PL-Kathryn Spellman_June2013

​Manifestations of Ashura among Young Shias in Britain

Lunch Hour Lecture by Dr Kathryn Spellman Poots

This paper will discuss the development of local and transnational Shia institutions and religious practices in British society. It will take a gendered and generational look at the various ways that young people from Shia Muslim backgrounds find ways of reworking and harmonising customary practices in relation to the social realities and daily experience of life in British society.

Focusing specifically on the local and transnational manifestations of the Ashura ritual, the session will explore various ways in which young British Shias explore and question normative gender roles and relations.

Dr Kathryn Spellman Poots, Associate Professor, received her MSc and PhD in Politics and Sociology from Birkbeck College, University of London. Her areas of interest include gender and Islam in the Middle East and North Africa, the Iranian Diaspora and transnational migration networks, Islam in Europe and gender and religious practices in contemporary Libyan society. Her publications include Ethnographies of Islam: Ritual Performances and Everyday Practices (ed., University of Edinburgh Press, 2012) and Religion and Nation: Iranian Local and Transnational Networks in Britain (Berghahn Publishers, Oxford and New York, 2005).

Dr Spellman previously taught courses on the sociology of religion, migration and gender in contemporary societies at Syracuse University, London campus. She is currently a Research Associate at the London Middle East Institute at SOAS and on the Editorial Board of the Middle East in London magazine. She has been involved in organisations that focus on the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK, including the London Detainee Support Group.

This lecture will take place on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 1:00-2:00 pm at AKU-ISMC, 210 Euston Road, NW1 2DA (Level 2, Room 2.3).

Ms Anne Czambor
Professional Programmes Unit​