“Perspectives in Islamic Studies” Conference, 22-24 August 1998

As part of its efforts to bring together Muslim intellectuals to discuss issues of interest for contemporary Islam, the Institute organised a special symposium of Ismaili Muslim scholars in the summer of 1998. The main objective of this seminar was to facilitate the exchange of ideas on disciplinary approaches and boundaries of Islamic Studies, and how these affect individual scholars in their own specialised areas of research. The participants included a number of established scholars and doctoral candidates in the fields of Islamic Studies and Humanities from different universities, as well as the faculty and staff of The Institute of Ismaili Studies.


Professor Azim Nanji, Director, The Institute of Ismaili Studies

Keynote Address

  • Dr. Aziz Esmail, Governor, The Institute of Ismaili Studies
  • The Role of Literature and the Arts in Teaching Muslim Devotional Life
  • Dr. Ali A. Asani, Associate Professor of Indo-Muslim Culture, Harvard University, and Hussein Rashid, doctoral student, Harvard University
  • Celestial Intellects or Celestial Stones: The Encounter between Ibn Sina and 'Abd al-Jabbar
  • Dr. Alnoor Dhanani, Lecturer in Islamic Philosophy, Harvard University
  • The Aesthetic of the Arabesque
  • Mahnaz Fancy, PhD candidate, University of Chicago
  • The Sociology of Islam and Muslims in India
  • Dr. Nasreen Fazalbhoy, Reader, Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai
  • How to Read Islamic Philosophy
  • Tariq Jaffer, PhD student in Islamic Studies, Yale University
  • Nizari Quhistani and Post Alamut Ismailism
  • Dr. Nadia Eboo Jamal, PhD in Islamic Studies, University of New York
  • Fatimid Discourse with the Muslim Ummah
  • Dr. Shainool Jiwa, PhD in Islamic Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • Language and Reality: Some Problems with Teaching and Studying Islam as a Religion
  • Dr. Tazim Kassam, Assistant Professor of Islamic Studies and South Asian Religions, The Colorado College, Colorado
  • Discourses on Gender in the Islamic World
  • Dr. Zayn Kassam, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Pomona College, Claremont, California
  • Some Reflections on Ismaili Studies from the Perspective of the Humanities
  • Dr. Rafique H. Keshavjee, Director, Aga Khan Humanities Project for Central Asia, Aga Khan Trust for Culture
  • The Genesis of Shi'i Thought: Al-Baqir's Role
  • Dr. Arzina R. Lalani, PhD in Islamic Studies, University of Edinburgh
  • Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy in Swahili Islam
  • Dr. Farouk Topan, Lecturer in Swahili Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
  • Macaronic lyrical poetry in Jalaluddin Rumi's Diwan: idiosyncratic or subversive?
  • Nargis Virani, PhD candidate in Islamic Studies, Harvard University
  • The Gupti Ismailis of Bhavnagar: A Preliminary Study
  • Shafique N. Virani, PhD candidate in Islamic Studies, Harvard University