Universiteit Leiden

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Ties of Kinship and the Early Islamic Empire

Monday 6 December 2021 - Wednesday 8 December 2021
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 4
2311 BZ Leiden
Online conference
Birth of Zal
Birth of Zal


In this conference we will explore how and when the language of kinship was implemented as a persuasive device, an operative category, and a problem-solving mechanism in premodern Islamic(ate) societies. When did the writers of our sources deploy kinship to describe or create group solidarity? What alternatives to kinship were used, instead, as a basis for expressing social cohesion? When was kinship construed for making claims? When was kinship invoked, and when was it deliberately omitted?

The conference will revolve around three major themes:

  • dynastic rule: presentations centered on caliphal and other ruling dynasties, sultanates, imamates, royal households, dynastic claims, and marriage politics;
  • family ties: presentations centered on kinship as part of family relations, households, consanguinity, adoption, property rights, and family law;
  • kinship outside the family: presentations centered on kinship as part of non-familial relations, tribal affiliation, spiritual kinship, slavery, clientship, and patronage.

See our website for more information

Confirmed speakers are: 


  • Sobhi Bouderbala
  • Ana Echevarría
  • Shounak Ghosh
  • Matthew Gordon
  • Hugh Kennedy
  • Ahmad Khan
  • Pia Maria Malik
  • Karen Moukheiber
  • Shirin Naef
  • Leone Pecorini-Goodall
  • Ekaterina(Kate)Pukhovaia
  • Janina Safran
  • Josef Ženka,
  • Cecila Palombo
  • Eline Scheerlinck

Any updates on the programme can be found on the here

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