Here at AKU-ISMC, we carry out excellent research on contemporary and historical aspects of Muslim societies. Every member of our teaching team is research active and brings that research into their interactions with their teaching.
AKU-ISMC has several projects currently running in the areas of digital humanities, water management, archaeology, governance and popular culture and Islam.
We investigate who has a voice in decision making, the process by which decisions are made, and who is ultimately accountable for the consequences of those decisions and their implementation. These questions are critical for accurately representing the historical and contemporary world around us, and inform potential interventions to affect positive change in the material conditions of vulnerable populations. We draw on the interdisciplinary strengths of faculty to examine governance issues in law, sociology, political science, religious studies, economics, and anthropology.
Governance for the Public Interest in Muslim Contexts. Dr Gianluca Parolin and Dr Sanaa Alimia
Scaling Up and Transferring Community-Managed Rural Water Systems to Urban Settings. Dr Jeff Tan
Dr Sanaa Alimia
Dr Gianluca Parolin
Dr Jeff Tan
We partner historical and literacy expertise with computer science as we aim to build the largest online, open access and machine readable corpus of Arabic and Persian texts; develop methods and tolls to study them, create data analytics and visualisations, and build an online application that fosters public research and debate. Research questions currently relate to the history of the Arabic book, including meanings of authorship, the recycling of older tests into new forms, and how narratives were adapted to new circumstances.
Aga Khan Library Digital Collections. Dr Walid Ghali
KITAB Project. Professor Sarah Bowen Savant
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts
Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean
For us, the Indian Ocean is a centre, not a periphery, for the understanding of Muslim Cultures since the sea was a link historically between cities, ports, and peoples in the Middle-East, Africa and Asia. We support the protection, conservation and heritage management of Indian Ocean cultures, and focus in our research on texts, objects, cities and monuments. Current topics involve many international partnerships and include Muslims and the sea, trading networks, Sufism, and Islamisation.
Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean. Professor Stephane Pradines
Professor Stephane Pradines
Dr Farouk Topan
Arts and Popular Culture
We explore the possibilities and limits of human imagination, whether in high or mass-mediated popular culture. Context matters. Creativity can, and needs to, be understood in relation to wider social, economic, or consumer culture contexts. Any creative work is an act of communication. It involves a multitude of people, calls up genres and heritage, and complies with, or perhaps rebels against, conventions. Current research projects focus on the Swahili novel; Islamic pop music, law in popular culture, Muslim creative artists in Europe, and historical material culture from an archaeological perspective.
Peshwar, Feeling the City. Dr Sanaa Alimia
We are interested in history writing and other ways of recording and remembering the past. We ask how urban and rural people, workers and peasants; Christians, Jews and Muslims; the religiously educated and the technocratic elite; developed different ways of writing, remembering, or commemorating particular events in local, national, or Muslim history. We investigate how accounts of the past are not simply records of fact, but also interventions, as we ask how educational institutions, museums, media organisations and proponents of heritage use history today to shape loyalties and senses of belonging, and whose interests these identities serve. Current research investigates especially cultural memory in and of the 5th – 15th centuries.
Professor Sarah Bowen Savant
Professor Philip Wood