To celebrate AKU-ISMC’s book launch of Muslim Cultures of the Indian Ocean: Diversity and Pluralism, Past and Present
, please join Professors Stéphane Pradines and Farouk Topan and their guests Dr Farah Faizal, Ambassador for the Republic of the Maldives, and Dr Annabel Teh Gallop, Head of Southeast Asia at the British Library, for a discussion of this rich and previously overlooked crossroads of Muslim cultures.
About the Book
Scholars are increasingly recognising the centrality of the Indian Ocean in the study of Muslim cultures. This volume, edited by AKU-ISMC’s Professors Stéphane Pradines and Farouk Topan, explores the expanding and changing roles of these Muslim communities across the Indian Ocean world, from the seventh century to the medieval period to the present day. The book goes beyond the usual focus on geographical sub-regions to highlight different aspects of interconnectivity in relation to Islam. By analysing textual and material evidence, the fifteen papers in this volume examine identities and diasporas, manuscripts and literature, as well as vernacular and religious architecture. It explores the networks and movements of peoples, ideas and ideologies, as well as art, culture, religion and heritage.
Stéphane Pradines is an archaeologist and Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture and the lead of the Indian Ocean programme at the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) in London. Pradines is also a UNESCO, WMF and Google Arts expert for the Indian Ocean region. He is associate researcher to the CNRS Lab in Paris: UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerranée, Atlas of Medieval ports programme. He was the director of the excavations of the walls of Cairo (Egypt) and at excavations in the Indian Ocean (Maldives) and East Africa (Gedi in Kenya, Kilwa and Mafia in Tanzania, Mayotte in Comoros). He is now in charge of the excavations of the Lahore Fort, Pakistan (AKTC-SP). His latest book is Historic Mosques in Sub-Saharan Africa: From Timbuktu to Zanzibar (2022) and he is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Material Cultures in the Muslim World.
Farouk Topan is Professor Emeritus at the Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC). He has also taught at the Universities of Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, Riyad, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and University of London. His research interests and publications are in the fields of Swahili language, literature and identity; Islam in East Africa; spirit possession. He is also a writer of Swahili fiction and has published several short stories and two of his plays have been part of the school curriculum in Tanzania.
HE Dr Farah Faizal is Ambassador for the Republic of the Maldives in the United Kingdom. She has a PhD from the University of Keele, where her thesis was on Security Problems of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with particular reference to the SIDS of the Indian Ocean. She is the co-author of A Clearing in the Thicket: Women, Security, South Asia (2005), which explores women’s perspectives on security and related policy, focusing on women in South Asia who are battling society, insecurity and violence.
Dr Annabel Teh Gallop is Head of Southeast Asia at the British Library, with a specialism in Maritime Southeast Asia. Working with Malay and Indonesian manuscripts, she has a particular interest in letters, documents and seals, and in the illumination of Qur’an and other Islamic manuscripts from Southeast Asia. She was co-director of the British Academy-funded research project Islam, Trade and Politics across the Indian Ocean (2009-2012), investigating Ottoman links with Southeast Asia.
*The discussion will be followed by a reception.