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9th LUCIS Annual Conference | Approaching Shiʿi Islam in the Academy

Wednesday 14 November 2018 - Thursday 15 November 2018
Please register by sending en email to lucis@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Rapenburg 28 28
2311 EW Leiden
Image from Futūḥ al-Ḥaramayn by Muḥyī al-Dīn Lārī, held at Leiden University Library, Or. 11.079

The study of Shiʿi Islam is currently undergoing something of a resurgence. But, as with the broader field of Islamic studies, Shiʿi studies remains underpopulated and under theorised. Attempts to link academic discourses remain far and few in between. Disciplines, fields, and subfields which touch upon Shiʿism and which have much to contribute to each other often do not do so, with scholars tending to speak more to others within their disciplinary boundaries.

The primary objective of this conference, then, is to enrich conversations between scholars of Shiʿism and to demonstrate the relevance of Shiʿi themes to broader conversations in Islamic studies. While presenting original research, contributors will refer to the state of their subfields, and how examples derived from the study of Shiʿism can complicate and enrich debates in broader fields and disciplines.

The conference brings together leading specialists and emerging scholarly voices in the study of Shiʿi Islam in Europe and North America. In convening this conference, LUCIS encourages the consideration of all branches of Shiʿi Islam including strands of thought and practice that have been considered heterodox by some Shiʿi traditions, as well as Shiʿi modes of thought and comportment within purportedly non-Shiʿi expressions of Islam.

The conference will also be followed by a one-day early-career workshop entitled "Shiʿi Piety: Theory and Materiality from Premodern to Postmodern".


The keynote is delivered by Professor Robert Gleave from the University of Exeter. Gleave will demonstrate how Shiʿi material can help fill in some important gaps in our history of early Islamic intellectual formation, particularly in the field of Islamic legal studies. 


Have a look at the final programme. Programme booklets will be available at the conference. 

Confirmed speakers

  • Robert Gleave (University of Exeter)
    Normalising the Study of Shiʿism: Shiʿi Contributions to the Formation of Islamic law (Keynote Speech)
  • Ab de Jong (Leiden University)
    Domesticating Shiʿi Islam: Notes from an Outsider
  • Mirjam Künkler (Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study)
    Female Religious Authority in Shiʿi Islam
  • Gurdofarid Miskinzoda (Institute of Ismaili Studies)
    Approaching the study of Shiʿi texts: rethinking the use of form, function and content
  • Tahera Qutbuddin (University of Chicago)
    Piety and Virtue in the Teachings of Imam ʿAlī: Sermons and Sayings in the Nahj alBalāgha
  • Edith Szanto (American University of Iraq)
    The Widows of Karbala: Studying Women in Contemporary Shiʿism
  • Deborah Tor (University of Notre Dame)
    On the Integrality of Shiʿism to the Study of the History of the Classical Sunni Caliphate
  • Edmund Hayes (Leiden University)
    Interpreting the Imams: the Problems and Opportunities in Studying the Shiʿi Hadith Corpora
  • Matthijs van den Bos (University of London, Birkbeck)
    Shiite Patterns of Post-Migration in Europe
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