| Forum Logistics

Forum Logistics

Forum Description

The Scholars Forum will be held under the auspices of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University, under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities that is part of the Bridging Cultures Initiative. The Forum will bring together leading scholars in the fields of Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal history together with leading world historians. In addition to sharing their recent findings on the transformation of Muslim societies during this period, each scholar is invited to reflect on the paradigms of golden age and decline and offer new perspectives with a view to understanding the world historical significance of Muslim societies and their contribution to the modern period, and contribute to round-table discussions on these topics. The audience for the Forum will consist of Project Development Workshop members, invited faculty and other guests. It is not open to the general public.

Prior to the Forum, the project website gives scholars the opportunity to engage with the research and thinking of the other scholars, share their suggested bibliographies and view their responses to the Forum Questions. Workshop participants will be able to become familiar with and inspired by these ideas, through readings, exhibits, videos and the Forum Questions. While discussion at these levels will be useful in advancing further scholarship, the proposed project will disseminate the knowledge gained from this scholarly exchange in various ways to the general public.

The work accomplished in the forum will be further developed in the Program Development Workshop on March 16-17 in Charlottesville, VA, conducted by our partner organization the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Workshop participants, leading organizations and practitioners in the fields of education, civic engagement, the arts and media will be exposed to the findings of the scholars and convene to explore and make concrete plans to incorporate the findings of recent scholarship into existing and needed programs in their fields and for the general public. The projects developed at the workshop will be the subject of further grant proposals in the next phase of the project.

Some forum scholars will be accompanying the Workshop participants to Charlottesville, VA to assist with the Project Development Workshop or to present as authors in an panel at the Virginia Festival of the Book. This represents a preliminary phase of the public dissemination effort. These authors were accepted through an application process.

Forum Dates

March 14-15, 2011

Forum Venue



The Scholars Forum will be held at the newly built George Mason Inn and Conference Center on the George Mason campus in Fairfax, Virginia.

Event Parking: GMU faculty and students must use their parking passes and lots. Forum and workshop participants and guests of the event may park in the side lot adjacent to the George Mason Inn, which extends into an underground garage. This parking is free.

Forum Agenda

SUNDAY, March 13


5:00-8:00    Reception-Dinner-Introductions at   Boxwoods Restaurant, George Mason Inn

MONDAY, March 14


8:00 – 8:30   Breakfast served at Conference Venue

8:30-9:00      Welcome Speeches (GMU Provost Peter Stearns, CHSS Dean Jack Censer, CGIS
                     Director Cemil Aydin, NEH Chairman Jim Leach)

9:00-10:30    Plenary Panel: Art and Architecture of Muslim Societies
                     Chair: Edmund Burke III
                     Panel: Gulru Necipoglu, Massumeh Farhad

10:30–11:00  Morning Break

11:00–1:00    Panel 1: Recent Historiography on the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal Empires
                     Chair: Nelly Hanna
                     Cemal Kafadar, Rajeev Kinra, and Kathryn Babayan

1:00 - 2:00     Lunch

2:00-4:00       Panel 2: Re-Framing the Narratives of Muslim Societies in World History Literature
                      Chair: Cemil Aydin
                      Jerry Bentley, Edmund Burke III, Patrick Manning, John Voll

4:00 – 4:30      Afternoon Break

4.30-6.00        Panel 3: Countering Main Arguments of Decline
                       Chair and Discussant: Richard Bulliet
                       Giancarlo Casale, Gabor Agoston, Baki Tezcan, Himmet Taskomur

6:30-8:30         Dinner Banquet

TUESDAY, March 15

8:30-10:30        Panel 4: Cosmopolitanism and Political Theory in the                        
                         Age of Three Empires, Parts 1 & 2                       
                        Chair: Andrew Newman                        
                        Huseyin Yılmaz, Stephan Dale, Hayrettin Yucesoy, Cengiz Sisman

10:30-11:00      Morning break

11:00-1:00        Panel 5: - Islamic Law in/and the Literature of Decline
                        Chair: Patrick Manning
                        Engin Akarlı, Nelly Hanna, Andrew Newman

1:00-2:00          Lunch Break

2:00-4:00          Panel 6: New Scholarship on Science, Ideas and Philosophy
                         Chair: Jerry Bentley
                         George Saliba, Ahmed Rahim, Nabil Matar

4:00-4:30           Afternoon break

4:30-6:00           Concluding Discussion
                          Led by John Voll

6:00-8:00           Dinner at Hotel

8:00 pm             Bus Departure to Charlottesville

Hotels and Reservations

The Forum will be held at the newly built George Mason Inn and Conference Center on the George Mason campus in Fairfax, Virginia, where forum and workshop participants will also be accommodated during the event.

