2015: International Conference

Islamisation: Comparative perspectives from History

20-21 March 2015, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, UK

For further information and to attend please contact iran@st-andrews.ac.uk



Friday 20th March 2015

9.00am – 9.30am Registration

9.30am – 9.45am Welcome/Introduction


9.45am – 11.00am Panel 1 – Theoretical Approaches to Islamisation

Richard Bulliet (Columbia) – ‘The Conversion Curve Revisited’.

Alan Strathern (Oxford) – ‘Ruler Conversions to Monotheism in Comparative Perspective’.

David Thomas (Birmingham) – ‘Conversion from Personal Principle: ʿAlī ibn Rabban al-Ṭabarī (d. c. 860) and ʿAbd Allāh al-Turjumān (d. c. 1430), two converts from Christianity to Islam’.


11.00am –11.30am Refreshments


11.30am – 12.45pm Panel 2 – The Early Islamic Period

Harry Munt (York) ‘What did Conversion to Islam Mean in 7th-century Arabia?’

Andrew Magnusson (University of California) ‘The Islamization of Sacred Space in Post-Conquest Iran: Historiography and the Desecration of Zoroastrian Fire Temples’

Anna Chrysostomides (Oxford) – ‘”There is no god but God”: Conversion, Islamization, and Religious Code Switching, 8th-10th centuries C.E.’


12.45pm-2.00pm Lunch


2.00pm – 2.50pm Panel 3 – The Muslim West

Michael Brett (SOAS) – ‘Conversion of the Berbers to Islam/Islamisation of the Berbers’

Maribel Fierro (CCHS, Madrid) – ‘The Islamisation of al-Andalus: recent studies and debates’


2.50pm – 3.40pm Panel 4 . The Late Medieval Middle East

Reuven Amitai (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) – ‘Islamisation in Palestine and its Environs in the Post-Frankish Period’

Tamer el-Leithy (NYU) – ‘Converting Cultures in Medieval Cairo: The Deep Grammar of Religious Transformation’


3.40pm – 4.10pm Refreshments


4.10pm-5.00pm Panel 5. Anatolia

Andrew Peacock (St Andrews)‘Islamisation in Seljuq Anatolia’

Zeynep Oktay (St Andrews) – ‘The Formation of the Doctrines of Bektashism and Alevism: An “Incomplete” Islamisation or a Unique Branch of Islam?’



Saturday 21st March 2015


9.00am – 9.15am Registration


9.15am-10.30am Panel 6 – Southeast Asia

Edwin Wieringa (Cologne) – ‘The Promise of Salvation: The Story of Yusuf and Indonesia’s Islamization’

Philipp Bruckmayr (Vienna) – ‘Epics of Islamisation and the Islamisation of Epics: Cases and Observations from Southeast Asia’

Alexander Wain (Oxford) – ‘China and the Rise of Islam in Southeast Asia’.


10.30am –11.00am Refreshments


11.00am-11.50am Panel 7 – The Far East

James Frankel (Chinese University of Hong Kong) ‘Islamisation and Sinicisation: Conversion, Reversion and Alternate Versions of Islam in China’.

Yuka Kadoi (Edinburgh) – ‘Orientalism Meets Occidentalism: Material Evidence for the Islamisation of East Asia’.


11.50am-12.40pm Panel 8 Sub-Saharan Africa

Timothy Insoll (Manchester) –‘The Archaeology of Islamisation in sub-Saharan Africa’

Marco Demichelis (Yale) – ‘Habas̆ah vs Argobba on the “Acrocoro”. The historicized Islamisation process of the Horn of Africa’.


12.40pm-2.00pm Lunch


2.00pm-2.50pm Panel 7 – Iran and Central Asia

Daniel Beben (Indiana University Bloomington) – ‘Islamization on the Iranian Periphery: Nasir-i Khusraw and Ismailism in Badakhshan’.

Devin A DeWeese (Indiana University) – ‘Khwāja Aḥmad Yasavī as an Islamizing Saint: Rethinking the Role of Sufis in the Islamization of the Central Asian Turks’.


2.50pm-3.40pm Panel 8 – India

Blain Auer (University of Lausanne) – ‘Civilizing the Savage: Persianization in Early Islamic South Asia’.

Richard Eaton (Arizona) – ‘Sorting out Islam and Persianate culture in Indian history’.


3.40pm-4.10pm Refreshments


4.10pm – 5.00pm Panel 9 –  The Balkans

Tijana Krstić (CEU, Hungary) – ‘Catechetical Strategies: Teaching the Basics of Islam in Ottoman Rumeli, 15th-17th Centuries’.

Sanja Kadrić (Ohio State University) ‘The Islamisation of Ottoman Bosnia: Myths and Matters’.


5.00pm-5.15pm Conclusions and Comments


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