Our Team

Prof Oliver Scharbrodt

Oliver Scharbrodt is Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Birmingham. His research expertise covers the intellectual history of modern Islam, Muslim minorities in Europe and the historical, discursive and social formations of transnational networks within modern and contemporary Islam, with a particular focus on Twelver Shia Islam. He is the principal investigator of the AlterUmma project.

Dr Christopher Pooya Razavian

Christopher Pooya Razavian's research is focused on the relationship between tradition and modernity in Islam. He has spent many years in Iran, at both the Islamic Seminary and the University of Tehran. He received his PhD from the University of Exeter under the supervision of Prof Sajjad Rizvi. For the AlterUmma project, his research is focused on Morteza Motahhari's concept of social justice.

Dr Oula Kadhum

Oula Kadhum's research explores Middle Eastern politics and society from a transnational perspective, with a focus on diasporic communities. Her doctoral thesis at the University of Warwick compared the UK and Swedish diaspora's involvement in state building during intervention, occupation and following the country's first democratic elections. Currently, she is exploring Iraqi Shia transnational mobilisation in the UK as part of the AlterUmma project. @OulaKadhum

Yousif Al-Hilli

Yousif Al-Hilli graduated with an MSc in Middle East Politics from SOAS and a BSc in Politics and Sociology from Brunel University. His research interests include informality within political and religious institutions, and the role of religion within states in the Middle East. He is currently working as part of the AlterUmma project to investigate the ways in which the clerical establishment in Iraq have positioned themselves post-2003.

Clerical Networks, Discourses and the State in Modern Twelver Shiism

15Apr

Organized by: BRAIS

Panel at the annual conference of the British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS), 15-15 April 2019. Members of the interdisciplinary ERC AlterUmma project participate at the 2019 BRAIS conference at the University of Nottingham. The panel investigates the various ways that clerical networks and discourses have constructed the state in both Iran and Iraq by combining intellectual history with the qualitative methods of political science. The panel begins by examining two distinct periods of the authority of the marajiʿ thalath or the three religious authorities in pre-revolutionary Iran. From there, the papers will show the different ways that clerics imagined participation in the state. This includes the discourses about the use of instrumental reason in state formation and policy, debates about the creation of shura councils since the 1960s, and the scope of authority of Ayatollah Sistani in the contemporary Iraqi state.

URL: http://www.brais.ac.uk/conferences/brais-2019/brais-2019-provisional-programme

Location: University of Nottingham, Nottingham

Clerical Networks, Discourses and the State in Modern Twelver Shi’ism

24-26Jun

Organized by: BRISMES

Panel at annual conference of British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES), 24-26 June 2019, University of Leeds Members of the interdisciplinary ERC AlterUmma project participate at the 2019 BRISMES conference at the University of Leeds. The panel investigates the various ways that clerical networks and discourses have constructed the state in both Iran and Iraq by combining intellectual history with the quantitative and qualitative methods of political science. The panel begins by examining how clerical networks are formed with a quantitative focus on the clerical formation of Najaf and Qom. From there, the papers show the different ways that clerics imagined participation in the state. This includes the discourses about the responsibility of the state to maximize human excellence, debates about the creation of shura councils since the 1960s, and the scope of authority of Ayatollah Sistani in the contemporary Iraqi state.

URL: http://www.brismes.ac.uk/conference/

Location: University of Leeds, Leeds

Currently seeking applications for two Post-doctoral research fellowships

18Apr

Organized by: University of Birmingham

The Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham is seeking applications for 2 post-doctoral research fellowships. The fellows will work as part of the ERC-funded project “Creating an alternative umma: Clerical authority and religio-political mobilisation in transnational Twelver Shiism”. Further information and particulars on the fellowships is available here: - - Research Fellowship on the development of Shii ritual practices: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BRR683/research-fellow - - Research Fellowship on Shii devotional poetry: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BRR704/research-fellow-alterumma-5

URL: Research Fellowship on the development of Shii ritual practices: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BRR683/research-fellow Research Fellowship on Shii devotional poetry: https://www.jobs.ac.uk/job/BRR704/research-fellow-alterumma-5

Location: University of Birmingham

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