CALL for PAPERS: Teaching Social Sciences and Humanities at Balkan Madrasas


Teaching Social Sciences and Humanities at Balkan Madrasas

Call for papers


Contemporary Balkan Madrasas are Islamic high schools whose graduates can go on to pursue a university education, either in Islamic studies or some other field. That has not always been the case, as Madrasas often focused in the past on training the personnel for their local Islamic communities. Introducing the humanities and social sciences into their curricula has been an important aspect of this transformation in recent decades. This process has not been without controversy but is at this point irreversible. What is missing, however, is any critical assessment of the change’s impact. The relevant questions include: What has been the effect on madrasa curricula of introducing “secular” courses, beyond simply reducing the time available for religious courses? What are the teaching materials used and how do they differ from those used in the public school system? Who teaches these courses? How do they deal with religiously “sensitive” topics? What type of interaction is there between the humanities and social sciences, on the one hand, and the Islamic disciplines, on the other? In other words, is integration more than just formal? This conference aims to bring together practitioners, researchers, decision-makers, textbook authors, and other stakeholders to discuss these and similar questions.


  • To shed light on the introduction of the humanities and social sciences into Balkan madrasa curricula and their current status;
  • Analyse the teaching materials used;
  • Understand the teaching methods applied better;
  • Identify best teaching practices;
  • Explore any shortcomings and/or areas for improvement related to this section of the madrasa curricula;
  • Examine ideas for interdisciplinary cross-fertilization between the Islamic and the secular disciplines at madrasas;
  • Explore experiences and challenges of integrating the teaching of social sciences from an Islamic perspective.

The main topics of the Conference

Conference papers should address the main conference topic or one or more of the following:

  • The history of the humanities and social sciences at Balkan madrasas and their introduction into the curricula;
  • The profile and status of secular courses and their teachers at Balkan madrasas;
  • How religiously sensitive issues are dealt with in madrasas;
  • The pedagogy and didactics of the social sciences and humanities at madrasas;
  • How digitalization has impacted the teaching of the humanities and social sciences;
  • Shortcomings and problems in teaching the social sciences and humanities at madrasas.

Other important information

  • The Conference will be in English, with some parallel sessions in Albanian.
  • Abstracts and draft papers will be evaluated by the academic committee.
  • Papers should be between seven and nine thousand words in length.
  • The organizers will cover the travel and accommodation costs of presenters (only one person for multi-author presentations).

Important dates

  • Deadline for abstract submission: 1 August   15 August 2021
  • Notification of acceptance of abstract: 10 August   25 August 2021
  • Submission of full paper: 15 September 2021
  • Tentative Conference dates: Korça, 24-26 September 2021

Please send inquiries, abstracts, and papers to (English, Resul Alić) or (Albanian, Anisa Hykaj).

Organised by

Institute of Education, Heritage and Tourism, Albania

Albanian Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization, Albania

Center for Advanced Studies, Bosnia and Herzegovina

in cooperation with

International Institute of Islamic Thought, USA

Center for Cross-Cultural Understanding “Horizonti”, Montenegro