The Ismaili Studies Conference: The State of the Field will be hosted in a hybrid format at the Aga Khan Centre in London from 21-23 November 2022, allowing participants to attend in person and online from around the world. It will also feature a musical performance, entitled Mehfil-e-Noor, which will be streamed live on The Ismaili TV tomorrow.

The conference, organised by The Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), intends to take stock of the field of Ismaili studies across a broad range of themes. It will also provide an opportunity to showcase the contributions of the IIS to the field since its establishment, including its publications and its various research units.

The IIS was established in 1977 as an academic institution of higher education dedicated to the study of Islam, with a particular focus on its Ismaili and broader Shi‘i traditions. As founder and chair of the Board of Trustees, Mawlana Hazar Imam has carefully steered the vision and progress of the Institute from its inception onwards.

“A variety of scholars from different disciplines are presenting papers in eleven themed panels in order to stimulate further discussions and deliberations on Ismaili studies,” said Dr Daryoush Mohammad Poor, senior research associate at the IIS and convenor of the event. “This conference is intended to reflect some of these developments.”

Panels will feature presentations and discussion on Ismaili History, Ismaili Doctrines and Literature, Ismaili Philosophy, Contemporary Ismailism, and more. 

Speakers will include some of the most prominent scholars in the field of Ismaili studies as well as graduates of the IIS and members of faculty, along with many more. As time allows, audience members present in person and online will have an opportunity to pose questions to the speakers during the sessions.

A full list of panels, themes, and speakers can be found in the conference schedule.

Day one will feature a musical performance entitled Mehfil-e-Noor: A Celebration of Ismaili Devotional Poetry, organised in collaboration with the Association of the Study of Ginans. Performances will include a selection of devotional poetry from diverse Ismaili traditions across Central Asia, Iran, Syria, and the Indian Subcontinent. The evening event will be hosted at the Ismaili Centre, London, on Monday 21 November at 8:15 PM (GMT), and will be streamed live on The Ismaili TV.

All together, the event promises to feature enlightening scholarly debate and a glimpse of the rich artistic and cultural traditions of the Ismaili Jamat across time and space.

“By maintaining the highest academic standards, in the light of its publications and the various research units that have contributed to the work of the IIS and continue to do so, the IIS has demonstrated powerfully how the original vision of establishing an academic institution has produced results in tangible terms,” said Dr Daryoush Mohammad Poor. 

The conference, through its proceedings, hopes to detail a range of these achievements.

Ismaili Studies Conference: The State of the Field will take place from 21-23 November 2022. For more information and to register for in person or online attendance, visit the IIS website.