Ismaili Traditions and Spirituality of the People of the Pamirs in the Works of Russian Scholars

Ismaili Traditions and Spirituality of the People of the Pamirs in the Works of Russian Scholars
(Dedicated to 125th Birth Anniversary of Wladimir Alekseyevich Ivanow)

 

Co-sponsors:

The Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences
Saint Petersburg, Russia (www.orientalstudies.ru)

The Institute of Ismaili Studies
London, UK (www.iis.ac.uk)

 

Dates: 7-9 December 2011 
Venue: The Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Sciences
Languages of the Conference: Russian and English

 

Theme

Russian Oriental Studies produced a vast body of knowledge about religious traditions of Central Asian Muslims, which dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. The expansion of the Russian Empire into Central Asia and the encounter with the British Empire in the mountainous terrain of the Pamir and Hindukush mountain ranges prompted extensive documentation of the culture of mountainous societies, encompassing the religious traditions and practices of the Ismaili Muslims of the Pamir region. The studies of the region gained momentum during the Soviet period, when the Pamir region’s diverse linguistic and cultural milieu was brought to the attention of scholars in various fields, including history, ethnography and linguistics.

The pioneering work of Russian scholars, such as Aleksey Bobrinskoy, Ivan Zarubin, Aleksandr Semyonov and Wladimir Ivanow, generated much interest in the culture of the Pamiri people as well as the Ismaili community more generally. This resulted in academic writings about the culture and traditions of Central Asian Ismailis, including their history and intellectual traditions, particularly during the medieval period.

The 125th anniversary of the birth of Wladimir Ivanow, the foremost pioneer of modern Ismaili studies, provides an occasion to commemorate his contribution to Ismaili studies and highlight the extensive scholarship of Russian and Soviet orientalists on the traditions of the people of the Pamir region. The conference aims to create a forum for discussion and critical reflection on this field of scholarship. It will also examine the ways of orienting and developing Ismaili studies within the academic context of the Russian Federation. Further, it aims to create awareness about the present state of Russian scholarship in related fields and to discuss relevant experiences of research in historical and contemporary contexts.

 

The papers to be presented at the conference address, but are not limited to, the following questions:

  • The Evolution of Pamiri and Ismaili studies in Russia and the former Soviet Union: How did Russian scholarship on Ismaili and Pamiri studies evolve over the last two centuries? What factors transformed Oriental studies in Russia and the former Soviet Union with regard to Ismaili and Pamiri studies? 
     
  • Contributions of Russian Scholarship to Ismaili and Pamiri Studies: What are the salient features of the contributions of Russian scholars to modern Ismaili studies? How did the individual scholars’ contributions influence and shape scholarly investigations in related fields over the course of the 20th century? 
     
  • Approaches and Methodologies: What are the ideological, conceptual and methodological characteristics of Russian scholarship over the course of history with regard to Ismaili and Pamiri studies? How did the ideological and methodological constraints manifest themselves in the works of individual scholars? 
     
  • Prospects for the Development of Critical Research in Ismaili and Pamiri Studies in Russia: How can we build on the heritage of Russian scholarship to promote Ismaili studies and to further the exploration of the spiritual traditions of Central Asian mountainous societies? What sources, materials and topics require scholarly investigation? What academic value do the study of these areas represent for the fields of Islamic studies and Humanities?

     

    Conference Programme (PDF version)

    Wednesday 7 December

    Time

    Speaker

    Title

    Language


    09:30 – 10:15 REGISTRATION

    SESSION I Chair: Irina Popova

    Opening

    10:15-10:45

    Irina Popova, Director, IOM, RAS.

    Hakim Elnazarov, Coordinator of Central Asian Studies, IIS

    Oxana Vodneva, Academic Secretary, IOM, RAS.

