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Call for Articles: Beyond Karbala, New Approaches to Shīʿi Materiality

The edited volume “Beyond Karbala: New Approaches to Shiʿi Materiality” (working title) seeks out to explore materially expressed Shiism, with a renewed focus on non-ʿAshūrāʾ rituals, practices and objects.

Beyond Karbala, New Approaches to Shīʿi Materiality Suggested for the book series Shia Texts and Studies (Brill), eds. Hassan Ansari and Sabine Schmidtke.

The edited volume Beyond Karbala: New Approaches to Shiʿi Materiality (working title) seeks out to explore materially expressed Shiism, with a renewed focus on non-ʿAshūrāʾ rituals, practices and objects. While Moḥarram rituals undoubtedly constitute a significant element of Shi‘i materiality, their pre-eminence in the scholarly discussion has often obscured material forms and social practices that go not only beyond the Karbala paradigm, but beyond Karbala itself. In effect, Shiʿism’s materiality has repeatedly been reduced to a set of mourning rituals and to a political complicity—or resistance—to power. Whereas power relations are important, power is not only expressed through and vis-à-vis the state, but also between people. While it has consequently become somewhat commonplace to comment on the conceptual change in studies on Shiʿi materiality before and after the revolution, surprisingly little has been said about Shiʿi materiality beyond Moharram rituals and the political use of religious imagery.

The edited volume intends to fill this gap and also invites to think about how theoretical assumptions and academic approaches towards Shiʿi materiality can be made fruitful to contribute to a broader understanding of Shiʿism, and account for non-binary views. Its articles take into account not only what goes beyond Karbala, but also what goes beyond the typically described set of rituals. The volume’s interdisciplinary outlook assesses Iranian and non-Iranian forms of Shiʿi materiality alike. It locates Shiʿism within society and takes a dedicated cultural studies approach.

Contributors and Topics (preliminary)

Marianne Bøe (Bergen): TBA (mehriyye)

 Sana Chavoshian (Leipzig): Dreams and Materiality: Material Spaces in Female Pious Circles in Iran

 Ingvild Flaskerud (Oslo): The zūr-khāneh: The Materiality of Masculine Piety, Ethics and Moral

 Christian Funke (Bayreuth): Introduction: The State of Research on Shīʿi Materiality

 Christiane Gruber (Michigan): Whirling Rocks and Wishing Trees: Eco-Material Alevi Rituals at the Pir Abdal Musa Shrine in Tekke Köy

 Hossein Kamaly (New York): Building the Sacred: Emāmzādehs in Tehran

Pedram Khosronejad (Oklahoma): Iranian Photography and Shīʿite Pilgrimage since the Reign of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar: From ʿAtabāt to the Virtual Ziyārat.

 Yafa Shanneik (Birmingham):TBA

 Edith Szanto (Sulaimani): The Material Economics of Piety: Gifting and the Commercialization of Arbaʾīn

 Benjamin Weineck (Heidelberg/Bayreuth): Ghadīr Khumm among Shīʿis in Germany

Stefan Williamson Fa (London): Voices of Regret: The Materiality of Sound in Contemporary Shīʿism.

Wish List

(Women’s) Sofre

Birthdays of the Emāms

Hajj

Ramadan

Shab-e Qadr

Hijab

Food

(Non-martyr) Funerals

Shia Themed Art Exhibitions

Materiality of Texts and Manuscripts

Materiality in/and Literature

Health and Healing

etc.

Submission Deadline

If you are interested in any of the listed topics, please contact the editor (christian.funke@unibayreuth.de) and submit a titled abstract (400–500 words) with a short bio (250 words) or a CV on or before August 30th, 2018.

Approved articles should consist of 7,000-10,000 words including references and footnotes.

Submission Deadline: February 1st, 2019.

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