The Fatimid empire (909 -1171 CE) became a leading power in the Mediterranean and shaped the “Shi‘i century” of Islam.
In historiography, it was often represented as a Shi‘i exception within a predominantly Sunni history of Islam.
Its material heritage in monuments and objects offers a broad basis for historical research.
Features such as the dense urban space of Cairo, the establishment of the Ismaili Shi‘i Imam-Caliphs as sovereigns over Sunni Muslims, Christians and Jews make Fatimid history a fascinating subject of study.
IIS Scholars Present Papers at the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies
Drs Shainool Jiwa and Arzina Lalani presented papers in Ankara, on 18-22 August 2014, as part of a panel at the World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies (WOCMES).
The panel was entitled One Empire, Many Religions: Religion and Society under Fatimid Rule and was organised by Almut Höfert and Serena Tolino.
The panel explored case studies as well as broader trends in Fatimid history. Papers presented by a number of scholars were grouped in two panels: the first one was dedicated to Fatimid narratives of authority and the second one dealt with facets of society.
Dr Shainool Jiwa, presented a paper titled The Baghdad Manifesto: A Lineage Exposed or an Exposéon Lineage?
Dr Arzina R. Lalani’s paper entitled Fatimid Notion of Authority: Historical and Intellectual Premises examined the historical and intellectual nuances of Fatimid authority.
Other esteemed panelists included Jamel A. Velji (Imminence, Distance: Narrative Reframings of Early Fatimid Apocalyptic), Almut Höfert (Rule as experiment: the religious policy of Caliph al-Hakim), Serena Tolino (Eunuchs in the Fatimid Empire: Ranks, Masculinities and Sacredness), Hatim Mahamid (The Fatimids in Syria and the Sunni-Shi‘i Conflict), and Daniella Talmon-Heller (Religious Innovation in 11th century Palestine).
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