    Welcoming speeches

    Russian/ English

    10:45-11:30

    Farhad Daftary,

    Co-Director, IIS, London, UK (Keynote Speech)

    Ivanow and Modern Ismaili Studies

    English

    11:30-12.00 Coffee / tea break

    SESSION II Chair: Aliy Kolesnikov

    Ivanow and Modern Ismaili Studies

    12:00-12:30

    Alexeу Khismatulin,

    Research Associate, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, IOM, RAS, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    W. Ivanow about the Ahl-i Haqq teachings

    Russian

    12:30

    13:00

    Davlat Khudonazarov,

    Research Associate, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, named after N.N. Miklukho-Maklay, RAS, Moscow, Russia.

    Count Aleksey Bobrinskoy – Founder of Ismaili Studies in Russian Scholarship

    Russian

    13:00-13:30

    Lola Taneeva-Salomatshoeva,

    Senior Research Associate, Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS, Moscow, Russia.

    Contribution of A. E. Bertels to Ismaili Studies

    Russian

    13:30-14.30 Lunch Break

    SESSION III Chair: Alexey Khismatulin

    Archival Sources and Ismaili Collections

    14:30-15:00

    Boris Norik,

    Research Associate, Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, RAS, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Materials of the W. Ivanow’s Fund in the Archives of the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts (IOM) RAS. A Brief Survey

    Russian

    15:00-15:30

    Aliy Kolesnikov,

    Head, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, IOM RAS, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Correspondence of W. A. Ivanow and H. Corbin (1947 – 1966)

    Russian

    15:30-16:00

    Shozodamamad

    Mamadsherzodshoev,

    Head, Manuscript Project, IIS, Khorog, Tajikistan.

    Contribution of Russian Scholars to the Collection and Studies of the Written Heritage of the People of Badakhshan

    Russian

    16:00-16:30 Coffee / tea break

    SESSION IV Chair: Davlat Khudonazarov

    Expeditions to the Pamirs and Regional Studies

    16:30-17:00

    Anton Alekseyev,

    Senior Lecturer, Department of Central Asia and Caucasus, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Saint Petersburg University, Russia.

    The Campaign of General Ionov, M.E. to the Western Pamir and the Establishment of the Pamirian Garrison

    (1894)

    Russian

    17:00-17:30

    Nina Lujetskaya,

    Senior Research Associate, IOM, RAS, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Materials on Regional Geography in the Collection of A. E. Snesarevfrom the Archives of the IOM, RAS.

    Russian

    17:30-18:00

    Elbon Hojibekov,

    Head, Department of History, Khorog State University, Khorog, Tajikistan.

    Study of the Ismaili Pirs of Shughnan of Badakhshan in the Works of Russian Scholars

    Russian

    18:00– 18:30

    Viewing of the Collection of IOM

    Thursday 8 December

    Time

    Speaker

    Title

    Language

     


    SESSION V Chair: Stanislav Prozorov

     

    09:45-10:30

    Andrey Smirnov,

    Associate of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Department of Philosophy of the Islamic World, Institute of Philosophy, RAS, Moscow, Russia (Keynote Speech)

    Philosophy of al-Kirmani in Islamic Context

    Russian

    10:30-11:00 Coffee / tea break

    SESSION VI Chair: Andrey Smirnov

    Ismaili Philosophy in Russian Scholarship

    11:00-11:30

    Aleksandr Arapov,

    Professor of the Department of Philosophy and Sociology of the All-Russian State Distance-Learning Institute of Finance and Economics, Moscow, Russia

    The Concept of Universal Intellect and Universal Soul in Russian Religious Philosophy and Ismailism

    Russian

    11:30

    12:00

    Sunatullo Jonboboev,

    Senior Research Fellow,

    University of Central Asia, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

    The Idea of Philosophy of History in Ismailism

    Russian

    12:00-12:30

    Ramazon Nazariev,

    Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Tajik State Pedagogical University, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

    Contribution of Russian Scholars to the Study of Ismaili Philosophy and Theology

    Russian

    SESSION VII Chair: Farhad Daftary 
    Approaches to Ismaili Studies

    12:30-13:00

    Sarfaroz Niyozov,

    Associate Professor of Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development; Co-Director of the Center for Comparative, International and Development Education at OISE, University of Toronto, Canada.

