Dr Fahmida Suleman is Phyllis Bishop Curator for the Modern Middle East at the British Museum. She was previously a Research Associate in the Department of Academic Research and Publications and Administrative Coordinator of the Qur’anic Studies Unit.
Dr Suleman completed her DPhil in Islamic Art and Archaeology at the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford, under the supervision of Dr Jeremy Johns. Her doctoral dissertation, The Lion, the Hare and Lustre Ware: Studies in the Iconography of Lustre Ceramics from Fatimid Egypt (969-1171 CE) demonstrates that lustre-painted ceramics produced in Egypt during the Fatimid period are valid and useful sources of medieval social and cultural history.
From 2003-2004 Dr Suleman received a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Qur'anic Studies with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, on the Arts of the Qur'an, during which time she organised the international colloquium Word of God, Art of Man: The Qur’an and its Creative Expressions, 18-21 October 2003, at the Ismaili Centre, London, UK.
Dr Suleman is an alumni from the Institute’s Graduate Programme in Islamic Studies and Humanities, having graduated in the Class of 1997.
Her research interests include the Fatimids, religious arts and iconography, and Middle Eastern and Central Asian textiles and jewellery. She is the author of ‘The Image of ‘Ali as the Lion of God in Shi‘i Art and Material Culture’, in The Art and Material Culture of Iranian Shiism: Iconography and Religious Devotion in Shi‘i Islam, ed. P. Khosronejad (London, 2012) and editor of Word of God, Art of Man: the Qur’an and its Creative Expressions (Oxford, 2007). Other publications include: From Shards to Bards: Pottery Making in Historic Cairo in, Living with the Past: Historic Cairo (F. Daftary, E. F. Fernea and A. Nanji, eds., Texas: University of Texas Press in association with The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 2010); Ceramics, Gifts and Gift Giving, Kalila wa Dimna in, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia (Josef Meri, ed., New York: Routledge, 2006); and Reflections of the Fatimids (Documentary Video, Geneva: The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2000).