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Shii Studies: The State of the Art

10 December, 2017 01:46
Shii Studies: The State of the Art

On December 7-9, the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) held an International Conference entitled “Shii Studies: The State of the Art” organized by Hassan Ansari (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton) and Sabine Schmidtke (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton).

The conference was part of a larger endeavor aimed at fostering the scholarly exploration of all aspects of Shiism: the "Shii Studies Research Program", made possible by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Selected papers of the conference will be published in a special issue of the peer-reviewed Shii Studies Review (Brill, Leiden), vol. 3, devoted to the topic “Shii Studies: The State of the Art”.

Conference Program


  • Mushegh Asatryan (University of Calgary, Canada), A Medieval Nusayri Shaykh's Disputations and the Study of the Nusayris in Western Academia
  • Samer Traboulsi (University of North Carolina at Asheville), The Past, Present, and Future of Druze Studies
  • Shafique N. Virani (University of Toronto), Pir Sabzali and the Missing Sources of Ismaili History
  • Jo‐Ann Gross (The College of New Jersey), Documentary Sources on Ismailism in Badakhshan: Genealogical History and the Construction of Confessional Identity in Badakhshan
  • Matthew Melvin‐Koushki (University of South Carolina), Occultist Imamophilia in Timurid‐Safavid Iran
  • Yaacov Lev (Bar Ilan University), The Uniqueness of the Fatimid State
  • Soroush Dabbagh (Unversity of Toronto), Islamic Reform in Contemporary Iran: The Shiite Legacy
  • Anne Regourd (University of Copenhagen, ERC Project 'Islam in the Horn of Africa'), Between the lines: reading the history of papers from early manuscripts in the Glaser collection held in Berlin
  • Brinkley Messick (Columbia University), Imamic Governance and Sharīʿa Justice in 20th century Yemen
  • Nebil A. Husayn (University of Miami), From Kūfa to Yemen to Baghdad: The Evolution of Zaydī Dialectics on the Imamate
  • Deborah Tor (University of Notre Dame), The Parting of Ways Between ʿAlid Shiʿism and ʿAbbāsid Shiʿism in the Wake of the ʿAbbāsid Revolution: A Re‐Examination
  • Ulrich Marzolph (Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Göttingen), The Visual Culture of Iranian Twelver‐Shiism in the Qajar Period  


  • Dennis Halft (Ben‐Gurion University of the Negev), New Evidence for the History of Iranian Jewry and Imāmī‐Jewish Relations from Shīʿī Manuscript Repositories in Iran
  • Ehud Krinis, Ben‐Gurion University of the Negev), Jewish‐Shii Studies: Past Contributions and Future Prospects
  • Roy Vilozny (University of Haifa), Levy Billig (1897‐1936): an understudied episode in the history of Shīʽī studies
  • Amin Ehteshami (University of California, Berkeley), Al‐Maʾmūn’s Translators: Sectarian Genealogies of the Greco‐ Arabic Translation Movement
  • Mathieu Terrier (CNRS, Paris), Historicisation of Shiʿism and Shiʿitisation of History. Forty years of Imami Studies from Henry Corbin to Mohammad Ali Amir‐Moezzi
  • Seyed Amir Hossein Asghari (Indiana University), The Contemporary Shīʿa Seminary in Iran: Opponents and Adherents of Philosophy and Sufism
  • Torsten Hylén (Dalarna University, Falun, Sweden), Dating versions of the Karbalāʾ story
  • Ali Rida Rizek (Georg‐August‐Universität Göttingen), “The disciples of al‐Shaykh”: Imāmī Legal Scholarship after al‐ ūsī (d. 460/1067)
  • Aun Hasan Ali (University of Colorado Boulder), The ijāza of al‐ʿAllāma al‐illī to the Banū Zuhra: Sources for the History of the School of illa
  • Devin Stewart (Emory College), Notes on the Life and Legacy of al‐Shahīd al‐Thānī, Zayn al‐Dīn al‐ʿĀmilī 
  • Edmund Hayes (Leiden University), How do we deal with Imamic hadith? The case of the historical development in the Imams’ statements of khums
  • Robert Gleave (Exeter University), Early Shīʿī law: Limitations and Possibilities of Current Scholarship


  • Carmela Baffioni (Institute for Ismaili Studies, London), The Problem of Additions in the Manuscript Tradition of the Ikhwān al‐afāʾ
  • Daniella Talmon‐Heller (Ben‐Gurion University of the Negev), Fatimid Ritual: from Mamluk to Modern Scholarship
  • Rodrigo Adem, Ismāʿīlism as Shīʿism: The Construction of a Historical Category of Analysis
  • George Warner (SOAS, University of London), Shīʿism as Epic in the ʿAlī Nāmah
  • Michael Dann (College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana), The Origins, Usage and Indeterminacy of Sectarian Labels: "Batris" and "Rafidis" as Case Studies
  • Mohammad Sagha (University of Chicago), Early Shīʿī Discourse on Religious Leadership: Penitence, Revolution and Eschatology after Imam usayn
  • Hussein Abdulsater (University of Notre Dame), Mu'tazilism ignored, espoused and negotiated: Imami interpretations of the Covenant Verse
  • Walid Saleh (University of Toronto), Shiite anti‐Sunni Polemics and the Sunni Tafsir Tradition


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Shii Studies: The State of the Art
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