    A Comparative Review of W. Ivanow’s and A. Bertels Works on Nasir Khusraw and Ismailism: Toward Rethinking Central Asian Ismaili Studies.

     

    English

    13:00-13:30

    Hakim Elnazarov,

    Coordinator, Central Asian Studies, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, UK

    Prospects for Developing Collaboration with The Institute of Ismaili Studies

     

    English

    13:30-14.30 Lunch Break

    15:00 – 18:00 Visit to the Aga Khaninfo-icon Museum Exhibition in Hermitage

    Friday 9 December

    Time

    Speaker

    Title

    Language

     


    SESSION VIII Chair: Sarfaroz Niyozov 
    Cultural Expressions and Practices

     

     

    9:30-10:00

    Rahmat Rahimov,

    Senior Research Associate, Department of Ethnography of Central Asia, Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography named after Peter the Great (Kunstkamera) RAS, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Shi‘i Objects in the Sunni Environment of Central Asia

    Russian

    10:00-10:30

    Sharaf Oshurbekov,

    PhD student, Department of Social Anthropology, Faculty of Arts, University of York, Toronto, Canada.

    Contested Spaces and Contested Meanings – Muslim Places of Worship in Badakhshan

    English

    10:30-11:00

    Nikolay Terletskiy,

    Research Associate, Department of Ethnography of Central Asia, Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography named after Peter the Great (Kunstkamera) RAS, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    The Study of Ismaili Places of Visitation and Worship of the Western Pamirs in Russian Scholarship (History and Modernity)

    Russian

    11:00-11:30 Coffee / tea break

    SESSION IX Chair: Rahmat Rahimov

    Historical Sources and Monuments

    11:30-12:00

    Konstantin Vosiltsov,

    Research Associate, Department of Ethnography of Central Asia, Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography named after Peter the Great (Kunstkamera) RAS, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    On a Document from the Archives of Ivan Zarubin

     

    Russian

    12:00-12:30

    Tohir Kalandarov,

    Senior Research Associate, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, RAS, Moscow, Russia.

    On a Letter by Academic Litvinskiy, B.A to the Chairman of the Tajik Republican Department of the Soviet Cultural Foundation

    Russian

    12:30-13:00

    Pavel Basharin,

    Head of the Sector of Iranian Studies, RGGU, Moscow, Russia.

    Legends about Saint Al-Hallaj in the Pamirs in the Context of Sufi Hagiology

    Russian

    13:00

    13:30

    Konstantin Kravtsov,

    Head of the Ancient and Oriental Numismatics branch
    Numismatic Department
    The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

    Ismailism in the Monuments of Applied Art. Glass Weight of the Fatimid Period.

    Russian

    13:30-14:30 Lunch break

    Session X Chair: Hakim Elnazarov

    Study of Pamiri Languages in Russian Scholarship

    14.30-15:00

    Boghsho Lashkarbekov,

    Senior Research Associate, Department of Iranian Languages, Institute of Linguistics, RAS, Moscow, Russia.

    Contribution of the Russian and Soviet Scholars of the Iranian and Pamiri Studies to the Study of Languages and Spiritual Life of the Pamiri People.

    Russian

    15:00-15:30

    Shodikhon Yusufbekov,

    Director, Institute of Humanities, AST, Khorog, Tajikistan.

    Linguistic School of D.Ī. Edelman.

    Russian

    15:30-

    16:00

    Leila Dodykhudoeva,

    Senior Research Associate, Department of Iranian Languages, Institute of Linguistics, RAS, Moscow, Russia.

    Areal Linguistics in Russian Scholarship

    (Iranian languages in various Sprachbunds)

     

    Russian

    16:00-16:30 Coffee / tea break

    SESSION XI Chair: Oxana Vodneva 
    Final Discussions and Closing Remarks

    16:30-17:00

    Closing remarks

       

    17:00 – 18:00 Visit to the Aleksey Bobrinskoy Exhibition