Dr. Darryl Li presents a paper in relation to his important recent book, The Universal Enemy: Jihad, Empire, and the Challenge of Solidarity (2020; Stanford). The paper reflects on the key themes of this work in relation to ummatic concerns, and in particular, its attempt to “reconstruct a particular way of bringing a vision of umma into being: through jihad, understood specifically as an armed campaign mobilizing Muslims of different geographies to fight alongside fellow Muslims during the 1992-1995 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.” The Universal Enemy seeks to compare the notion and practice of modern jihad as an alternate universalism to other dominant claims to universalist discourse.
Dr. Darryl Li is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Associate Member of the Law School, University of Chicago. He is an anthropologist and attorney working at the intersection of war, law, migration, empire, and race with a focus on transregional linkages between the Middle East, South Asia, and the Balkans.
Dr. Basit Iqbal (Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, McMaster University) will respond, followed by an open floor discussion.