Workshop: Pilgrims and Politics in Pakistan, 21 May 2013 (Paris)

This Workshop, whose proceedings will be conducted in English, aims to focus attention on the adaptation of the institutions and languages of Sufism to the political economy of different regions of Pakistan and to explore the potential of Sufism to negotiate the impact of radical Islam on the Pakistani state. Bringing together established and early career scholars working across a range of disciplines, including history, anthropology and political science, the Workshop is intended to deepen our understanding of Sufism in Pakistan not as a ‘degraded’ form of Islamic mysticism but as a living tradition ever responsive to wider social and political changes at the local and national levels.  By doing so, it hopes to shed light on the resilience of Sufism to survive the challenge of more ‘modern’ forms of reformist Islam sweeping Pakistan as well as Sufism’s capacity to withstand the historical pressures brought to bear on it by the state’s own ‘modernist’ agenda.


May, 21, 2013 – 9h30 – 18h

Key-note address

  • Professor Nile Green (Professor of History, UCLA) ‘Making Sense of Sufism in South Asia and Beyond.’

Sufism and regional identity in Sind

  • Professor Michel Boivin (Directeur de recherche CNRS, CEIAS-EHESS) ‘The languages of Sufism in the lands of the Sindhu’
  • Julien Levesque (Doctoral Student, CEIAS-EHESS) ‘Claiming Sufism as a marker of ethnicity: identity politics and religion’

Moderator: Professor Claude Markovits (Directeur de recherche CNRS, CEIAS-EHESS)

Sufism and reformist zeal in Punjab

  • Professor Tahir Kamran (Iqbal Fellow, University of Cambridge) ‘Chishti Revivalism and sectarianism in the tradition of the Sialvi Saints in the Punjab’
  • Muhammad Mubeen (Doctoral Student, CEIAS-EHESS) ‘Islamic reformism and Chishti shrines in the Punjab’

Moderator: Professor Denis Matringe (Directeur de recherche CNRS, CEIAS-EHESS)

Sufism and Pashtun activism in northern Pakistan

  • Dr Mariam Abou-Zahab (IEP-Paris & INALCO) ‘Sufism and the construction of Pashtun identity’
  • Dr James Caron (SOAS, London) ‘Pashto Sufi Literary Cultures: Local Institutions, Inter-regional Evasions’

Moderator:  Dr Aminah Mohammad-Arif (Chargée de recherche & Directrice-adjointe CEIAS-EHESS)

Sufism and the Pakistani State

  • Dr Farzana Shaikh (Institut d’études avancées, Paris) ‘Sufism and the modernist state in Pakistan’
  • Dr Alix Philippon (IEP-CHERPA Université d’Aix-Marseille) ‘State and Anti-State: the dynamics of Sufism in Pakistan’

Moderator:  Professor Max Zins (Directeur de recherche CNRS, CERI-Sciences Po)

Registration compulsory :

For more information:


Cite this blog post
Asian Studies (2013, April 25). Workshop: Pilgrims and Politics in Pakistan, 21 May 2013 (Paris). Sindhi Studies Group. Retrieved May 18, 2024, from

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