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The Islamic Mysticism Group solicits paper and panel proposals for the 2021 AAR Annual Meeting. All proposals related to Islamic mysticism, as described in the above “Statement of Purpose,” are welcome. This Unit encourages proposals for individual papers, paper sessions, and roundtable discussions in all areas related to Islamic Mysticism, including but not limited to contemporary and classical Sufism, Ismaʿili and broader Shiʿi mysticism, the esoteric and occult arts, aspects of Islamic philosophy and mystical hermeneutics. Proposals must engage with existing scholarship, show theoretical sophistication, and offer original research.

Because of disruptions in the 2020 program, one panel has been deferred to 2021, meaning that the steering committee will have to be more selective than usual this year. Pre-arranged sessions are still a possibility, especially if that session can be shared between two different units. Remember that pre-arranged sessions must show diversity of gender to be considered. We also greatly encourage other forms of diversity, especially race, ethnicity, theoretical method, and rank. Authors of accepted proposals are expected to attend the annual meeting and will be barred from future programs if they fail to show, special and emergency circumstances aside.

Mission Statement:

Islamic mysticism is a broad rubric, one that allows us to engage in areas such as Sufism, Isma’ili and broader Shi’i esoteric thought, some aspects of Islamic philosophy, and allegorical interpretations of the Qur’an. The study of Islamic mysticism also allows our members to engage Islamic materials from many different parts of the world including, but not limited to Persianate regions, the Arab world, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and North America.

Method of Submission:




Merin Shobhana Xavier, merin.shobhana@gmail.com

Cyrus Zargar, cyzargar@gmail.com


Steering Committee:

Rose Aslan, raslan@callutheran.edu

Scott A. Kugle, skugle@emory.edu

Arjun Nair, arjunnai@usc.edu

Tehseen Thaver, tehseent@gmail.com


Session Allotment: Tier 2 – Two 2-hour sessions

Next Review: 2024