News archives

7 Apr 2022
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:
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: – 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. –
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.
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: Event:
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:
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.
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.
25 May 2021

‘What is Bangladesh?’ – a talk by Naveeda Khan on Tuesday 25 May in our ‘Muslim Thought in South Asia’ series Naveeda will focus on the Bangladeshi delegation at the UN climate change conferences, drawing out what it means to be a small, poor and dependent country within the climate negotiation process. She will study both the country delegates and civil society representatives to show what leadership looks like even when one is bound. 21 May 2021

This weekend (22-23 May) see the start of a new multi-arts festival, ‘MFest’, of Muslim knowledge and creativity – produced by Maslaha in partnership with the British Library. One of Maslaha’s Directors is Dr martin Rose, a former Visiting Fellow here at the Centre. It kicks off this Saturday with journalist Rokhaya Diallo, MP Zarah Sultana, and writer Hoda Katebi discussing connecting anti-racist struggles. 14 May 2021

The latest video in our joint series ‘From Malabar to Coromandel’ – Navina Haidar on ‘Rocks from a brush : Artistic encounters with Deccani rocks, hills and landscapes’ is now available on our ‘videos and podcasts’ page. 9 April 2021

“Balsam and Betel Nut Palm: Botanical Representation in the Early Modern Deccan” – given by Dr Nicolas Roth as part of the ‘From Malabar to Coromandel’ series – go to our videos page for the recordings . 31 March 2021

Our second Cambridge festival event is ‘Minority Questions – Cambridge Festival 2021’ . This session was hosted by Dr Taushif Kara with contributions from Dr Emanuelle Degli Esposti and Dr Amar Sohal. 30 March 2021

‘Charity and activism in Shiism: How grassroots are changing the face of British Shiism’ is the first of two events that we produced for the Cambridge festival. This session given by Dr Emanuelle Degli Esposti. 11 March 2021

CIS Public talk on 11 March by Prof. Magnus Marsden talking about ‘Inter-Asia’ through Inland Eyes: Afghan Trading Networks across Land and Sea.’ – go to our videos page for the recording 25 Feb 2021

CIS Public talk on 25 February by Mike Farquhar talking about ”Policing Infitah’: Economic Liberalisation, Security and Social Order in Egypt.’ – go to our videos page for the recording 11 Feb 2021

CIS Public talk on 11 February by Sertaç Sehlikoglu talking about ‘Genealogy, Critique, and Decolonization:Ibn Khaldun and Moving Beyond Filling the Gaps’ – go to our videos page for the recording 29 Jan 2021

First CIS Public talk on 28 January by Dr David Henig talking about ‘New borders, Old solidarities: (Post-) Cold War Genealogies of Mobility along the ‘Balkan Route’@ – go to our videos page for the recording 23 Jan 2021

Two great talks in the ‘From Malabar to Coromandel’ series – run in collaboration with the Deccan Heritage Foundation and His Highness Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Foundation – go to our videos page for the recordings . 25 Jan 2021

