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International conference: Exploring modern South Asian history with visual research methods

Call for papers

‘Exploring modern South Asian history with visual research methods: theories and practices’ Conference

University of Cambridge, 15 – 16 March 2013

CFP deadline: 31 December 2012

Conveners: Dr Annamaria Motrescu (University of Cambridge) and Prof. Marcus Banks (University of Oxford)

Full details at

The Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge, and the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH) are organising the first international conference on ‘Exploring modern South Asian history with visual research methods: theories and practices’.

This conference aims to investigate the ways in which visual research methods support the development of new perspectives on modern South Asian history. It will explore the strategies employed by historians and scholars of visual (digital) culture, film and visual anthropology when incorporating representations of South Asian history within the framework of traditional historical scholarship. Also, the role of interdisciplinary research in terms of producing, distributing, re-interpreting and repatriating visual records of South Asian history will be assessed throughout several roundtable discussions.

The conference will create for the first time the opportunity to strengthen the network of historians, anthropologists, visual and digital scholars and artists concerned with the re-examination of modern South Asian history across visual records. It proposes four themes of investigation that will support new scholarly developments:
▪       digital humanities and issues of South Asian history, visuality and ethnographic enquiry
▪       theories of visual anthropology relevant to historiographical research of South Asia
▪       examples of historical scholarship strengthened by visual research methodologies
▪       historical and anthropological practices replicated in visual artwork inspired by South Asian history

Keynote addresses will be delivered by Professor Marcus Banks (University of Oxford) and by Professor Christopher Pinney (University College London). Papers, panels and roundtable discussions led by international scholars such as Professor Denis Vidal (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris), Dr Clare Harris (University of Oxford) and Professor Ravi Vasudevan (CSDS, Delhi) will explore new perspectives on visual research methods and modern South Asian history. Also, there will be three exclusive presentations by the renowned visual artists Pushpamala N., Rajkamal Kahlon and Ayesha Abraham. The opening address will be delivered by Professor Sir C.A. Bayly, Director of the Centre of South Asian Studies.

Location: CRASSH, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DT.

The conference organisers invite proposals for papers or presentations of 20 minutes in length. Abstracts of 300 words and an author biography (including institutional affiliation) should be submitted via email to by 31 December 2012.

Any questions and concerns can be directed to Dr Annamaria Motrescu amm230 [at]

Preserving endangered Urdu language periodicals

The University of Chicago has been awarded a grant from the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme (EAP), funded by Arcadia, for the digitization and preservation of 60 rare and endangered Urdu language periodicals. You can read more about the project EAP566: Endangered Urdu periodicals: preservation and access for vulnerable scholarly resources.

You can also read about the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme (EAP), funded by Arcadia, which sponsor several projects of digital archives in India and Pakistan.

A comparative review of recent books on Pakistan (EPW)

In her review article (“Contesting notions of Pakistan“, Economic & Political Weekly, November 10, 2012, vol. XLVII, n°45.), S Akbar Zaidi, a political economist based in Karachi, draws a comparative, critical and stimulating analysis of six recent books focusing on Pakistan. These books, of varying genres (journalistic, policy-oriented, academic, literary…) and covering various themes (history, state formation, religion, politics, economy…), offer contrasting views, analysis and interpretations of today’s Pakistan.

Here below are the books chosen by S Akbar Zaidi for the review:

Pakistan: A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven (London: Allen Lane), 2011.

“In the past decade Pakistan has become a country of immense importance to its region, the United States, and the world. With almost 200 million people, a 500,000-man army, nuclear weapons, and a large diaspora in Britain and North America, Pakistan is central to the hopes of jihadis and the fears of their enemies. Yet the greatest short-term threat to Pakistan is not Islamist insurgency as such, but the actions of the United States, and the greatest longterm threat is ecological change….” (back cover)

The Future of Pakistan by Stephen P Cohen and Others (New Delhi: Oxford University Press), 2011.

“With each passing day, Pakistan becomes an even more crucial player in world affairs. Home of the world’s second-largest Muslim population, epicenter of the global jihad, location of perhaps the planet’s most dangerous borderlands, and armed with nuclear weapons, this South Asian nation will go a long way toward determining what the world looks like ten years from now…” (back cover)

Pakistan: Beyond the ‘Crisis State’ edited by Maleeha Lodhi (Karachi: Oxford University Press), 2011.

“Seen through the lens of the outsider, Pakistan has often been reduced to a caricature. Its diversity and resilience have rarely figured in the single-issue focus of recent literature on the country, be it journalistic or scholarly. This book seeks to present an alternate paradigm and to contribute a deeper understanding of the country’s dynamics that can help explain why Pakistan has confounded all the doomsday scenarios…” (back cover)

Secularising Islamists? Jama’at-e-Islami and Jama’at-ud-Da’wa in Urban Pakistan by Humeira Iqtidar (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press), 2011.

