The British Society for Middle Eastern Studies, popularly known as BRISMES, was established in 1973 to encourage and promote the study of the Middle East in the United Kingdom. It brings together teachers, researchers, students, diplomats, journalists and others who deal professionally with the Middle East. At the national level, the Society pursues a concerted strategy by impressing on national, governmental and university bodies the importance of safeguarding and expanding Middle Eastern studies. In addition, BRISMES also publishes the twice-yearly British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies and organises lectures and seminars throughout the year culminating in their annual conference held at rotating venues in the United Kingdom each year.

This year, the Institute contributed a panel presentation as well as three presentations to two other panels.

Roundtable Discussion: New Directions in Ismaili Studies

Chair and Discussant:

  • Professor Azim Nanji Director, The Institute of Ismaili Studies


  • “The Classical Persian Ghazal and Rumi in the Oral Poetry of the Ismailis of Tajik Badakhshan”  Dr Gabrielle van den Berg E G Browne Lecturer in Persian, University of Cambridge
  • “Fighting Cocks or Romantic Roosters? New Approaches to the Study of Fatimid Iconography", Fahmida Suleman Doctoral Candidate, University of Oxford
  • “Genetically Modified Corpus or Critical Edition: The Shahnama Genome Project”, Amin Mahdavi Doctoral Candidate, University of Edinburgh

Individual Papers:

Panel: Egypt in Historical Perspective

  • “ ‘Amr al-Mu’minin wa Imam al-Muslimin – Manifestations of the Fatimid Imam-Caliph’s Authority in Early Fatimid Egypt”, Dr Shainool Jiwa Research Associate, The Institute of Ismaili Studies
  • Panel: Shi‘i Historiography and Philosophy
  • “Reason in Philosophical Shi‘ism: Ismaili and Imami Aspects”, Dr Alice C Hunsberger Visiting Fellow, The Institute of Ismaili Studies
  • “A Central Shi‘i Belief: Ahmad al-Naysaburi’s Views on the Imamate”, Dr Arzina R Lalani Research Associate, The Institute of Ismaili Studies