A seminar entitled 'Careers of Tomorrow' was organized by the IIS Graduate Studies Department for alumni and current students of the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities. To facilitate the process of exploring career possibilities, senior staff from the AKDN Institutions.
Professor Azim Nanji, Director of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, delivered the prestigious 2004 Birks Lectures hosted by McGill University’s Faculty of Religious Studies in February 2004. Speaking on Islam, its understanding, representation and study, Professor Nanji explored the ways in which Muslims and non-Muslims through the ages have looked at the world’s second largest religion.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies held its third residential Summer Programme on Islam from August 7 - August 15, 2004 at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Twenty-eight participants from seven countries with diverse academic and professional backgrounds attended the 2004 session
Providing an opportunity for scholars in the United Kingdom to share research interests and developments in the field, the Institute played host to a Shi‘i Studies Symposium on April 17th and 18th, 2004. The event included a day-long conference and an evening reception alongside an exhibition of 30 manuscripts organised by the Institute’s library.
Taking advantage of contemporary sources and modern scholarship, Les ismaéliens: Histoire et traditions d'une communauté musulmane, a translation of Farhad Daftary’s book A Short History of the Ismailis makes available to French speaking audiences, a survey of Ismaili history. Translated by Zarien Rajan-Badouraly, with a contextual introduction by M. A. Amir-Moezzi, this publication is the first major work on the history of the Ismaili community in French since the 1982 translation of Bernard Lewis’ The Assassins.
‘Understanding Islam: A Conference on the Culture and Religion of Islam’ was held at The Dublin Castle Conference Centre from 6-8 December, 2004. Dr. Daftary, Associate Director and Head of the Department of Academic Research and Publications, joined other prominent scholars from the United Kingdom, North America and Germany in a two-day conference to deliberate on the history, religion, art and culture of Islam, past and present.
Professor Azim Nanji, Director of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, has been invited by Stanford University’s Department of Religious Studies to be a Visiting Fellow of Islamic Studies for its Winter and Spring terms. Professor Nanji, who has a long-standing relationship with the university, gave its Baccalaureate Address in 1995.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies, founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1977, will commemorate the 25th anniversary of its establishment with a series of programmes starting October 19, 2003. The events marking the occasion will include: a three-day international colloquium on the Qur’an and the Arts, an accompanying exhibition of manuscripts and artefacts and a graduation ceremony honouring current graduates and alumni.
The Institute’s Director, Professor Azim Nanji spoke on “Rethinking the Muslim World in a Global Perspective” to nearly 400 attendees of Stanford’s Knight Fellowships’ 6th Reunion and Conference, held at Stanford University this past July. One of the key messages of this presentation focused on understanding the diversity among Muslim communities around the world and the specific context of their contemporary challenges.
Ten students from five countries were accepted into the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH), which began in late September. The students selected from amongst 150 applicants will embark on an intensive two-year course in the faith, culture and thought of Muslim societies, leading to a Masters degree from a British university in the student’s own area of specialisation.
Ten students from four countries were accepted into the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH), which began in October. The students were selected from a pool of nearly 300 applicants. They have embarked on an intensive two-year course in the faith, culture and thought of Muslim societies, leading to a Masters degree from a British university in a relevant area of specialisation.
The first IIS publication available in Portuguese, Breve História dos Ismaelitas, is a translation by Paulo Jorge de Sousa Pinto of Farhad Daftary’s A Short History of the Ismailis. Published by the Centre for the Study of Portuguese-speaking Peoples and Cultures at the Catholic University of Portugal, the monograph, which forms the 8th volume in the Centre’s prestigious Studies and Documents series, is a seminal contribution to Islamic Studies in a language spoken by 214 million people worldwide.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies held a 7-day workshop for its alumni from 24th-30th June 2005 at its premises in London. Twenty participants from around the world travelled to London to participate in the workshop, which was developed in response to feedback from the alumni requesting refresher courses and continuing education opportunities.
The IIS contributed to a one-day workshop entitled ‘Engagements with Tradition in the Gujarati World’, which took place on May 14, 2004 at the School of Oriental and African Studies. The workshop facilitated sharing of research and helped raise the profile of the region and its peoples as important areas of study.
A two-day conference, entitled ‘Classical Arabic Philosophy: Sources and Reception’, was held on 29-30 April, 2004 at the Warburg Institute, London. The Institute of Ismaili Studies was one of the co-sponsors of this Conference which provided an opportunity for both younger and established scholars to share current research and scholarship in the growing field of Arabic philosophy.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies held its second residential Summer Programme on Islam from August 9 - August 16, 2003 at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Thirty-three participants from ten countries with diverse academic and professional backgrounds attended the 2003 session.
The IIS, in collaboration with the Aga Khan Development Network and The Tajik Academy of Sciences, organized a book launch in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 19th July 2005 for Nasir Khusraw: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, a collection of papers presented at a 7 day international conference in Dushanbe and Khorog in September 2003 to commemorate the millennium birth anniversary of Hakim Nasir Khusraw. More than 70 scholars from various academic institutions attended the programme.
Islâm’da Entelektüel Gelenekler, a translation by Muhammet Seviker of Intellectual Traditions in Islam, edited by Dr Farhad Daftary, is the first IIS publication available in Turkish, published by Insan Yayinlari in Istanbul. With this new translation, selections of IIS publications are now available in 10 different languages, with this particular text available in Arabic, English, Persian and Tajik (Cyrillic).
Crossing the Threshold: Understanding Religious Identities in South Asia, by Dominique-Sila Khan, is a new publication of the Institute which examines the shaping of religious identities in South Asia. In particular, the author considers the role played by Ismaili Islam in the intricate interface between South Asian religious communities, which has to this day remained largely unexplored.
Dr. Farhad Daftary was invited to lecture on “The Persian Contributions to Ismaili History and Literature” on November 6th 2004 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. This is the third in a series of annual endowed lectures in Iranian Studies supported by Drs. Fereidoun and Katherine Mirhady, and sponsored by the Department of History at Simon Fraser University.