News archives

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.