Between Zulaykha and Joseph: Shiʿi Allegoresis of Surat Yusuf

David Hollenburg explores Shiʿi interpretations of Surat Yusuf, including the work of Jaʿfar b. Mansur al-Yaman and Abu al-Fath al-Baghdadi.

The Lecture will be hosted online, via Zoom, on 09 May at 17:00 GMT.


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Yusuf fleeing the Advances of Zulaikha'' by Bihzad, folio from a ''Bustan'' of Sa'di. Herat, 1488. Darl al-Kutub, Adab farisi 22, f. 52b

Hosted by the Institute of Ismaili Studies (London) and convened by Dr Orkhan Mir-Kasimov since November 2023 (previously Dr Fârès Gillon), the Islamic History and Thought Lecture Series is designed to invite scholars of various international academic institutions, specialising in intellectual, social and political aspects of medieval and early modern Islamic societies, to present and discuss their research.

Orkhan Mir-Kasimov is an Associate Professor at The Institute of Ismaili Studies. He is Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and his teaching focuses on Islamic history, Shiʿi history and thought, and Islamic mysticism.

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Lecture series:

Dr Meryem Sebti (CNRS) - Thursday 3 February 2022 - 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm GMT

Location: Online and at the Aga Khan Centre, London

Soul's Imaginal Motion in Abū Ya‘qūb al-Sijistānī’s (fl. 10th CE) Kitāb al-Maqālīd and Risālah al-Bāhirah

Professor Alexandrin (University of Manitoba) - Thursday 28 April 2022 - 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm GMT

A Fatimid Text on the Necessity of the Imamate: The Book of Interim Times and Planetary Conjunctions (Kitāb al-Fatarāt wa-l-qirānāt)

Alex Matthews (University of Chicago Divinity School) - Thursday 9 June 2022 - 2:00 pm-4:00 pm GMT

Pre-Existence: a Myth and its Implications in Imami-Shiʿi Thought

Dr Roy Vilozny (University of Haifa) - Thursday 14 July 2022 - 5:00 pm-6:30 pm GMT

The Exoteric Tradition of the Fatimids: Sources, Reception, and Interpretation

Dr Kumail Rajani (University of Exeter) - Thursday 29 September 2022 - 2:00 pm-4:00 pm GMT

Spiritual Education and the “Imaginary Master” in Ibn ʿArabī’s K. al-Ajwiba al-ʿarabiyya

Gregory Vandamme - Thursday 27 October 2022 - 2:00 pm-4:00 pm GMT

The poet al-Sayyid al-Himyari and the Literary Development of the Epic Character of Imam Ali b. Abi Talib

Professor Leonardo Capezzone (Sapienza-University of Rome) - Thursday 8 December 2022 - 5:00 pm-6:30 pm GMT

Thinking and Believing: al-Jāḥiẓ on Religious Knowledge

Professor Hussein Abdulsater (University of Notre Dame)  - Thursday 30 November 2023 - 5:00pm-6:30pm GMT

Between Zulaykha and Joseph

David Hollenberg (University of Oregon)  - Thursday 9 May 2024 - 5:00pm-6:30pm GMT