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


Link to Shia Minorities in the Contemporary World: Migration, Transnationalism and Multilocality event
Friday, 20th May, 2016
09:00 - 18:30
Saturday, 21st May, 2016
09:00 - 18:30
Hollybank CHB002, University of Chester.


You can also view this programme complete with paper abstracts by clicking here

If you use Twitter, the conference’s hashtag is #shiaminoritiesconference2016.


Day 1: Friday 20 May


09:00 – 09:30: Registration and refreshments


09:30 – 10:00: Welcome

  • Rob Warner, Executive Dean Faculty of Humanities
  • Oliver Scharbrodt, Director Chester Centre for Islamic Studies


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

Chair: Chiara Formichi (Cornell University)

Discussant: Kathryn Spellman Poots (Aga Khan and Columbia University) 

  • Marios Chatziprokopiou (Aberystwyth University), Performing Muharram in Piraeus: the Lamentation for Imam Hussein in a Migratory Context
  • Yafa Shanneik (University of South Wales), Shia Devotional Poetry in the 20th and 21st Century from the Gulf to Europe
  • 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 Generations in Indonesia


12:45 – 14:00: Lunch


14:00 – 15:30: Session 2

Performing Shiism: Rituals and Practices II

Chair: Chris Heinhold (University of Chester)

Discussant: Yafa Shanneik (University of South Wales)

  • 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 and Columbia University), Temporary Marriage in the UK: Debates and Practice among British Shii Muslims


15:30 – 15:45: Tea/Coffee break


15:45 – 17:15: Session 3

Diasporic Shia Minorities: Transnationalism and Multilocality

Chair: Roswitha Badry (University of Freiburg)

Discussant: Reza Gholami (Keele University)

  • 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
  • Zahra Ali (University of Chester), Being a Young Devout Shii in London: Religiosity and Multiple Senses of Belonging between the UK and Iraq
  • Chris Heinhold (University of Chester), Who is Hussain: Contemporary Campaigning at the Glocal Level


17:15 – 17:30: Tea/Coffee break


17:30 – 18:30: Book Launch

Chair: Sabrina Mervin (EHESS/Centre Jacques Berque)

  • 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), Fiqh for Minorities: Shi'i Law in the Diaspora


10:00 – 10:15: Tea/Coffee break


10:15 – 11:45: Session 4

Diasporic Shia Minorities: Identities in Transition

Chair: Samim Akgonul (Université de Strasbourg – CNRS)

Discussant: Chris Heinhold (University of Chester)

  •  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 Garcia Somoza (University of Buenos Aires/EHESS), 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

Chair: Yafa Shanneik (University of South Wales)

Discussant: Sufyan Abid (University of Chester)

  •  Piro Rexhepi (Max Planck Institute), The Bektashi Tariqa and the Postsocialist Politics of “European Islam” in Southeastern Europe
  • Arun Rasiah (Holy Names University), Ideas in Motion: The Politics of Knowledge and Patronage in Indian Ocean Islam
  •  Emiko Stock (Cornell University), Comfortably sitting in-between: Grains of Cham ‘Alid Piety to Rethink the Shi’a / Sunni Divide
  •  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

Chair: Arun Rasiah (Holy Names University)

Discussant: Zahra Ali (University of Chester)

  •  Hafsa Oubou (Northwestern University), Transnational Conversion and Global Networks among Moroccan Shia Converts
  •  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
  •  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