The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS) has awarded its second Annemarie Schimmel Scholarship, which is given every three years, to Professor Rahile Dawut, Director of the Center for Anthropology and Folklore and Professor at the School of Humanities at Xinjiang University. One aim of Professor Dawut’s research is to further the understanding of Islam in China.
“The underlying principle is that we’re all engaged in an endeavour to build intellectual traditions” shared Professor Azim Nanji, at the first Biennial Gujarat Studies Association (GSA) Conference, held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, on May 19-20, 2006. He spoke to scholars and interested individuals from around the world on the topic of “Gujarati Studies: A Heritage and its Futures”.
Students from the Class of 2007 of the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities traveled to Spain in February to visit some of the monuments they had studied in their Islamic Architecture course. The course, taught by Dr Thalia Kennedy, explores the forms, functions, and themes found in the architecture of Muslim societies.
'Everyday Modern: Cultural Politics in Iran' was the subject of Prof. Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi's lecture on 6 December 2007 in the series on 'Contemporary Islam(s) and Muslims'. Held at The Institute of Ismaili Studies, this third lecture in the series traced more than one hundred years of the emergence of private and public modernity in Iran.
The Department of Graduate Studies recently held its annual Career Pathways Seminar. The seminar provided an opportunity for first and second year students of the Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH) to acquaint themselves with various career options within the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and at the IIS that they could consider upon completion of their studies.
The seventh annual ‘Summer Programme on Islam’ returned to the UK this year and was held in the historic surroundings of Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge. Thirty-six participants from twelve countries (Canada, Iran, Kenya, Malaysia, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, UAE, UK, and USA) participated in the eight-day programme.
A three-member delegation from the Moscow-based Institute of Oriental Studies (IOS), visited the IIS on 28 February 2008 to explore possible areas of collaboration between the two institutions. The delegation comprised the Director of IOS, Professor Rastislav Rybakov, their Academic Coordinator, Dr. Nadejda Yemeliyanova, and Mr. Davlat Khudonazarov, who is a Research Fellow at the IOS.
The Class of 2009 of the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH) recently submitted their field project reports. The report is a culmination of the field-based research project they undertake at the end of their two years at the IIS.
The latest IIS publication, An Anthology of Ismaili Literature: A Shi‘i Vision of Islam, brings together extracts from a range of Ismaili texts, in both poetry and prose. Edited by Herman Landolt, Samira Sheikh and Kutub Kassam, the book aims to further readers’ knowledge of Ismaili history and thought by providing a glimpse into the intellectual life of the Ismaili communities in their own voices.
The European Chapter Group held a two day annual meeting at the University of Westminster in London over the weekend of 5th and 6th April 2008. Guest speakers included Karen Armstrong and Nimet Rener.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies has embarked on an ambitious project to publish a complete critical edition and annotated English translation of the Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’ (The Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). Scheduled to begin publishing in 2006, the series will provide the first comprehensive study in English of the 9th/10th century corpus and its authors.
Speaking at the recent ‘Diversity in Islam: Bridging the Gaps’ Conference held at Parliament Hill in the Canadian capital, Ottawa, Professor Azim Nanji, Director of The Institute of Ismaili Studies, presented his thoughts on ‘Muslim Civilisations: The Challenges and Opportunities in the Postmodern Era.’ The one-day conference, sponsored by Women Engaging in Bridge Building (WEBB), aimed to build an understanding of the legitimacy and value of diversity and human pluralism in Muslim societies.
Exploring an Islamic Empire: Fatimid History and its Sources is the latest publication in the Institute's Ismaili Heritage Series. In the work, Paul E. Walker surveys the shape and content of the dynasty's history and examines the sources used to reconstruct and analyse that history.
The IIS is pleased to announce its most recent publication: The Unthought in Contemporary Islamic Thought by Professor Mohammed Arkoun. Formally launched on March 25th at the Ismaili Centre, London, and published in association with Saqi Books, the book makes available for the first time in English, the breadth and depth of the author’s work, updated to reflect the changing Muslim landscape over the past decade
Nineteen students from seven countries, including one Fulbright scholar, were accepted into the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities (GPISH). The students selected from almost 300 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.
The first book published by The Institute of Ismaili Studies in Russian, Kratkaya istoriya isma‘ilizma, a translation of Farhad Daftary’s A Short History of the Ismailis, has been translated by Leila Dodikhudoevai and Lola Dodkhudoevai and edited by Oleg F. Akimushkin of the Institute of Oriental Studies in St Petersburg. Since the mid-1990s, more than 20 translations in six languages of ten Institute publications have been released.
Memoirs of a Mission: The Ismaili Scholar, Statesman and Poet, al-Mu’ayyad fi’l-Din al-Shirazi by Verena Klemm is the ninth publication in the Institute’s Ismaili Heritage Series. Based on his memoirs, Sirat al-Mu’ayyad fi’l-Din, the work provides an insight into the remarkable life and achievements of this prominent Fatimid da‘i in the political context of the Muslim world of the 5th/11th century.
The graduating Class of 2003 and over 120 guests commemorated the Class’ achievements at a ceremony held at London’s Royal Geographic Society on October 19, 2002. The students who began the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities in September 2000 will now go on to pursue their Masters at universities of their choice.
“Muslim Pluralism: Historical and Contemporary Encounters with the Internal Others” is the title of the Institute’s 2002 Seminar Series, which will explore the diverse ways in which Muslims have addressed issues of authority, governance, knowledge, gender, material culture, social relations, space, language, ethics and the sacred. The series’ first seminar,“The Contemporary Challenge of Pluralism in the Management of Competing American Islamic Identities” was conducted by Professor Patrice Brodeur on March 5, 2002.