The main objective of this ERC Starting project is to write a comprehensive history of Muslim individuality in Russia since the eighteenth century up to the years of Perestroika. This research takes the practice of building private archival collections as a starting point in analyzing the models and concrete forms of self-conception. We assume that the very process of collecting ego-documents by individuals in the course of their lives can be perceived as an autobiographic act and needs to be studied accordingly. Therefore, our project problematizes not only the separate sources in which individuals describe themselves, be that life writing narratives or photographs, but also the private archives as a space of self-cultivation. For this reason, the regular fieldwork across the Russian Federation and beyond to work with private collections in situ or analyze them as part of the state archival holdings occupy an important place in our research agenda.
The NISIS Autumn School 2021 “Islamic(ate) Classics From Manuscript to the Digital Age” took place in Leuven in 8-12 November 2021. The school was co-organized and hosted by Faculty of Arts at the KU Leuven, the Research Group of Arabic and Islamic Studies and Leuven Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LCSICS). The topic of the […]More
Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of the Republic of Tatarstan, has visited the exhibition ‘The Global World of Tatar Book Culture’
On 24 September 2021, Rustam Minnikhanov, the President of the Republic of Tatarstan has visited the exhibition ‘The Global World of Tatar Book Culture’, prepared within the ERC research project MIND: The Muslim Individual in Imperial and Soviet Russia. Mr. Minnikhanov was accompanied by Mintemer Shaimiev, the former President of the Republic, and a group of high-ranking officials.More
“Meanwhile several years passed, and somehow, while going through my old books, I came across my notebook. I thumbed through it and immediately recalled the world of Arabic fairy tales in which I had been immersed, and decided to resume studying Arabic. So in 1990 I asked my grandfather to teach me Arabic again. With a cheerful chuckle, he replied: “Last time it did not work out, let’s see what happens this time.” Since I was still in school, I could see him only during weekends. I took lessons from him and did my assignments during the week until the next weekend. This time, learning the Arabic alphabet began with Mu‘allim Sani, a textbook by the Tatar modernist intellectual Ahmad Hadi Maqsudi.”More
Dr. Alfrid Bustanov is the Principal Investigator of the MIND. His academic interests currently center on forms of self-fashioning in various spatial contexts. He explores the entanglement of emotions, bodily practices, material objects, and space. Alfrid combines his expertise in state and private archives across the Russian Federation with anthropological methods. He received his Ph.D. from Amsterdam University in 2013 and since then has published widely on various topics of Islam in Russia, both past and present.
Dr. Shamil Shikhaliev is a postdoc within the MIND programme. Shamil possesses unique experience in the study of Muslim written cultures of the North Caucaus. Currently, he is writing a monograph devoted to the private archive of Magomed-Said Saidov (1902-1985), an eminent Soviet Arabist quo Muslim scholar. In his project Shamil looks at the ways how Muslim personality was articulated through archival practices. Over the last decade Shamil has been part of the regular manuscript expeditions that yielded a lot of primary material on Muslim individuality in Russia.
Galiia Muratova is a PhD candidate at the department of European Studies, University of Amsterdam. In her dissertation Galiia analyses the interplay of visuality and textuality in personal archives of Soviet Muslims. In her research she combines the historical and anthropological approaches. By looking at the private archives of photography Galiia hopes to describe the models that individuals employed to perform their subjectivity. Galiia has a background in Middle Eastern studies that she studied at the Oriental Department of St Petersburg University. Additionally, Galiia is a part of the ARTES PhD-representatives group and serves as a PhD-representative at the Department Board of European Studies at the University of Amsterdam.
Mansur Gazimzianov is a PhD candidate at the department of European Studies, University of Amsterdam. In his dissertation Mansur looks at the autobiographical texts produced by Muslims in Imperial and Soviet Russia. His project lies at the crossroads of several disciplines, such as history, comparative literature, and cultural studies. Mansur received his BA in Islamic studies at the Kazan Federal University and MA in History at the European University at St. Petersburg.