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Islamic Mysticism Unit

Call for Proposals

The Islamic Mysticism Group solicits paper and panel proposals for the 2023 AAR Annual Meeting. All proposals related to Islamic mysticism, as described in the Mission Statement 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.

Pre-arranged sessions are encouraged. 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.

This year we are encouraging papers related to magic and the occult, as well as literary expressions of love, devotion, or piety. Still, all papers related to Islamic Mysticism as defined above are welcome.


We also seek papers for a possible co-sponsored session on comparative Hindu and Islamic philosophy (for co-sponsorship with Hindu Philosophy or Study of Islam units).

Statement of Purpose

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.


Steering Committee Members





Review Process

Proposer names are visible to chairs but anonymous to steering committee members