Our new Visiting fellow, Dr H. Hellyer, just published two articles that may be of interest: – In Politico magazine on ‘Arab spring, European winter’ – In Jadaliyya magazine on ‘Powerful Scholars and Clerics of Power: Remembering Shaykh Emad Effat’.
10 June 2021 Why would a devout Catholic, a committed Protestant, and a Maoist atheist devote their lives and work to the study of esoteric aspects of Islam? How are these aspects ‘good to think with’? What are the theoretical and intellectual problems to which they provide solutions? These are the questions at the heart of Esoteric Islam in Modern French Thought – this week’s CIS Public Talk – with the author, Professor Ziad Elmarsaf and our own Taushif Kara as discussant. For details see this link.
Congratulations to our Visiting fellow, Dr Julian Hargreaves,for leading a research team from the Woolf Institute that is publishing the largest ever study of personal attitudes to religious, ethnic and national diversity in England and Wales: How we Get Along: The Diversity Study for England Wales 2020. It is already generating interest from the general public, the media and we hope, in due course, will contribute to government policy. As lead researcher and report author, Dr Hargreaves, worked closely with Survation, the market research and polling company to collect the data needed to understand how people perceive and experience diversity in their neighbourhoods, towns and cities and how this compared to an overall national picture. Read the Report The video for our Public Talk – The Barbaric Science of Civilised Company: Revisiting the Perennial Crisis of the “Science” of Things Political (Dr. Abdelwahab El-Affendi- is now available on our videos page here.
Archived 26 Nov 2020: We’re pleased to announce a new series of workshops, in collaboration with HH Sri Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Foundation, Mysore & Deccan Heritage Foundation, and co-organised by Dr. Vivek Gupta from the Centre – From Malabar to Coromandel. The next talk is on Nov 25 with ‘The Medieval Indian Ocean’ – registration is required. To help staff and students at the University, the University has set up #StaySafeCambridgeUni information campaign and webpages, where you will find information about how we will all protect ourselves and each other at Cambridge. In the interests of transparency about the University’s response to the pandemic they have setup a weekly dashboard here showing number of tests and number of cases of covid-19 found.
17 Mar 2020

Due to the situation with the coronavirus we have decided to cancel several CIS-related events: – The guided tour of the Kamal Boullata exhibition – scheduled for the 19th March – The screening of the film “Why Can’t I Be a Sushi?”. Our apologies for the late notice on these cancellations. 6 Mar 2020

A “don’t miss” event tonight as the CU Arab Society will be hosting the UK debut of Andeel, an Egyptian political comedian/satirist. He will be adopting his character of the ‘big brother’ and addressing issues relating to academia and the history of the relationship between the UK and Egypt in English. The event will be free to anyone who has bought an ArabSoc membership, £5 for other students and £10 for non-students. The event will take place at the Queen’s building lecture theatre at Emmanuel College. Doors will open at 7pm and the show will go from 7.30pm to 9.30pm. For tickets see: here 3 Mar 2020

Our Assistant Director, Dr Paul Anderson, has just had an article published in Wiley Online Library entitled: ‘Not a Silk Road: trading networks between China and the Middle East as a dynamic interaction of competing Eurasian geographies’. For more details and to read the article: here 2 Jan 2020

We are currently looking for two new Research Associates to work in the Centre: One to work on independent and original research into themes relating to Islam in the global age – the other to conduct original research into Islamic art, aesthetics and/or material culture, especially in regard to Arabic and Persian manuscripts held in Cambridge. The posts are three-year, fixed-term position. More details: CIS Research Associate Vacancy and CIS Research Associate – Islamic Art Vacancy
3 Feb 2020

Our next CIS Public Talk will happen this Thursday (6 Feb) at 5.15pm in the Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Cambridge. Dr Yael Navaro will discuss ‘Minoritized Arabic: Turkification Practices in the Making of ‘Hatay’. More details: here
6 Dec 2019

We held our first Research Day in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern studies. Seven of our staff, researchers and students gave presentations of their current research – bolstered by a great buffet lunch with poster presentations. More details: CIS Research Day poster-c
23 Nov 2019

Prof. Khaled Fahmy received the Peter Gonville Stein Book Award for the best book in legal history written in English at a ceremony in Boston, USA. The panel stated “In Quest of Justice masterfully rewrites the legal history of nineteenth-century Egypt”. Well done to Khaled!
4 Nov 2019

In the latter half of 2019, The Centre of Islamic Studies’ visiting fellow Ryan Williams submitted 39 recommendations to the Ministry of Justice in London and offered a training workshop to front-line probation staff on religious and racial inequality in the English Criminal Justice System. He was subsequently invited to a Ministerial Round-table at the House of Commons in London. To learn more about the impact his work is having read here.
31 Oct 2019

Dr Emanuelle Degli Esposti has produced a report following her successful, two-day symposium – ‘“Beyond ‘Sectarianism’? Towards an Alternative Understanding of Identity Politics and Communal Antagonism”’. You can read her report here.
29 Oct 2019

