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Call for Papers: Third International Ismaili Studies Conference

Histories, Philosophies, and Communities

Third International Ismaili Studies Conference: Histories, Philosophies, and Communities


 Organiser: Leiden University Shii Studies Initaitve

Conference Date: August 6-9, 2021 [Online via Zoom]

 Abstract Deadline: May 30, 2021



  • Dr Ahab Bdaiwi (Leiden University) and Dr. Khalil Andani (Augustana College)

Organizing Committee:

  • Dr. Ali Asgar Alibhai, Visiting Assistant Professor of Islamic History and Material Culture (University of Texas - Dallas)
  • Dr. Daniel Beben, Assistant Professor of History & Religious Studies (Nazarbayev University)
  • Dr. Alyshea Cummins, Post-Doctoral Fellow (University of Ottawa)
  • Syed Zaidi, Doctoral Candidate (Emory University)

The Leiden University Shiii Studies Initiative is pleased to announce that an international Ismaili Studies Conference will take place on August 6, 7, 8, and 9, 2021 in a virtual online format. It will build on the remarkable success of the 2017 and 2014 Ismaili Studies Conferences. These multidisciplinary gatherings are a progressive endeavor to provide opportunities for the presentation of research as well as for academic discussion and debate on the scholarly endeavor termed broadly as Ismaili Studies. They provide a pluralist locus for scholarship on the various entities and communities that are related to, have emerged from or are associated in other ways with Ismaili expressions of Islam in the past and the present. The Conference also addresses these communities’ relations within the wider Shia, Muslim and other societies. Also of interest are the engagements across religious boundaries and the articulations of thought and faith in between dominantly defined religious and cultural domains. This multidisciplinary intellectual space includes but is not limited to the critical analysis of the histories, theologies, philosophies, migrations, and institutions as well as of social, economic, political and cultural expressions. It is also inclusive of all geographical regions and periods.

The Conference is open to both academic/descriptive approaches and constructive/theological (faith-oriented) approaches to Ismaili Studies. We welcome proposals that make use of a plurality of methodologies including: history, intellectual history, anthropology, literature, critical race theory, cultural studies, religious studies, gender theory, sociology, normative religious education, stylometric analysis, ethno-musicology, constructive theologies (systematic, comparative, practical), philosophy of religion, metaphysics, ethics, critical rationalism, etc. Such an approach provides for a robust and integral understanding of a broadly situated Ismaili Studies.

Proposals for papers and panels are invited in the following areas, but are not limited to them:

  • Art and Architecture (Material Cultures)
  • Cultural Studies
  • Esotericism, Hermeneutics, and Occultism
  • Devotional Literatures
  • History (Social, Political, Literary)
  • Institutional Development
  • Interfaith and/or Intercultural relations
  • Intellectual History
  • Intra-Muslim and intra-Shi’i interactions
  • Khoja Studies
  • Media and Communication
  • Migration, Diaspora, and Transnationalism
  • Music
  • Politics
  • Religious Practices, Rites and Rituals
  • Religious Education
  • Socio-economic Development
  • Theology, Philosophy & Metaphysics (descriptive & constructive)

Please send Abstracts (350 words) to Dr. Khalil Andani at lussi@hum.leidenuniv.nl 
by May 30, 2021.

Include the following in your submission:

Full Name; Email; Institutional Affiliation; Time-Zone; Paper Title, Abstract Text

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