News from the Centre

The events season continues in the next two weeks (following the very successful Book Launch of Visiting Fellow Ahmed Paul Keeler’s second work ‘A Life’s Journey – The Story behind a Book‘ last Wednesday):


We are delighted to announce that our annual ‘Muslims in the Uk and Europe’ conference will take place on 5th July 2022. For information on how to apply please click here.

Great to see that our Teaching Associate, Yomna Helmy has just had her new paper “Maqāṣid al-Sharī‘a From Islamic Modernism to Theorizing Authoritarianism” published in the special issue of the American Journal of Islam and Society. It’s available on this link: From Islamic Modernism to Theorizing Authoritarianism | American Journal of Islam and Society (ajis.org)

One of our Visiting Researchers at the Centre, Dr. Monika Lindbekk, was recently interviewed at the University of Bergen in Norway. Her research investigates Egyptian courts’ adjudication of Muslim marriage and divorce law before and after the 2011 uprising. The study aims to contribute to the growing scholarly literature on the implementation of shari’a-based family codes by describing and analyzing the gender implications of religiously inspired judicial activism. A further aim is to shed light on the intersection between law and religion in this field and how legal reasoning is shaped by a modern, positivistic conception of law. At the core of this study was an analysis of judicial practices at five Cairenese family courts. To investigate how Cairenese family courts integrate various social classes into what they regard as the essence of Islam, Dr. Lindbekk drew material from five family courts in different neighborhoods in Cairo from 2007-2015.

 Here is a link to the interview: Interview with Monika Lindbekk | CanCode: Canonization and Codification of Islamic Legal Texts | UiB

The keynote from our joint workshop (The study of Islam at the end of Empire ) with the Institute of Ismaili Studies (held at the Aga Khan Centre in London on 25th March) – Prof. Faisal Devji on “The Proper Name’‘ – is now available on our videos-and-podcasts page.

1 Apr 2022

Dr Vivek Gupta is presenting a paper at the Renaissance Society of America’s Annual Conference in Dublin, “Monsters, Gods, and Companions: Revisiting Partha Mitter’s Much Maligned Monsters (1977) through Cosmographies of Early Modern India,” Monsters, Hexes, Nightmares: An Exploration into the Dark Side of Islamic Art, April 1, 2022, Dublin, Ireland.
10 Dec 2021

New article from Will Ryle-Hodges, published in Feriel Bouhafa’s ‘New Perspectives on Ethics in Islam’ issue of the Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies: ‘Muḥammad ʿAbduh’s Notion of Political Adab: Ethics as a Virtue of Modern Citizenship in Late 19th Century Khedival Egypt’. It’s available on this link: https://journals.uio.no/JAIS/article/view/9383 – published in Feriel Bouhafa’s ‘New Perspectives on Ethics in Islam’ issue – Journal of Arabic & Islamic Studies. @RyleHodges
9 Dec 2021

Great article in the Art Newspaper on our Shahzia Sikander exhibition at Jesus College, Cambridge. – https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/12/09/shahzia-sikander-jesus-college-cambridge-restitution-colonial-loot
1 Dec 2021

One of our researchers, Dr Taushif Kara, has helped to curate a new exhibition at the Agag Khan Centre in London – ‘Wladimir Ivanow & Modern Ismaili Studies’ – starting from Wed 1st Dec and running until the end of March 2022. https://www.agakhancentre.org.uk/gallery/wladimir-ivanow-and-modern-ismaili-studies/
16 Oct 2021

The UK exhibition by the Pakistani-American artist, Shahzia Sikander – an event that we are joint-sponsoring with the Bagri Foundation and Jesus College – is open and we thoroughly recommend that you make a visit. The exhibition has been curated by our Islamic Art historian, Dr Vivek Gupta and will run from 16 October to 18 February 2022. Article/release: https://www.jesus.cam.ac.uk/articles/british-debut-shahzia-sikanders-promiscuous-intimacies-west-court-gallery Event: https://www.jesus.cam.ac.uk/events/shahzia-sikander-unbound-exhibition
14 Oct 2021

Our first CIS Public Talk with Prof. Abdelwahab El-Affendi and Dr Azmi Bishara on ‘Standing the Democratic Transition Paradigm on its Head: New Reflections after the Arab Revolutions’ – a great audience and some wide-ranging and challenging questions. A video of the event will be available soon.
1 Oct 2021

Dr Paul Anderson, Assistant Director at the Centre, has just published a new article: ‘The Social Life of Syrian Diplomacy: Transnational Kinship Networks of the Asad Regime’ in History and Anthropology 2021.  This is available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02757206.2021.1946052?src=
7 July 2021

We are pleased to announce that a special issue of Global Intellectual History, edited by our Research Associate, Dr Taushif Kara (along with Amar Sohal), has just been published online and open access. The theme was “Refusing minority, recasting Islam” and it features an introduction by the two editors, four articles, and an afterword by Faisal Devji. https://www.tandfonline.com/action/showAxaArticles?journalCode=rgih20
25 June 2021

Our last event of the term took place on Fri 25 June with the concluding talk in the ‘Malabar to Coromandel’ series. The talk was “Dressing in the Deccan: Clothing and Identity at the Courts of Central India” given by Marika Sardar from the Aga Khan Museum.
17 June 2021

We are looking forward to our symposium ‘Muslims in the UK and Europe’ – with 12 early-career researchers presenting some great papers. This will be held on Thursday 17 June with the keynote running from 9-10am London time. The keynote will be delivered by our Visiting Fellow, Dr Hisham Hellyer, talking about ‘The Muslim-European presence, current and future challenges’ and will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel.
3 June 2021

CIS Public talk on 3 June by our visiting Fellow, Dr Hisham Hellyer, who speak about ‘The New Geopolitics of the Middle East – Back to the Future?’. – go to our videos page for the recording .
28 May 2021

‘Discovering the Deccan’ – William Dalrymple in conversation with George Michell on Friday 28 May in the next of our ‘From-Malabar-to-Coromandel’ Deccan Heritage series. The discussion will explore what attracted William and George to the Deccan; their work and whether their book on the White Mughals was responsible for the restoration of the Residency.

About the Centre

The Centre of Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge is a research and outreach centre that aims to promote a constructive and critical understanding of the role of Islam and Muslims in wider society. One important focus of our work is Muslims in the UK and Europe, although we are also interested in Islam and Muslim communities in other parts of the world. We aspire, through rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, to disseminate knowledge and facilitate informed discussion between academics, policy-makers, the media, business and the public with an interest in Islam in the contemporary world.

The Centre of Islamic Studies is part of the University of Cambridge and is supported by a generous donation from Alwaleed Philanthropies.