Upcoming Ismaili Studies Conference (Oct 16-17) features top scholars in Ismaili Studies

North America’s first Ismaili Studies Conference will take place on October 16 and 17 at the University of Chicago. Organized by University of Chicago Doctoral Candidates Shiraz Hajiani and Michael J. Bechtel, the Ismaili Studies Conference features Five Panels and a concluding Roundtable Discussion.

The presenters on these Panels include the top names in Ismaili studies over the last decades including Professor Azim Nanji (former director of the Institute of Ismaili Studies), Professor Ali Asani (Harvard), Professor Karim H. Karim (Carleton), Dr. Paul Walker (Chicago), Professor Tahera Qutbuddin (Chicago), Professor Sumaiya A. Hamdani (George Mason). The speakers also include a contingent of Institute of Ismaili Studies scholars such as Dr. Shainool Jiwa, Dr. Jalal Badakhchani, Dr. Nourmamadcho Nourmamadchoev.

The list of presenters also features the newest crop of early career scholars and doctoral students specializing in Ismaili studies including Professor Rachel Howes (California State), Dr. Karim Gillani (Alberta), Shumaila Hemani (Alberta), Karim Tharani (Saskatchewan), Aslisho Qurboniev (Oxford), Daniel Beben (Indiana), and Khalil Andani (Harvard).

Registration for the Ismaili Studies Conference is free but must be done in advance here:
Ismaili Studies Conference attendance registration form.

The Conference Program is here and below (subject to change).

ismaili studies conference


Rooms W301-303, Gordon Center for Integrative Science
University of Chicago
929 E 57th Street
Chicago, IL

Day 1: Thursday 16 October 2014

9:00 Registration & Breakfast

  • Welcome
    Shiraz Hajiani (Chicago)
    Michael J. Bechtel (Chicago)
  • Tahera Qutbuddin (Chicago)
    Associate Professor of Arabic Literature
    Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the College
    Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities
  • Margaret Mitchell (Chicago)
    Dean of the Divinity School and Shailer Mathews Professor of New Testament and Early Christian Literature; also in the College

10:00 Sources and Approaches

  • Chair: Professor Franklin Lewis (Chicago)
  • Shumaila Hemani (Alberta)
    The Aga Khan Bands as a ‘Source’ for Ismaili History-Who Narrates? — Towards A Post-Structuralist/Post-Orientalist Turn in the Historiography of the Ismailis
  • Karim Tharani (Saskatchewan)
    The Protector-Researcher Conundrum: Sharing Sources and Reconciling Approaches in the Digital Age
  • Professor Samer Trablousi (UNC-A)
    Sources for the History of the ?ayyibi Isma?ili Da?wa in Yemen and its Relocation to India
  • Dr. Paul Walker (Chicago)
    Where are We in the Recovery of Ismaili Texts from the Fatimid Period: Manuscripts, Editions and Translations

12:00 Lunch Break

13:00: Texts, Literatures and Their Uses

  • Chair: Professor Regula Qureshi (Alberta)
  • Daniel Beben (Indiana)
    Between Orality and Textuality: Isma?ili Conversion Narratives from the Shughnan Region of Badakhshan
  • Karim Javan (IIS)
    Diwan-i Qa?imiyyat, a Resonance of Glory and Chivalry
  • Dr. Karim Gillani (Alberta)
    Exploring ‘ginan’ within the Indo-Muslim Cultural Context
  • Professor Jo-Ann Gross (College of NJ)
    Ethnographic Research, Textual Scholarship and Material Culture: Approaches to Study of Confessional and Communal Identity among the Isma?ilis of Badakhshan
  • Dr. Aziz Qutbuddin (AASSIA, SOAS)
    A Methodology for the Analysis of Tah?mi¯d in Fatimid Texts: The Relational Approach

15:00 Break

15:30 Thought

  • Chair: Dr. Paul Walker (Chicago)
  • Khalil Andani (Harvard)
    From Divine Word to Prophetic Word: Revelation in the thought of Nasir-i Khusraw
  • Dr. Jalal Badakhchani (IIS)
    In the light of Resurrection: A glance into the main sources of Ismaili Thought during Alamut Period.
  • Dr. Alnoor Dhanani (Independent Scholar)
    A Fa?imid response to the question of the integrity of the Qur’an. Qa?i al-Nu?man’s interpretive strategy in the Kitab al-walaya of al-Da?a?im fi l-islam
  • Professor David Hollenburg (Oregon)
    Fa?imid ta?wil and da?wa knowledge
  • Professor Shin Nomoto (Keio U., Tokyo)
    Did the “Night Journey” lead the Prophet to eschatological visions? — Abu ?atim al-Razi’s (d. ca. 322/934) interpretation of the Qur?anic Verses Related to the Prophet’s “Night Journey”

17:30 Adjourn to Day 2

Day 2: Friday 17 October 2014

08:30 Breakfast

09:00 Histories

  • Chair: TBD
  • Professor Rachel Howes (UC-Northridge)
    The Intellectual Community of Cairo and the ‘Great Crisis’: a Collective Response to Trauma?
  • Dr. Shainool Jiwa (IIS)
    Religious Pluralism and Pragmatic Governance: The Fatimid Mediterranean Experience (10th-11th Centuries)
  • Dr. Nourmamadcho Nourmamadchoev (IIS)
    The Politics of Rule in Badakhshan and the Place of Isma¯?i¯li¯s
  • Aslisho Qurboniev (Oxford)
    The Living Imam: Religious and Political Authority in al-Shahrastani?s thought.

11:00 Break

11:30 Communities and Boundaries

  • Chair: Professor Ali Asani (Harvard)
  • Professor Iqbal Akhtar (FIU)
    The Woodcutter’s Tale (Kat?hiya¯ro¯ni¯ Kaha¯n?i¯) Historicizing the Indic Narrative Prayers of the Kho¯ja¯ Caste
  • Professor Sumaiya Hamdani (George Mason)
  • Professor Karim Karim (Carleton)
    Historiographic Asymmetries: The Contemporary Study of the Nizari Ismaili Past
  • Dr. Amier Saidula (IIS)
    The Ismailis of Xinjiang China: in the age of Transition

13:30 Lunch Break

14:30 Plenary Round Table: Future Pathways of Ismaili Studies

  • Chair: Dr. Alnoor Dhanani (Independent Scholar)
  • Panelists
    Professor Ali Asani (Harvard)
    Professor Sumaiya Hamdani (George Mason)
    Professor Azim Nanji (Stanford & AKU)
    Dr. Paul Walker (Chicago)

16:30 Closing Address

  • Professor Karim Karim (Carleton)
  • Shiraz Hajiani (Chicago)

One thought on “Upcoming Ismaili Studies Conference (Oct 16-17) features top scholars in Ismaili Studies

  1. I can actually pick some of the names, whom I have heard or seen on various media; like a blogger commented, I too would like these speeches to enlighten us with their knowledge.

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