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Grant number like: RZ-255605-17

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College of New Jersey (Ewing, NJ 08628-0718)
Jo-Ann Gross (Project Director: December 2016 to present)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

Totals (outright + matching):
$301,000 (approved)
$281,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2017 – 6/30/2023

A Documentary History of Ismailism, the Second Largest Branch of Shia Islam, from the 16th-20th Centuries

Preparation for publication of a co-authored book and the creation of an open access digital repository of primary documents relating to Ismaili genealogical histories in Badakhshan in Central Asia. (36 months)

This project will examine the genealogical and documentary history of the Nizari Ismaili community of Badakhshan. The perception of Badakhshan as a remote and “peripheral region” in the Islamic world has marginalized the study of Ismailism and the peoples of the Badakhshan region within the scholarship on Islamic Central Asia. This project undertakes a detailed study of original Badakhshani Ismaili genealogical histories of pirs and khalifas from Tajikistan and Afghanistan dating from the 16th-20th centuries, in addition to letters and financial documents associated with them. Our goal is to render a defined corpus of these Persian-language texts legible as historical sources by digitalizing them; identifying their features; defining the local genres of genealogy, letter writing and document production as historical practices; and analyzing them as a source for local knowledge of the Ismaili tradition of Badakhshan. The end result will be an online open-access digital collection; a printed book manuscript; two international conference panels and a 1-day symposium at The College of New Jersey. (Edited by staff)