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Raashid Goyal

3rd Year PhD Student

photo of Raashid Goyal

Educational Background

  • BA with high distinction, 2011, University of Michigan-Dearborn, History, minor in Linguistics

Overview

My first foray into the Arab world came as a high school student, upon receiving a scholarship to study at the Arabic Language and Cultural Institute, Marrakesh, Morocco. I subsequently pursued Islamic studies during and following my undergraduate program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, completing courses in Islamic jurisprudence, Qur'anic exegesis, hadith, Arabic grammar and other topics at institutes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. Since coming to Cornell in 2016, I have spent time studying Persian as a FLAS fellow, and Syriac as a Dumbarton Oaks fellow at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, Collegeville, Minnesota. In 2017-18, I participated in the Brett de Bary Interdisciplinary Mellon Writing Group, "Perceiving the Past, Representing the Present: The Formation of Identity in Late Antique Texts and Media," and am currently a participant in the Einaudi-SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Program at Cornell.

Departments/Programs

  • Near Eastern Studies

Research

My dissertation project examines the genesis of legal thought in Islam and the relationship of early legal developments to the formation and negotiation of Islamic identity. The study interrogates the compositional development of Muslim traditions related to three topics in Islamic law (the terms of capitulation offered to subjugated peoples, the obligation of male circumcision, and the penalty for illicit sexual intercourse), seeking to illuminate the processes impacting the construction of law and identity within the nascent Muslim community. Concurrent with my dissertation research, I maintain an interest in the study of early Islamic dogma and political thought, particularly as relates to groups associated with the Kharijite label.

conference papers and talks

“Conversion and Subjecthood before the Jizya: New Light from a Qur’ānic-era Tradition,” presented for panel, “Community, Identity, and the Codification of Islamic Law,” Fifth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK), Apr 11, 2018.

 “The Arghal Tradition: A Primitive Ruling Concerning Male Circumcision Evincing a Shared Judaic and Islamic Context,” presented at the Second IDEO Conference in Cairo: The emergence of Ḥadīṯ as the authority of knowledge (Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies, Cairo, Egypt), Jan 12, 2018.

“Muslim and Islam-affiliated denominations in the United States,” presented for TST BOCES K-12 teacher training session, “America and the Middle East” (Cornell University, Ithaca, New York), Oct 24, 2017.

“Two Policies of Non-Aggression in the Umayyad Period: Abū Bilāl Mirdās b. Udayya, al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī, and the Beginnings of Basran Quietism,” presented for panel, “Reconsidering Kharijism in Early Islamic History,” 33rd Deutscher Orientalistentag (Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany), Sep 27, 2017.

“Rebel’s Advocate: How Abū ʿUbayda Maʿmar b. al-Muthannā Came to be Labelled a Kharijite,” presented for panel, “Reassessing Textual Transmission in the Early Islamic Period,” 21st Anniversary NMCGSA Symposium (University of Toronto, Canada), Mar 9, 2017.

Panels Organized

“Community, Identity, and the Codification of Islamic Law,” Fifth Annual Conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies, (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK), Apr 11, 2018 (with Antonia Bosanquet).