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 inaugural lecture on ‘Feminisms and Islams’ by Professor Haleh Afshar of the University of York was attended by more than 100 participants, including students, faculty and staff from the IIS and the ISMC, community leaders, independent scholars and other professionals. Professor Afshar, who is an advisor to the British government on public policy relating to Muslim women and Islamic law, recently became the first Iranian woman in House of Lords.

It was preceded by introductory comments from Dr Amyn Sajoo, the series organiser. In his comments, Dr Sajoo noted that ‘… it seems appropriate to begin our exploration with the subject of gender. Women are - by default and by choice - the target of ideological, religious, economic and cultural wars, even when the warriors are entirely men. But more and more, the warriors include women themselves ...’

Future speakers in this series will include Professor Tavakoli-Targhi of the University of Toronto, Professor Sami Zubaida of London University, Dr. Ismail Serageldin of the Library of Alexandria, and Dr. Amira Bennison of Cambridge University. Raficq Abdulla, MBE, of Kingston University will be the next speaker, on the poetics of modernity.

For more information on the Institute’s seminars and lectures, please refer to the Seminars, Conferences & Public Lectures pages. For dates and times of future seminars and lectures please refer to the Forthcoming Events page.