Secularizing Islamists? provides an in-depth analysis of two Islamist parties in Pakistan, the highly influential Jama‘at-e-Islami and the more militant Jama‘at-ud-Da‘wa, widely blamed for the November 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, India. Basing her findings on thirteen months of ethnographic work with the two parties in Lahore, Humeira Iqtidar proposes that these Islamists are involuntarily facilitating secularization within Muslim societies, even as they vehemently oppose secularism…” (back cover)

The State of Islam: Culture and Cold War Politics in Pakistan by Saadia Toor (London: Pluto Press), 2011.

 “The State of Islam tells the story of the Pakistani nation-state through the lens of the Cold War, and more recently the War on Terror, in order to shed light on the domestic and international processes behind the rise of militant Islam across the world. Unlike existing scholarship on nationalism, Islam, and the state in Pakistan, which tends to privilege events in a narrowly-defined political realm, The State of Islam is a Gramscian analysis of cultural politics in Pakistan from its origins to the contemporary period…” (back cover)

Muslim Becoming: Aspiration and Skepticism in Pakistan by Naveeda Khan (Durham: Duke University Press), 2012.

“In Muslim Becoming, Naveeda Khan challenges the claim that Pakistan’s relation to Islam is fragmented and problematic. Offering a radically different interpretation, Khan contends that Pakistan inherited an aspirational, always-becoming Islam, one with an open future and a tendency toward experimentation. For the individual, this aspirational tendency manifests in a continual striving to be a better Muslim…” (back cover)

International conference on Ethics and Spirituality in Islam, 29 November-1 December 2012

Ethic and Spirituality in Islam: Adab of the Sufis

(Ethique et spiritualité en islam: l’adab soufi)

29 November-1 December 2012



Eve Feuillebois-Pierunek (Sorbonne Nouvelle), Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen (INALCO, IUF), Luca Patrizi (University of Aix en Provence and L’Orientale at Naples)

Institutional partners

IISMM, Mondes iranien et indien, CETOBAC, Institut Universitaire de France, EHESS, IREMAM, INALCO-CERMOM

Au cœur de la culture arabe et islamique, se trouve la notion centrale d’adab. L’adab soufi correspond à la nécessité pour les soufis de discipliner leur âme, de codifier les rapports entre maître et disciple et de créer des règles pour la vie en communauté, qui aboutit finalement au développement d’institutions typiquement soufies. Pour le soufi, mais aussi pour le pieux musulman, l’adab est un usage du monde extérieur qui façonne en retour le monde intérieur, éduque le corps, dompte l’âme charnelle et libère l’esprit, grâce à l’exemple du Prophète reproduit dans la personne même du cheikh. Réfléchir sur l’adab soufi, c’est aussi réfléchir sur l’éthique de l’islam. Le colloque abordera, dans une perspective de longue durée, à la fois les questions de formation et de formulations de l’adab soufi; de normes et de transgressions; la comparaison avec le soufisme juif et les règles de vie du christianisme oriental; la question des genres littéraires (prière, musique, littérature) produits par l’adab soufi et de ses corpus (manuels, hagiographies…) à différentes époques.

Thursday 29 November 2012

IISMM, 96 boulevard Raspail 75 006 Paris (Métro Saint-Placide ou Notre-Dame-des-Champs)

9:00 – Accueil

9:15 – Mot du Directeur de l’IISMM et des organisateurs

9:30 – Conférence inaugurale

– Denis Gril (Aix-Marseille Université, IREMAM), « Adab et akhlāq  en islam »

10:00 – 12:30 – Formation et formulations de l’adab soufi

- Séance présidée par Denis Gril

10:00 - Ahmet Karamustafa (University of Maryland, College Park), « Reading Medieval Persian Hagiography through the Prism of Adab : The Case of Asrār al-tawhīd»

10:30 - Jean-Jacques Thibon (Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, IREMAM), « Adab et éducation spirituelle chez les maîtres de Nīšābūr aux 3e et 4e siècles de l’hégire »

11:00 – Pause

11:30 – Florian Sobieroj (Friedrich Schiller Universität, Iena), « Literary Perspectives in  Qushayrī’s Meditations on Sufi Ethics: The ‘Uyūn al-ajwiba fī funūn al-as’ila »

12:00 - Francesco Chiabotti (Aix-Marseille Université, IREMAM), « Éthique et théologie : la pratique de l’adab dans le traité sur les noms divins d’Abū l-Qāsim ‘Abd al-Karīm al-Qushayrī (al-Taḥbīr fī ‘ilm al-tadhkīr) »