Forum scholars coming from overseas are invited to arrive as early as Saturday, March 12, and hotel
accommodations will be provided from March 12 to March 15 for those whose return flights depart on March 16. Domestic travelers will be accommodated from March 13 to March 15. Those scholars attending the Planning Workshop and/or the Festival of the Books on March 16-17 will be accommodated in Charlottesville at the Omni Charlottesville.

INSTRUCTIONS: While making your travel arrangements (we will book your flight--see below), download and fill out the form below to reserve your room for the necessary number of days, and note any special requirements. Fill out the W-9 form and the Travel and Hotel Form by FEBRUARY 1, 2011. (Non-US Citizens see forms below) We need both for travel authorization and hotel booking. You may print out or type the information into this form and save it as a file, including your name in the filename.

Travel and Hotel Form for Forum download here.

Send as an attachment to Veliyye Ay at vay@masonlive.gmu.edu, fax to 703-993-5410, or mail to:

Grant Project Manager
10517 Braddock Road, Suite 1700
Patriot Square MS 1H3
Fairfax, VA 22030

Travel Arrangements

The Forum will be held in Fairfax, Virginia, near Washington D.C. Forum scholars' flights will be booked by Uniglobe Travel ONLY. We cannot reimburse participants for flights booked on your own, due to university regulations. You will need to work with staff in our center to complete the university travel authorization process.

To book your flights, contact Ms. Ary Hernandez at ary@ultimaxtravel.com, toll free in the U.S. only 866-629-8728, VA local phone (703)707-0200, or fax (703) 707-1981.

From IAD, Dulles Airport to the George Mason Inn: There are two possibilities. Order a Supershuttle (shared ride van) at the Ground Transportation counter, which will cost ca. $25; or take a cab. Save your receipts, or you cannot be reimbursed.

From DCA, Reagan Washington National Airport:
There are three choices: (1) Order a Supershuttle shared ride van for ca. $25 at the Ground Transportation counter, (2) take a cab, or (3) take the Metro to Rosslyn (direction Largo Town Ctr), then take the Orange Line to Vienna (direction Vienna). From the Vienna station, take a cab to GMU. Save your receipts, or you cannot be reimbursed.

From Union Station: Take the Metro Red Line (direction Shady Grove) to Metro Station, then the Orange Line (direction Vienna) to Vienna. From there take a cab to GMU. Save your receipts, or you cannot be reimbursed.

Forum scholars who will be traveling to Charlottesville to attend the Planning Workshop and/or appear in the Festival of the Books will be driven to and from George Mason University by charter bus. The bus will depart Tuesday evening, March 15 and return Thursday evening, March 17.

A document with the Center for Global Islamic Studies travel policies is here, regarding reimbursement, honoraria, etc.

Honorarium Processing

The following forms are required for processing your honorarium:

  • For U.S. citizens, W-9 form for tax purposes (download form here)
  • Non-US Citizens need to complete the GMU Certification of Eligibility (download form here)
  • Non-US Citizens need to fill out a W-8 tax form (download form here)
  • Non-US Citizens need to submit a Foreign Nationals Information Form (download form here)
  • Non-US Citizens need to submit a copy of their passport and a copy of their I-94 or Visa
In order to be paid promptly, you will need to complete this paperwork before coming to the events in March. Please fill out all relevant forms and save with your last name in the filename. Send as an attachment to Veliyye Ay at vay@masonlive.gmu.edu, print out and fax to 703-993-5410, or print out and mail to:

Grant Project Manager
10517 Braddock Road, Suite 1700
Patriot Square MS 1H3
Fairfax, VA 22030

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