Dr Samira Sheikh was awarded a DPhil in Modern History (completed at Wolfson College, Oxford in 2004) on the society and politics of Gujarat between 1200 and 1500 CE. Before commencing her studies at Oxford, Samira had completed an MA and MPhil in Medieval History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India. She was a Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College from 2002-06.
Among Dr Sheikh's research interests are: medieval India and the Islamic world; trade and navigation in the Indian Ocean; and the religious history of western India. She has presented papers on her research at a number of North American and European conferences, at Oxford, Cambridge, SOAS and Paris.
Dr Sheikh has researched Ismaili print culture in Gujarat and Bombay and its implications for community identity formation from the early twentieth century. Since June 2003, she has moderated a mailing list for scholars of Gujarat and coordinated a workshop with Dr. Rachel Dwyer of the School of Oriental and African Studies entitled 'Engagements with Tradition in the Gujarati World' held on May 14, 2004.
In December 2004, Dr Sheikh helped organise an international workshop on 'Community and Civic Life: New Directions in the Study of the Ismaili Living Traditions of South Asia' at the Institute. In November 2006, she organised a conference at the Ismaili Centre on 'Devotional Expressions of South Asian Muslims'.
Her publications include: 'Gujarati Manuscripts' in A Descriptive Catalogue of Oriental Manuscripts at St. John's College, Oxford (E. Savage-Smith, ed., The Oriental Institute Monograph Series, Oxford University Press, 2005), and 'Religious Traditions and Early Isma'ili History in Western India: Some Historical Perspectives on Satpanthi Literature and the Ginans' in Ginans, Texts and Contexts: Essays on Ismaili Hymns from South Asia in honour of Zawahir Moir (Tazim R. Kasam and Francoise Mallison, eds., Macmillan India, 2007).
Dr Samira Sheikh is presently revising her DPhil thesis for publication and is working on her second monograph, on religion and politics in Mughal Gujarat.