for autonomous sociology

How to Become an Obscure Public Sociologist

In the year 2000, I moved from New York to London. The protests against the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle had just taken place, and similar social movements were springing up around the world. I played a small role in this ‘alter-globalisation’1 movement, as one of the founders of a short-lived London branch of the international ATTAC network. Launched in France in 1998, ATTAC opposed neoliberal economics and advocated policies that aimed to limit the power of the global financial markets. Read more →

Sociology and the History of Islam

Here’s a video of a 40-minute introductory talk I gave on the Qur’an and the early history of Islam, on 30 January 2013 at the National University of Singapore. The talk was part of a lecture series called ‘Introduction to the Study of the Contemporary Middle East’, organised by the university’s Middle East Institute, where I was then a post-doc.  I didn’t try to do anything more than summarise the current state of scholarship on the topic, including the main areas of disagreement among specialists. Read more →