Lecture Series on: Islamic Civilization and the Culture of Dialogue
Islamic Philosophy: A Living Tradition
The general discussion on the topic by our guest speakers will be followed by the launch of our new publication:
The English translation of the fourth part of Mulla Sadra Shirazi’s magnum opus, The Asfar
The translator, Dr Latimah-Parvin Peerwani, will introduce this classic text in the field of Islamic philosophy
6:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Wednesday, 11 March 2009 The Islamic College
33 High Road, Willesden, London NW10 2SW
Tel: +44(0) 20 8451 9993 Fax: +44 (0) 20 8451 9994
Please confirm your attendance via email to firstname.lastname@example.org Closest Tube Station: Willesden Green Station (on Jubilee Line)
Buses: 52, 260, 206, 266, 460, 98, 302
1. The ESRC/AHRC Network for British Researchers and Practitioners of Islamic Law announces a CALL FOR PAPERS for its next workshop entitled:
Diversity and Change in Islamic Law: Developments in Shi’ite Jurisprudence To be held at the University of Exeter, 4th and 5th June 2009. Full details can be found at:
2. Clerical Authority in Shi’ite Islam: The Seminaries of Iraq and Iran – a three year project of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, and the British Institute of Persian Studies – announces a CALL FOR PAPERS for its first workshop to be held on 27th May 2009 at the British Academy (London) and the opening of applications for RESEARCH PROGRAMME GRANTS of up to £5000 each, with a closing date of 20th March 2009. Full details of both elements of the Project can be found at:
BRITISH INSTITUTE FOR THE STUDY OF IRAQ
(Gertrude Bell Memorial)
GRANTS: RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND ACADEMIC VISITORS
The Institute promotes, supports, and undertakes research and public education relating to Iraq and neighbouring countries, carrying out work not covered by other BASIS-sponsored institutions. Its coverage includes anthropology, archaeology, geography, history, languages, and related disciplines within the arts, humanities, and social sciences from the earliest times until the present. It has over 700 subscribers to its journal Iraq and members may also subscribe to the International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies.
Membership with its benefits is open to all with special student rates. For more information about the Institute and its grants see:
BISI RESEARCH GRANTS The Institute invites funding applications twice a year for grants in aid of research and for the organisation of academic conferences.
Applications are welcomed to support research or conferences on Iraq and neighbouring countries not covered by other BASIS-sponsored institutions, in any field of the humanities or social sciences, concerned with any time period from prehistory to the present day. Awards will normally fall within a limit of £4000, though more substantial awards may be made. In addition, the Institute particularly welcomes funding applications for pilot projects preliminary to larger research projects, especially on the theme of Exile and Return. Funding of up to £8000 is available, for one pilot project a year. The Institute will also offer assistance to the award-holder in drafting a full research proposal
to submit jointly to other funding bodies. Applicants must be residents of
the UK or, exceptionally, other individuals whose academic research closely coincides with that of the BISI. Two academic references are required. All applications and references must be received by 31 January and 31 October annually.
BISI DEVELOPMENT GRANTS Grants are available to support development events and projects, such as lectures, study days, and popular publications that relate to Iraq and neighbouring countries and to the areas of interest covered by BISI.
A Development Grant application should normally be for an amount up to
more substantial grants may be made. Applicants need to submit an application form and two references to the BISI Administrator. Applicants must be residents of the UK and preference is given to activities taking place in the UK, or in Iraq or a neighbouring country. The deadlines for applications and references are 15 April and 15 October annually. In special circumstances BISI will consider urgent applications at other times.
BISI VISITING IRAQI FELLOWS & SCHOLARS GRANTS BISI offers two or three grants each year to be held in the UK by visiting scholars from Iraq in the fields of archaeology, ancient languages, museum and heritage studies, and other disciplines within the humanities and social sciences. The academic focus must relate to the study of Iraq and priority is given to scholars at an early stage of their careers. Applications are due by 31 October and 30 April annually.
All grant requirements, conditions, and application forms, as well as membership forms, are available from: BISI Administrator, 10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH, United Kingdom and the BISI website:
Tel. + 44 (0) 20 7969 5274
Fax. + 44 (0) 20 7969 5401
Reg. Charity No. 219948
University of Edinburgh
Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
19 George Square
Thursday, 19 March,
Professor David Pinault will talk on
SUNNI-SHIA RELATIONS IN PAKISTAN AND INDIA:
CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS FOR RECONCILIATION
Professor Pinault is author of three major books that address modern Shi`ism in the subcontinent:
Notes from the Fortune-Telling Parrot: Islam and the Struggle for Religious Pluralism in Pakistan. London: Equinox Publishing, 2008.
