Shia Minorities in the Contemporary World: Migration, Transnationalism and Multilocality

The University of Chester is holding a conference on “Shia Minorities in the Contemporary World: Migration, Transnationalism and Multilocality” from 20-21 May 2016. Registration is free and available until 1 May 2016.


Day 1: Friday 20 May

09:00 – 09:30: Registration and refreshments

  • Oliver Scharbrodt, Director Chester Centre for Islamic Studies

09:30 – 10:00: Welcome

10:00 – 11:00: Keynote Lecture 1:

  • Sabrina Mervin (EHESS/Centre Jacques Berque), Linking Shia Minorities to the Shii Core: History, Rituals and Religious Authority

11:00 – 11:15: Tea/Coffee break

11:15 – 12:45: Session 1

Performing Shiism: Rituals and Practices I

  • Yafa Shanneik (University of South Wales), “Husayn is our Homeland”: Shia Mourning Poetry in Women Rituals in London and Kuwait
  • Marios Chatziprokopiou (Aberystwyth University), Performing Muharram in Piraeus: the Lamentation for Imam Hussein in a Migratory Context
  • Noor Zaidi (University of Pennsylvania), “Still we long for Zaynab”: South Asian Shias and the Shia Shrines
  • Reni Susanti (Tilburg University), Taklif Ceremony: Women Ritual and the Creation of Future Shii Generation in Indonesia

12:45 – 14:00: Lunch

14:00 – 15:30: Session 2

Performing Shiism: Rituals and Practices II

  • Ekaterina Kapustina (European University at St. Petersburg), Moharramlik and the Modern Shia community of Derbent in Translocal Reality
  • Chiara Formichi (Cornell University), Performing Religion across the Indian Ocean: Ashura Commemorations in Indonesia
  • Kathryn Spellman Poots (Aga Khan University), The Arbaeen Pilgrimage: Movement and Mobility among Young Shias in UK and USA

15:30 – 15:45: Tea/Coffee break

15:45 – 17:15: Session 3

Diasporic Shia Minorities: Transnationalism and Multilocality

  • Zahra Ali (University of Chester), Being a Young Devout Shii in London: Religiosity and Multiple Senses of Belonging between the UK and Iraq
  • Elvire Corboz (University of Aarhus), Heritage Symbols Reformulated: The Legacy of the Ahl al-Bayt and the Shaping of Iran’s Activist Version of Shiism in Europe
  • Chris Heinhold (University of Chester), Who is Hussain: Contemporary Campaigning at the Glocal Level
  • Samra Nasser (Western New Mexico University), Transnational Impact of Events in the Middle East on Post-Migratory Shia Minorities: The Case of Shia Lebanese in Metropolitan Detroit

17:15 – 17:30: Tea/Coffee break

17:30 – 18:30: Book Launch

Mara A. Leichtman (Michigan State University), Shi’i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa: Lebanese Migration and Religious Conversion in Senegal (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2015)

18:30: Dinner


Day 2: Saturday 21 May

9:00 – 10:00: Keynote Lecture 2

  • Liyakat Takim (McMaster University), Reformation or Transformation: Shii Law in the West

10:00 – 10:15: Tea/Coffee break

10:15 – 11:45: Session 4

Diasporic Shia Minorities: Identities in Transition

  • Reza Gholami (Keele University), Cultures of Integration: Pride, Shame and New Religious Identities among UK Iranians
  • Emanuelle Degli Esposti (SOAS), Living Najaf in London: Diaspora, Transnationalism, and the Sectarianisation of the Iraqi-Shia Subject
  • Mayra Soledad Valcarcel (University of Buenos Aires) and Mari-Sol García Somoza (CANTHEL-University Paris Descartes / University of Buenos Aires), Mi corazón late Husayn: Identity, Politics and Religion in a Shia Community in Buenos Aires
  • Roswitha Badry (University of Freiburg), From a Marginalized Religious Community in Iran to a Government-sanctioned Public Interest Foundation in Paris: Remarks on the Ostad Elahi Foundation

11:40 – 12:00 Tea/Coffee break

12:00 – 13:30: Session 5

Shia Communities in Formation

  • Piro Rexhepi (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity), The Bektashi Tariqa and the Postsocialist Politics of “European Islam” in Southeastern Europe
  • Arun Rasiah (University of Oakland), Ideas in Motion: The Politics of Knowledge and Patronage in Indian Ocean Islam
  • Emiko Stock (Cornell University), Lines back to Ali, Road forward Shiism: A Historical Anthropology of Cham Sayyids’ Trajectories from Cambodia to Iran
  • Anas P. A (Aligarh Muslim University), Cultural Representation of Shiism in Malabar Coast of Indian Ocean: A Case Study on The Social Life of the Kerala Muslims

13:30 – 14:45: Lunch

14:45 – 15:45: Keynote Lecture 3

  • Seyyed Fadhil Milani & Mohammad Mesbahi (Islamic College London), Muslim Migration to Europe, Challenging (European) Modernity and the Necessity of the ijtihadi Approach

15:45 – 16:00: Tea/Coffee break

16:00 – 17:30: Session 6

Shia Transnationalism between Global and Local Dynamics

  • Sufyan Abid (University of Chester), An Alternative umma: The Construction and Development of Shia Globalism among South Asian Shia Muslims in London
  • Iman Lechkar (University College Brussels), Interpreting Khamenei and Fadlallah in Brussels: the Religious and Social Impact of Middle Eastern Clerical Leaders in the Capital of Europe
  • Hafsa Oubou (Northwestern University), Transnational Conversion and Global Networks among Moroccan Shia Converts
  • Robert Riggs (University of Bridgeport), Global Networks, Local Concerns: Investigating the Impact of Emerging Technologies on Shii Religious Leaders and Constituencies

17:30 – 18:00: Concluding discussions

18:00: Dinner