This week’s CIS Public Talks – (31st October) – is ‘Between House and Orchard: Family, Shariʿa and the Making of the Modern Middle East’ by Professor Beshara Doumani. In it he offers a ground-breaking examination of how wealth transfer by ordinary people from one generation to the next has shaped the modern Middle East. Open to all as usual. For details on all of our events see here.
28 Aug 2019

Dr Mehrunisha Suleman – joined colleagues from the Muslim Council of Britain for the launch of the joint MCB-CIS Report ‘Elderly and End of Life Care’ at London’s City Hall. A large audience heard talks from the contributors and invited panel as well as members of the public. You can read the report from our publications page here.
21 May 2019

Good news for our Islamic Art expert, Dr Deniz Turker, has just won an Early Career Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust @LeverhulmeTrust to conduct research on “Woven Archaeologies: Collecting Mediterranean Embroideries, 1870-1950”. Well done to Deniz.
14 May 2019

Call for Papers: for ‘Beyond ‘Sectarianism’? Towards an Alternative Understanding of Identity Politics and Communal Antagonism’. This two-day workshop on 24,25th October will bring together scholars working on issues of individual and group identity in order to work towards building a common conceptual and theoretical tool kit for the study of intra-communal antagonism. Papers are welcomed from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including those that focus on the conceptual, epistemological, ontological, and ethical implications of the term “sectarianism”. For more information and to apply see here.
13 May 2019

Visiting Fellow, Dr Julian hargreaves, has had an op-ed published on the BBC website discussing whether extremism is really getting worse. he suggests that we need to produce a better-informed debate – systematically mapping levels of intolerance, looking at how labels such as “Islamist extremism” can skew the picture and asking whether there are other ways of looking at patterns of extremism.
9 May 2019

We are happy to announce the dates for the TIMA Codicology Course this year will be 23rd to 27th September. As in previous years we are offering a scholarship to cover the fees of the full course (i.e. lectures and hands-on sessions) for one participant. This scholarship is exclusively for Muslim academics, heritage professionals, and researchers living and working in the Islamic world. For details and how to apply see here. In addition, in concert with The Islamic Manuscript Association, we are pleased to offer three Cambridge Fellowships for existing Cambridge faculty, staff, and students. See their website for details on how to apply.
2 May 2019

Many thanks to Dr Saussan Khalil for a cracking talk on ‘Arabic in Flux: Social media, revolution and the transforming linguistic landscape’ – the first in this term’s short series of Public Talks.
A great turnout enjoyed a lively talk, illustrated with items from film, books and the popular media. The video is now available on our podcasts page.
1 April 2019

Congratulations to Emanuelle Degli Esposti on being named the runner-up for the Politics Journal 2018 best article prize for ‘The aesthetics of ritual – contested identities and conflicting performances in the Iraqi Shi’a diaspora: Ritual, performance and identity change’.
The reviewers “found the article fascinating, and … especially enjoyed … use of ethnographic methods – not least because, … they are under-utilised in the political studies literature”. More here>
1 April 2019

Our Visiting Fellow, Dr Ryan Williams, has had a piece in ‘ABC Religion & Ethics’ on ‘Commonsense Islamophobia: How anti-Muslim feeling becomes normalised’. In it he argues that “claiming Islamophobia is only about fear distracts us from seeing it for what it really is: a form of racism with historical and cultural depth and a hydra-like manifestation. Like antisemitism, Islamophobia is a form of racism.”
18 March 2019

The video for the last of our Lent Term Public Talks (Laleh Khalili talking about Tankers : Labour, Port-Making, and Capitalism) is now available online here. Professor Khalili used the example of tanker terminals of the Arabian Peninsula since the 1930 to illuminate the radical transformations the tanker trade has anticipated. These include early automated workplaces; terminals isolated from public scrutiny; and disciplining of workers aboard tankers. Further the shift in ownership structures and financing of tanker trades over the last one-hundred years either foreshadows or dramatically illuminates the transformations in financial capital itself. Finally much of lex petrolea, the legal and arbitral corpus that sets the parameter of extraction and circulation of oil, itself provides the ground on which late capitalist legal property regimes are founded.
13 March 2019