Horse of Karbala: Studies in South Asian Muslim Devotionalism. New
York: Palgrave/St. Martin’s Press, 2000.
The Shiites: Ritual and Popular Piety in a Muslim Community. New York:
St. Martin’s Press, 1992.
Saudi Information Agency
Two Saudi Shia Dead After Clash with Religious Police for a Second Day in Holy City
(Washington DC –February 22, 2009) – Two Shia civilians have been reported killed by Saudi police who opened fire at thousands of Saudi Shia visitors to the holy city of Madina following a second day of clashes with religious police, witness told SIA News.
Witnesses told SIA News that two people have died after security forces opened fire at buses carrying Shia visitors in their way to attend religious gathering in a farm outside Madina to commemorate the death of the Prophet Mohamed. The farm is owned by Sheikh Mohamed AlAmari, the top religious leader of Saudi Shia community in the city. While they make up 30% the city, they are not allowed to build their places of worship.
Witnesses said, the religious police attacked Shai visitors in Baqee Cemetery and in the Prophet Mohamed Mosque, where Shia gathered for prayers.
On Saturday, thousands of Shia protested outside the Baqee after discovering a member of the Saudi religious police was filming Shia women while they gathered outside the Baqee to perform visitation rituals. The protest left several injured and arrested by the riot police. Photographing women in Saudi Arabia is seeing as sexual harassment.
In keeping with its policy of banning coverage of Shia religious and cultural news, Saudi press outlets reporting the clashes didn’t make any reference to the Shia. AlWatan, AlRiyadh, AlHyata, and Okaz newspapers blamed the crowds for causing disturbances.
The government of King Abdullah bans its Shia citizens from senior government jobs such s diplomats, ministers.
“People of the Prophet’s House: Art, Architecture and Shi’ism in the Islamic World”
Co-sponsored by the British Museum and the Institute of Ismaili Studies
Date: Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 March 2009
Venue: The British Museum, BP Lecture Theatre, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
“They said: Do you wonder at Allah’s bidding? The mercy of Allah and His blessings are on you, O People of the House (Ahl al-Bayt), surely He is Praised, Glorious.” Holy Qur’an (11:73)
The Arabic phrase ‘Ahl al-Bayt’ or ‘People of the House’ is mentioned twice in the Holy Qur’an and, in one instance, refers specifically to the family of the Prophet Muhammad. For Shi’a Muslims, the term refers to the Prophet’s daughter, Fatima, her husband, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, who was the Prophet’s cousin and first Shi’i Imam (leader), their two sons, Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn, and subsequently to their descendants. Today, Shi’a Muslims reside predominantly in the Middle East with sizable minorities in South and Central Asia, making up 10% of the world’s culturally diverse Muslim population. Although, like all Muslims, the Shi’a have always been and remain ethnically, culturally and even religiously diverse, their shared beliefs and practices, which center on reverence for the Prophet and his descendants, have greatly impacted Muslim material culture.
Who are the Shi’a? Can we identify art, architecture and material culture that is inspired by Shi’i traditions from around the world and throughout history? These questions are explored in an intellectually stimulating and visually enthralling three-day international conference. Covering topics from shrine and mosque architecture, manuscript painting, and religious iconography, to ritual expressions and contemporary cinema, the papers also span a wide geographic area from West Africa and the Middle East to Southeast Asia and China.
Day 1: Thursday 26 March 2009
8:30-9:10 Registration and morning coffee
Session 1: Historical Contexts and Definitions and Opening Remarks
Chair: Azim Nanji, Stanford University
9:20 Shainool Jiwa, Institute of Ismaili Studies
Shi’ism: narratives, images, perspectives
10:00 Oleg Grabar, Institute for Advanced Study
Can we identify Shi’i features in art and architecture?
