Zulfikar Hirji
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Zulfikar Hirji
Assistant Professor

2040 Vari Hall
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

Phone: (416) 736-2100 ex: 77783

Email: zhirji@yorku.ca

As an anthropologist and social historian I am interested in how human societies articulate, represent and perform understandings of self, community and other. My research focuses on Muslim societies in a range of historical and contemporary contexts. I am particularly concerned with the diverse ways in which Muslims express and articulate issues of deep human concern as well as matters of daily life. I also interrogate knowledge produced about Muslims, by academics and others. My research interests have lead me to study a range of issues including the production and performance of identity, the role of cultural workers and social movements, the dynamics of family networks and inter-generational migration, the socio-legal formation of communal identity in colonial contexts, and form and context of urban violence in religiously plural societies. I have conducted archival research and multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in various parts of the world including East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Europe and North America.


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The Ismailis, An Illustrated History
Azimuth Editions in association with Institute of Ismaili Studies and distributed by Thames and Hudson (July 1, 2008) ISBN-10: 1898592268 ISBN-13: 978-1898592266

Co-authored by Dr Farhad Daftary and Professor Zulfikar Hirji, The Ismailis, An Illustrated History contains some 400 images of manuscripts, artifacts and monuments, community documents as well as important historical and contemporary photographs. Based on modern scholarship in the fields of Ismaili and Islamic Studies, the book offers a comprehensive and accessible account of Ismaili history and intellectual achievements, set in the wider contexts of Islamic and world history.

Diversity and Pluralism in Islam: Historical and Contemporary Discourses amongst Muslims

I. B. Tauris in Association with the Institute of Ismaili Studies

ISBN-10: 1848853025

See Dr Hirji interviewed as part of the "This is Not a Reading Series" book launch at the Gladstone Hotel.



“What immediately struck me was the manner in which Tehreema’s life and work, as well as that of her mother who is also a choreographer and dancer, did not correspond with the often static and monolithic representations we often have of Pakistan, Muslim societies, and of Muslim women,” says York anthropology professor Zulfikar Hirji, whose research includes looking at Mitha’s work and how it represents the societal and cultural issues many Muslims grapple with today.



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I believe in a strong interface between teaching and research. My course on Anthropology, Islam and Muslim Societies draws theoretical and ethnographic content from my research. I developed this course at the University of Oxford as a doctoral student and have taught it a range of academic contexts. Among the most memorable teaching opportunities I have had was teaching the course to a group of senior and junior researchers of history, linguistics and social sciences in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 2005.


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