CIS Research Associate, Emanuelle Degli Esposti has just had her co-authored paper ‘Fighting for “Justice”, Engaging the Other: Shi’a Muslim Activism on the British University Campus’, published in the journal ‘Religions’ as part of the ‘Special Issue Islam in Europe, European Islam’. This is now available online here.
26 February 2019

The recent public talk by Amnesty’s Heba Morayef on ‘Struggles for Justice in the Aftermath of the Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt’ is now available in our video and podcast section here. A fascinating account of Amnesty’s work in the Middle East – in ‘telling truth to power’.
15 February 2019

The Centre’s annual symposium, ‘Muslims in the UK & Europe’, will take place on the 6,7th of June this year. The Call for Papers has now closed and we are going through the review and selection process. Applicants will be notified after the 23rd April 2019.
29-30 November 2018

The Centre is proud to be co-sponsor of a 2-day workshop on ‘The “Ethical” and the “Everyday”: Interrogating analytical turns for/in the study of Islam and Muslims in Europe’ – held in the Woolf Institute in Cambridge.

22 November 2018
Dr Emanuelle Degli Esposti recently gave a seminar at the Al Mahdi Institute on ‘Being Shia in Europe’ – for more detail and a video/podcast follow the link.

31 October 2018

As part of the ongoing collaboration between the Cambridge and Edinburgh Alwaleed Centres a team of manuscript experts are here for two days to work with Deniz Turker and Yasmin Faghihi

27 October 2018

The CIS Festival of Ideas finished on Saturday 27 October with an innovative outreach event, organised by Mehrunisha Suleman, in concert with Death Cafe Cambridge, with 6 speakers and over 100 people talking to each other about ‘Living Well, Dying Well’

25 October 2018

The CIS Public Talk series continued with NYT journalist David Kirkpatrick talking about the coup in Egypt, its aftermath and what this presaged for the wider Middle East.

20 October 2018
The CIS Festival of Ideas co-hosted a sequence of events on Saturday 20 October – with talks from three of our Graduate Studentship people – Melissa Gatter, Philip Rushworth and Imran Khan.

17 October 2018

The CIS contributions to the Festival of Ideas started with Mehrunisha Suleman talking about Muslim Perspectives on End of Life Care’ at Kings College

11 October 2018

Elias Khoury, Lebanese novelist, playwright, critic, and prominent public intellectual, spoke about ‘Pain as the frame story of the Middle East’ and then signed copies of his new book ‘My Name is Adam’

5/6 October 2018
Deniz Turker co-hosted a 2-day seminar at the Alison Richards Building on ‘Forgotten Revolutions – Visual and Material Culture of the Hungarian Diaspora in the Ottoman Empire’.

5/6 October 2018
Renowned author Wael Hallaq joined Porf. Khaled Fahmy and Prof. Sarah Radcliffe for a panel discussion on his book ‘Restating Orientalism’ in front of a packed house at FAMES.

1 October 2018
The centre welcomed its latest Research Associate – Arafat Razzaque. Arafat will be doing research into ‘Piety as Social Ethics: Speech and Public Morality in Islamic History’. You can read more about him and his work here
12 Sept 2018
Deniz Turker gave her first lunchtime talk at the Fitzwilliam Museum on the subject of the ‘Architect Owen Jones, the Alhambra, and The Grammar of Ornament’. The talk was extremely well attended and we are looking forward to more talks from Deniz in the future.
8 Sept 2018
Mehrunisha Suleman presented on “Muslim values and End of Life Healthcare Decision-Making: Values, Norms and Ontologies in Conflict” as part of the ‘Islam and Biomedicine’ conference at the University of Chicago.