The IIS accepted 11 new students into its Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH) this year. The Class of 2009, comprising students from Canada, India, Iran, Pakistan, Portugal, Tajikistan and the USA, will embark on an intensive two-year multi-disciplinary study of the faith, culture, language and thought of Muslim societies.
This new lecture series, entitled ‘Contemporary Islams & Muslims’ (CIM), launched on 18th October 2007 by The Institute of Ismaili Studies, will engage with a broad range of Muslim encounters with modernity. Leading scholars will speak to themes from human rights, pluralism and identity, to the arts, culture and spirituality.
The Institute’s Department of Graduate Studies welcomed its first cohort of students to the newly established Secondary Teacher Education Programme (STEP) this month. The STEP is a large-scale initiative involving The Institute of Ismaili Studies, the Institute of Education (IOE) at the University of London, and the Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Boards (ITREBs) of five participating countries.
Now in its 6th year, the IIS Summer Programme on Islam was held in Montreal, Canada, for the second consecutive summer, from 11-19 August at McGill University. Thirty-one participants from seven countries contributed to the richness and diversity of the programme’s sessions and seminars.
A new book in Russian entitled Poetry as a Means of Preaching: The Concept of “the Good Word” in Nasir Khusraw's poetry was published by Natalis Press, Moscow in September, 2007. This work, by Leila R Dodykhudoeva and Marina L Reisner, was commissioned by the IIS and Hakim Elnazarov, the Institute’s Central Asian Studies Project Coordinator, was one of the book’s co-editors.
Sabrina A. Bandali, an IIS student, presented a paper at the 13th International Congress of Turkish Art in Budapest in September, 2007. The conference theme was the mutual influences of Turkish and European art, and also focused on collections of Turkish art held by European museums.
The IIS hosted its second alumni reunion in London from 8th-10th September 2007. Nearly 100 alumni traveled from across the globe to participate in the three-day event which provided an opportunity for all IIS alumni to come together, learn from their unique experiences, and give shape to the way in which they interact within and outside the community.
All images © IIS/Alnur Sunderji
The IIS hosted a conference on Devotional Expressions of South Asian Muslims from 16-18 November at the Ismaili Centre in London. Scholars from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds presented new research on South Asian Muslims from historical and contemporary perspectives. Professor Azim Nanji, in his introductory remarks, highlighted the diversity and range of Muslim experience in South Asia.
Eight members of the Class of 2007 were honoured at a graduation ceremony at the Ismaili Centre in London on the afternoon of 10 September 2007. Prince Rahim Aga Khan was the Chief Guest and delivered the commencement address at the graduation. In attendance were over 250 guests, including Prince Hussain Aga Khan, Princess Khaliya Aga Khan, governors, faculty, staff and students of the IIS, senior leaders of the Ismaili Community in the UK as well as donors and supporters of the IIS.
Hosted by The Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations in Birmingham from 23-26 July, the theme of this year’s BRISMES conference was “Faith, Politics, and Society in the Middle East”. Papers were presented at the conference by Dr Alnoor Dhanani, Dr Ali Qutbuddin, and Salman Alibhai, all of whom are affiliated with the IIS.
In conjunction with the Syrian Ismaili Institutions and the British Council, the IIS’ Department of Graduate Studies offers the Syrian Preparatory Programme (SyPP) in Damascus, Syria. Its purpose is to foster intellectual development and leadership skills in its students.
Since 1997, The Institute of Ismaili Studies has made available PhD Scholarships for suitable candidates whose work complements the research perspectives and mandate of the IIS. This year’s recipients are Zouhal Avzalchoeva, Rafiq Rahim Ajani, Sabrina Datoo and Aly Kassam-Remtulla.