?Something unusual: our script for a forthcoming show plus an invite for your questions

We’re doing something we haven’t done before. We’re sharing the script for our forthcoming show. We’re doing this because we’re stuck for our fourth question before the final promo question. This month we’re interviewing Dr. Khalil Andani on an introduction to the history of Ismailism.

From Dr. Andani’s homepage khalilandani.com

So here’s our script so far which we will modify with your questions. We want to stay in our golden zone of 30 minutes.

[intro jingle] Hello and welcome to episode 13 of the Abbasid History Podcast: an audio platform to examine premodern Islamic(ate) history and a global medieval past. We are sponsored by IHRC bookshop. Visit IHRC bookshop at shop.ihrc.org. I am your host, Talha Ahsan, a 1st year PhD student at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Now onto the show.

Ismailism, a branch of Shia Islam, attribute themselves to Ismail, who died in 762CE, the eldest son of the 6th Shia Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq. Ismailism rose at one point to become the largest branch of Shīʻism, climaxing as a political power with the Fatimid Caliphate in the tenth through twelfth centuries.

To discuss with me today an introduction to the history of Ismailism is Dr. Khalil Andani. Dr. Andani completed his PhD at Harvard before his current role as Assistant Professor of Religion at Augustana College.

Welcome Dr. Andani.

Let’s start at the beginning to distinguish Ismailism from Twelver Shi’ism and Sunnism. Twelver Shias believe the legitimate successor to Imam Jaʿfar al-Ṣādiq is his younger son, Mūsā al-Kāẓim. Sketch for us the reason for this split and the subsequent development in their different understandings of revelation and the Prophet’s spiritual and temporal legacy.

In the year 930, a group known as the Qaramatians, or in Arabic Qarāmiṭah, stole the black stone from the Kaʿbah in Mecca. They are often thought of being a manifestation of Ismailism. To what extent is this true.

[midtro jingle]

The high point for Ismailism comes with the Fatimid empire. Time doesn’t permit the fuller exposition required. Trace for us an outline of the rise and fall of this remarkable dynasty with sources for further reading and research.

[Listeners’ questions]

As we come to an end, tell us about your current and forthcoming work. You are active on social media and you share your lessons on YouTube.

Dr. Andani, thank you for being our guest.

[Outro jingle]

Send your questions before Wednesday 15th July 1am BST

Forthcoming interview with Dr. Rachel Schine on Race and Blackness in the 11/12th century Popular Epic, Sīrat al-Amīra Dhāt al-Himma

Dr. Rachel Schine

We’re very pleased to announce our forthcoming interview with Dr. Rachel Schine, a long-term favourite for us here at the Abbasid History Podcast. We will be discussing her work on concepts of race and blackness through the 11/12th century popular epic, Sīrat al-Amīra Dhāt al-Himma also known as Delhemma.

You can see her work on the topic at her Academia.edu page here as well as her more irreverent look at the parallels between contemporary rap and classical Arabic poetry on her Tumblr here.

Follow her on Twitter too here?

We’re very excited to have this conversation?!

Dr. Schine is currently Postdoctoral Associate in Arabic Literature and Culture at University of Colorado Boulder.

We will be recording Saturday 16th May 5.15pm (BST). Do send any questions you have for her before then to admin@abbasidhistorypodcast.com or through our social media accounts.

Now sponsored by IHRC Bookshop ?

IHRC Bookshop

We’re proud to announce that for 2020 we will be sponsored by IHRC Bookshop. Visit IHRC Bookshop at shop.ihrc.org for books on human rights, social justice and decoloniality to exclusive gift items, limited edition prints, original artwork and more in every price range. They deliver internationally.

We doubled our listeners in this month. Anyone interested in sponsoring opportunities, do get in touch: admin@abbasidhistorypodcast.com.

New episode with Dr. Liana Saif on “Islamic(ate) Astrology✨: themes, works and practitioners

We speak with Dr. Liana Saif for an introduction on astrology in premodern Islamic(ate) societies. We cover origins, developments and key writers. A much overlooked topic explored with one of the leading authorities in the field. Find her work here: sas.academia.edu/LianaSaif.

Dr. Liana Saif - Podcast #049 for your Private RSS feeds | Glitch ...
Dr. Liana Saif currently at the Warburg Institute, London

This was another interview over Google Hangouts. There was some humming on the audio which I removed with the noise reduction tool on Audacity. However, I’ve investigated a solution of using a USB 2.0 A-Male to Mini-B Cable from my Zoom H6 to my laptop as a digital rather than my current analogue lead. An audio editor friend suggested I look at the improved Zencastr too.

New episode out on poet Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (d. 1058)

We speak with Dr. Kevin Blankinship of Brigham Young University about this edgy figure. Blind since childhood, poet Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī, was a vegan and anti-natalist who agitated contemporaries with his seemingly heretical views. Dr. Blankinship challenges what we think we know about this gadfly. He ends with an original translation of one of al-Maʿarrī’s Luzūmiyāt poems. Find more of Dr. Blankinship’s work here: byu.academia.edu/KevinBlankinship

The dapper Dr. Blankinship
Listen here?

This was great fun during our Covid-19 self-isolation conducted over Google Hangout. I’ve experimented with different platforms for remote podcasting viz. Zencastr, Cleanfeed, Skype (?), Zoom but Google Hangout I’ve found to be the clearest and easiest for all parties to use. It would be good to hear your views.

If you like our content and want to support it, please donate at our Ko-Fi beside this post. We cover hosting and equipment costs without any funding and all labour is voluntary. Cheers!

Interview with Prof. Hugh Kennedy on his career finally up! *yeah*

The inestimable Prof. Kennedy in his study

We’re so pleased to finally get out first podcast up.

I won’t lie to you. I didn’t realise recording, editing and publishing a podcast series would be so exhausting.

We’re going to provide episodes on our page. It will take some time to get them on iTunes and the major platforms.

Have a listen and tell us what you think.

Remember this podcast is for you and by you. Tell me what direction you want to take it. I want it suitable for your undergraduates as well as giving members of the academic community easy access to the thoughts of their peers.

The original plan was to release each podcast weekly. Now, I have decided to release all five in one go to so my guests’ time and efforts are given immediate appreciation. It’ll be more like Netflix for you to binge…

Expect them all up soon…