12:30 – Déjeuner à l’IISMM pour les participants

14:30 – 17:00 – L’adab comme éthique: norme et transgression

– Séance présidée par Ahmet Karamustafa, EPHE, Paris

14:30 - Paul L. Heck (Georgetown University, Washington, DC), « The Illumination of the Skeptic and the Mystical Basis of Ethical Action in Islam: The Case of Ghazali (d. 505/1111) »

15:00 - Lloyd Ridgeon (University of Glasgow), « Reading Sufi History through Ādāb: The Manners of Sufis, Jawānmardān and Qalandars »

15:30 – Pause

16:00 - Pierre Lory (EPHE, Paris), « Le saint fou comme modèle de l’éthique »

16:30 - Samuela Pagani (Università di Napoli «L’Orientale»), « L’adab comme bid‘a: les règles soufies au miroir du monachisme »

 Friday 30 November 2012


9:30 – 12:00 - Soufisme juif et monachisme chrétien oriental : d’autres ādāb

- Séance présidée par Paul Heck

9:30 – Sabino Chiala (Monastero di Bose), « Les trois degrés de l’éthique : entre littérature monastique syro-orientale et adab soufi »

10:00 - Mariachiara Giorda (Università degli Studi di Torino), « Un système de règles de conduite dans le monachisme chrétien oriental (Ve-VIIe siècles) »

10:30 – Pause

11:00 - Elisha Russ-Fishbane (Princeton University), « Fellowship as a Spiritual Ethic : Mystical Fraternity in Medieval Jewish Sufis »

11:30 - Nathan Hofer (University of Missouri, Columbia), « Training the Prophetic Self : adab and riyāḍa in Jewish Sufism »

12:30 – Déjeuner au restaurant La Caspienne, 4 rue Stanislas, 75006 Paris

14:30 – 17:00 – Genres littéraires de l’adab soufi : manuels et hagiographies

– Séance présidée par Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi

14:30 - Erik S. Ohlander (Indiana University – Purdue University, Fort Wayne), « Situating Group, Self, and Act in the Medieval Sufi ribāṭ: The Kitāb zād al-musāfir wa-adab al-ḥāḍir of ʿImād al-Dīn Muḥammad al-Suhrawardī (d. 655/1257) »

15:00 - Eve Feuillebois-Pierunek (Université de Paris-III, CNRS-UMR Mondes iranien et indien, Paris), « ‘Ezz al-din Kāshāni et Abu’l Mafākher Yahyā Bākharzi : l’adab soufi vu par deux auteurs persans du 13e-14e siècle appartenant à deux confréries différentes »

15:30 – Pause

16:00 - Nelly Amri (Université de la Manouba), « Un ‟ manuel ” shādhilī d’adab soufi d’après les manāqib du cheikh ifrīqiyen ‘Abd al-Wahhāb al-Mzūghī (m. 675/1276) »

16:30 - Luca Patrizi (Università degli Studi di Torino), « Adab al-mulūk: l’utilisation allégorique de la terminologie du pouvoir dans le soufisme »

Saturday 1 December 2012

INALCO, 65 rue des Grands Moulins, 75013 Paris (Métro Bibliothèque Nationale)

9:30 – 12:00 – Genres de l’adab soufi : prière, musique, littérature

– Séance présidée par Michel Boivin

9:30 - Josef Dreher (IDEO, Le Caire), « Le rôle et la place des munajāt dans l’adab et les prières des mystiques musulmans »

10:00 - Mikko Viitamaki (University of Helsinki – EPHE), « The Delicate Balance: Adab and mystical states in sama‘ »

10:30 – Pause

11:00 - Stefan Reichmuth (Bochum Universität), « The Praise of a Sufi master as a Literary Event: al-Yûsî (d. 1691), his Daliyya and its Commentary (Nayl al-amani) »

11:30 - Ralf Elger (Université Martin Luther, Halle), « Taha al-Kurdî (d. 1214/1800) between Sufi adab and literary adab »

12:00 – Déjeuner à l’INALCO pour les participants

Visite de la BULAC

14:00 – Corpus d’adab à l’époque moderne et contemporaine

– Séance présidée par Erik Ohlander

14:00 - Fabio Alberto Ambrosio (CNRS-CETOBAC et IFEA-Istanbul), « L’époque de l’adab : le miroir soufi au xviie siècle »

14:30 - Rachida Chih (CNRS-CETOBAC, Paris), « Adab et cheminement dans la voie à l’époque ottomane d’après le Sayr al-sulûk de Khânî, le Tuhfat al-salikîn de Samannûdî et le Tuhfat al-ikhwân de Dardîr »

15:00 – Pause

15:30 - Michele Petrone (Università di Napoli «L’Orientale»), «Ādāb with an Absent Master: Sufis and Good Manners in African Tiǧāniyya»

16:00 – Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen (INALCO-CERMOM, IUF, Paris), « L’adab soufi à l’heure du réformisme musulman en Égypte »

16:30 - Conclusions

18:00 – Cocktail à l’INALCO