You are here

Islamic Mysticism Unit

Call for Proposals

The Islamic Mysticism Group solicits paper and panel proposals for the 2022 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.


“Initiation” has been a longstanding paradigm for understanding personal religious transformation in a variety of religious communities and contexts, in both the orient and occident, in ancient religions through New Religious Movements. How does “initiation” as a paradigm for religious transformation compared to that of “conversion” in an initiatory context, especially in the context of Islamic Mysticism? How are they similar and how are they different? Or does “initiation” amount to “conversion” by another name? How does the study of initiation challenge the assumptions of the conversion paradigm and contemporary conversions studies? (Contact: Edith Szanto,

Statement of Purpose


Steering Committee Members




That will do.

Review Process

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