Message from the Dean


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Professor Leif Stenberg

Dean, Aga Khan University's Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations

AKU-ISMC has effectively adjusted to the new working environment and has continued to thrive in producing high-quality research and online education. 

The safety of our staff and students has continued to be our top priority. The Aga Khan Centre has successfully transformed into a COVID-secure workplace, and the Aga Khan Library has continued to provide exceptional academic support to our scholars and students.

Faculty have been active in publishing and preparing for publications. In collaboration with Edinburgh University Press, AKU-ISMC has created the third new book series entitled “Music and Performance in Muslim Contexts​". To learn more about this subject area, please enjoy this video by Professor Jonas Otterbeck on Islam and Popular Culture.

The 2020 Online Short Course Series and Summer Programme have been providing opportunities for international audiences to delve into some of the key themes researched at AKU-ISMC. These multi-disciplinary courses engage with the overarching contextual themes concerning Muslim cultures and societies, and they include: manuscript studies, gender, popular culture, legal governance, decolonisation, development, warfare and archaeology. 

Public lectures and exhibitions have continued successfully online. Professor Lyon has delivered an engaging course series on COVID-19 in Pakistan titled “Conversations on Pakistan's Response to the Crisis". The KITAB (digital humanities) team has organised a three-day “Arabic Pasts: Histories and Historiographies" workshop. Professor Pradines has also launched the online exhibition “Black Monuments Matter"​ in collaboration with the Zamani Project at the University of Cape Town. Register for our Newsletter to stay updated about our events and activities.

The Institute's Governance Programme has also launched the interactive platform “Governance and the Pandemic". This ambitious project explores a series of questions on how public health is dealt with at various levels of local, national and international governance. I warmly invite you to navigate the various responses and compare them.

Ongoing financial donations and endowments have supported AKU-ISMC in providing student scholarships and financial aid, and have enabled faculty to produce a plethora of research programmes and publications. If you would like to learn how you can support AKU-ISMC, please contact resource.development@aku.edu​.

Thank you everyone. Through your generous support, AKU-ISMC is continuing to flourish.