• 21 Nov - 23 Nov 2022
  • Aga Khan Centre and online
  • Conference

Ismaili Studies Conference: The State of the Field

Attend in person

Attend online - Day 1  Attend online - Day 2  Attend online - Day 3

Attend poetry evening

This conference is intended to take stock of the field of Ismaili studies in terms of a broad range of themes from history, literature, philosophy and the intellectual traditions of Ismailis, to topics on contemporary Ismailism. It will also be an opportunity to showcase the contributions of The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS) to this field since its establishment in 1977, including the publications of the IIS and its various research units.

Contemporary scholarly works, mainly spearheaded by the IIS, have been instrumental in correcting misinformation and myths and raising awareness about Ismailis not only in terms of historical sources but also with regard to philosophical, social, political and broader civilisational aspects of the life of Ismailis throughout history. The growth of modern Ismaili studies and the creation of an institution dedicated to this field has placed this discipline of scholarly research on the academic map, uncovering many areas, which are now increasingly studied in an interdisciplinary manner by students and scholars alike.

In this conference, a variety of scholars from different disciplines are presenting papers in eleven themed panels in order to stimulate further discussions and deliberations on Ismaili studies. This conference is intended to reflect some of these developments.

Image credit: Opening of Kitāb al-Majālis wa’l-musāyarāt (The Book of Sessions and Excursions) by al-Qadi al-Nuʿman (d. 363/974). This manuscript was copied in 1355/1966. Courtesy Ismaili Special Collections Unit (ISCU), MS 541 (Ar).

Please note there will be musical performances on Days 1 and 2 of the conference. Please register respectively for each day, and concert, you wish to attend. A full conference programme will be available to download shortly.

Date: Monday 21 - Wednesday 23 November 2022

Location: Aga Khan Centre and online (Zoom)

Convenor: Dr Daryoush Mohammad Poor (Senior Research Associate, IIS)

Panels and Themes:

Panel I: Ismailis in South Asia
Panel II: Ismaili History
Panels III-V: Ismaili Doctrines and Literature 
Panel VI: Ismaili Philosophy
Panel VII: The Ikhwān al-Ṣafāʾ and their Epistles
Panels VIII-IX: Ismailis in Central Asia 
Panels X-XI: Contemporary Ismailism 

Speakers: Omar Alí-de-Unzaga (IIS); Fayaz S. Alibhai (IIS); Ali Asani (Harvard); Jalal Badakhchani (independent scholar); Carmela Baffioni (Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei and IIS); Yahia Baiza (IIS); Daniel Beben (Nazarbayev University); Delia Cortese (Middlesex University London); Farhad Daftary (IIS); Godefroid de Callataÿ (Université catholique de Louvain); Maria De Cillis (IIS); Daniel De Smet (CNRS, Paris); Zamira Dildorbekova (IIS); Nader El-Bizri (University of Sharjah); Hakim Elnazarov (IIS); Rahim Gholami (IIS); Fârès Gillon (IIS); Chorshanbe Ghoibnazarov (University of Central Asia); Sumaiya Hamdani (George Mason University); Zulfikar Hirji (York University); David Hollenberg (University of Oregon); Alice Hunsberger (State University of New York College at Old Westbury); Hussain Jasani (IIS); Karim Javan (IIS); Shainool Jiwa (IIS); Karim H. Karim (Carlton University); Shenila Khoja-Moolji (Georgetown); Verena Klemm (Saxon Academcy of Sciences and Humanities); Hermann Landolt (McGill University); Daryoush Mohammad Poor (IIS); Wafi Momin (IIS); Soumen Mukherjee (Presidency University); Nourmamadcho Nourmamadchoev (IIS); Ismaili Poonawala (UCLA); Tahera Qutbuddin (University of Chicago); Maryam Rezaee (IIS); Amier Saidula (IIS); Devin J. Stewart (Emory University); Antonella Straface (Università di Napoli “L’Orientale”); Jamel Velji (Claremont McKenna College); Shafique N. Virani (University of Toronto); Paul Walker (Univeristy of Chicago)


Q&A: As time allows, audience members present in person and joining online (using the Q&A option at the bottom of the Zoom control panel) can pose questions to the speakers during the Q&A session at the end.

Recording: Please note filming and photography will be taking place during this event, and may be used for marketing and educational purposes by IIS across our digital channels, and shared with our partners for the same purposes. By registering for this event, attendees consent to this.