10:40 Oliver Leaman, University of Kentucky
Defining Shi’i art: problems and possibilities
11:20 Coffee Break
Session 2: The Holy Shrines of Iraq and Iran
Chair: Sheila S. Blair, Boston College
11:50 James W. Allan, University of Oxford
The Shi’i shrines of Iraq: history and architectural development
12:30 May Farhat, American University of Beirut
Mashhad under the early Safavid shahs
Session 3: Patronage and Pilgrimage: Shi’i Shrines in Iran
Chair: Anna Contadini, SOAS, University of London
2:30 Sheila R. Canby, British Museum
The gifts of Shah ‘Abbas to Shi’i shrines
3:10 Melanie Michailidis, Carleton College
Pilgrims and patrons: Ziyarat under the Samanids and Bavandids
3:50 Afternoon Tea
Session 4: Patronage and Pilgrimage: Shi’i Shrines in Syria
Chair: Doris Behrens-Abouseif, SOAS, University of London
4:30 Yasser Tabbaa, King’s Academy
Architecture for piety: the Shi’i shrines of Syria
5:10 Stephennie Mulder, University of Texas
Shrines of the Prophet’s house: the role of the ‘Alid shrines in medieval Syria’s sacred landscape
Day 2: Friday 27 March 2009
Session 1: Amulets, Divination and Iconography in Shi’i Contexts
Chair: Emilie Savage-Smith, University of Oxford
9:20 Massumeh Farhad, Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler
Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Between the past and the future: the Falnama (Book of Omens)
10:00 Christiane Gruber, Indiana University
The ‘restored’ Shi’i mushaf as divine guide?: the practice of fal-i Qur’an in the Safavid period
10:40 Venetia Porter, British Museum
Heroes, amulets and Shi’ism in modern Iran
11:20 Coffee Break
Session 2: Shi’i Inscriptions on Art and Architecture
Chair: Alexander H. Morton, SOAS, University of London
11:50 Sheila S. Blair, Boston College
Writing about faith: epigraphic evidence for the development of Shi’ism in Iran
12:30 Luke Treadwell, Ashmolean Museum
Shi’i inscriptions on Islamic coins
Session 3: Iconography Beyond Shi’i Contexts
Chair: Oya Pancaroglu, Bogaziçi University
2:30 Zeynep Yurekli-Gorkay, University of Oxford
Icon, emblem, amulet, identity marker: the sword of ‘Ali and the Ottoman ghazis
2:50 Fahmida Suleman, Institute of Ismaili Studies
The ‘Hand of Fatima’, origins and significance
3:30 Afternoon Tea
Session 4: Ritual Expressions in Shi’i Contexts
Chair: Pedram Khosronejad, University of St. Andrews
4:00 Mara Leichtman, Michigan State University
The Africanization of ‘Ashura in Senegal
4:40 Nacim Pak-Shiraz, SOAS, University of London
Cinema as a reservoir for cultural memory
5:20 Rizwan Mawani, Institute of Ismaili Studies
Hanafi Shi’ism, Vaishnavite kingdoms and the Chirag Rawshan: traces of the ‘Alid legacy in China and Indonesia
Day 3: Saturday 28 March 2009
Session 1: Fatimid Contexts
Chair: Farhad Daftary, Institute of Ismaili Studies
9:20 Jonathan Bloom, Boston College
Fatimid architecture and Shi’ism
10:00 Ruba Kana’an, York University
Between realm and resonance: ‘Fatimid style’ in Yemen and Oman
10:40 Nasser Rabbat, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Maqrizi and the Fatimids
11:20 Coffee Break
Session 2: Summaries and Conclusions
Chair: Andrew J. Newman, University of Edinburgh
11:50 Oleg Grabar and Oliver Leaman
Full Rate: £55 (3 days), £25 (1 day)
Concession Rate (full-time students with valid ID, Seniors, and unwaged):
£25 (3 days), £10 (1 day)
As places are limited, please register early to avoid disappointment.
To register please contact Fahmida Suleman at email@example.com or visit www.iis.ac.uk/artconference (under construction)
For the full programme accompanying the British Museum’s exhibition, “Shah ‘Abbas: The Remaking of Iran” (19 February – 14 June 2009),
Dr. Fahmida Suleman
Research Associate, Department of Academic Research and Publications The Institute of Ismaili Studies
210 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DA
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7756 2723 (direct line)
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7756 2700 (switchboard)
Fax: +44 (0)20 7756 2740
Moving from strength to strength, the _Journal of Shi’a Islamic
Studies_ is now
searching for a book reviews editor. The suitable candidate will be an academic with expertise in the area of Shi’a studies who is capable of administering the reviews pages of a scholarly journal which aims to be the best in its field.
– identification of books important to Shi’a studies;
– obtaining review copies from publishers;
– identifying suitable reviewers;
– ensuring the accuracy of acquired reviews.
I look forward to hearing the suggestions of list members.
on behalf of
Editor Journal of Shi’a Islamic Studies
The Islamic College
133 High Road
London NW10 2SW
Tel: +44(0) 20 8451 9993
Fax: +44 (0) 20 8451 9994
The following announcement of a very imminent conference has come through:
“Samarra: Heritage and Culture”
19 February 2009
9.30am to 5pm
University of London
I cannot send the PDF of the programme, but further incormation is available from the
Centre for Islamic Shi’a Studies
Tel: 020 8451 3322 (UK)
Fax: 020 8451 3323 (UK)
75 Brondesbury Park,
London NW6 7AX