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Professor Alison Scott-Baumann

Formerly at Lancaster University

Alison Scott-Baumann

Additional Information

Dr Alison Scott-Baumann is newly appointed Visiting Reader in Politics, Philosophy and Religion, with strong interests in all three fields and in connections between them to facilitate cohesive communities in Britain.

Her major research interests lie in philosophy and application of philosophy to social justice projects, including over ten years of work with British Muslim groups. This includes partnerships with Markfield Institute of Higher Education, Al Mahdi Institute and Ebrahim Community College. She is Secretary General of Kashmir Education Foundation (UK) and works in Britain and in Pakistan on girls' education and teacher training for women. Relevant and current research includes a project on global citizenship funded by Department For International Development (DFID 2000-2003), and serving as a member of the working party for Islam at Universities in England, commissioned by Bill Rammell, Minister of State, and chaired by Dr Ataullah Siddiqui (2006-7). In 2007 she undertook a feasibility exercise for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, looking, with the British Embassy in Algiers, at possibilities for teaching Islamic Studies in English at Algiers University. In 2008 Alison was invited by Hazel Blears, Minister of State, to co-chair a research review of Muslim Faith Leader Training in UK and this was recently launched by the Department for Communities and Local Government with the new Coalition government (October 6 2010). [1] This research involved unprecedented access to dar ul ulooms in England and has been followed by HEFCE/HEA funding on opportunities offered by community colleges for educating Muslim girls. She is an invited member of the HEFCE funded HEA Islamic Studies Board (2009-2012).

Alison is England representative for the Fonds Ricoeur in Paris and a founding member of the UK-Ireland Society for Ricoeur Studies. In August 2009 her book Ricoeur and the hermeneutics of suspicion was published by Continuum.[2] She is now an invited member of the Fonds Ricoeur Conseil Scientifique and is running a day conference on January 24, 2011 in Paris, on Hegel and negativity, reflecting interest in her international work as a Ricoeur scholar. Alison has been working with the Paris team to catalogue the Ricoeur archives, which will be open for use at the start of 2011. An indication of this work can be seen in the September 2010 issue of Theory, Culture and Society.[3] These archives are as yet mostly unresearched and represent a magnificent resource for looking at twentieth century continental thought, politics and religion afresh in the light of unseen materials on Sartre, Adorno and many others. Ricoeur's unknown project of twenty years' duration into negation (1940-1960) forms part of her current work on her next book, which as well as presenting original primary research on Kant and Hegel, will also provide new commentary on the current interest in happiness and wellbeing.

Alison also has an interest in the work of Iris Murdoch and in 2010 Alison's co-edited anthology of new scholars' work on Iris Murdoch was published by the USA publishing house McFarland.[4]

Alison was recently awarded a Higher Education Academy research grant by the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies to look at the use of modern Arabic in Islamic Studies courses. This is particularly relevant given the rise in UK of Arabic language studies, and with the increased possibilities for contact with the Arab world in the light of events unfolding in the Middle East.

She speaks good French and German.

[1] The training and development of Muslim Faith Leaders: Current practice and future possibilities


[2] Recent review of Ricoeur work by Robert Piercey


[3] Recent research on Ricoeur


[4] Co-edited book on Iris Murdoch