Mizan initiative is generously supported by the ILEX Foundation.