Indiana University Bloomington
Choose which site to search

Upcoming Events

October 24 - 25 | 9a - 4:30 pm

Beyond The Sunni-Shiite Conflict: A Workshop On The Ottomans And The Safavids In The Early Modern Era


On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Çaldıran/Chaldiran, we are convening a two-day workshop to be hosted by Indiana University, Bloomington, on October 24-25, 2014. Our aim is to explore the political, military, cultural, and religious tensions that defined the Ottoman-Safavid relationship from ca. 1500 onward.


Despite the intensity of their relationship, the Ottomans and the Safavids are typically studied in isolation, and the various dimensions of their rivalry have been assigned relatively marginal importance within the context of the larger histories of these two empires. We believe it is time to revisit the Ottoman-Safavid interface in order to problematize several issues through individual presentations and discussion sessions. Issues to be explored are the ‘confessionalization’/construction of Sunni, Shiite and Alevi identities; the impact of the conflict on different communities and polities from the southern Caucasus to the Persian Gulf and beyond; the emergence and significance of frontiers (geographical, cultural); and the significance of a literary culture shared by both empires.


The workshop is open to the public. The location is the Social Science Research Commons, 200 Woodburn Hall, 1100 East 7th Street, Bloomington, IN.


Day 1: October 24, 2014


9 AM-9:15 AM: Opening remarks


9:15-10:00: Colin Paul Mitchell (Dalhousie University): “‘Battles Decide Everything’: Chaldiran and Change in Early Safavid Iran”


10:00-10:45: Ahmet Karamustafa (University of Maryland): “In His Own Voice: What Khata'i Tells us about Shah Isma’il”


10:45-11:00 Coffee/tea break


11:00-11:45: Kaya Şahin (Indiana University-Bloomington): “Ottoman-Safavid Frontiers, Real and Imagined”


Noon-2 PM: Lunch break


2-2:45: Sabri Ateş (Southern Methodist University): “Hudud al-Islam: The Notion of Frontier in Ottoman-Safavid Relations”


2:45-3:30: Ayfer Karakaya-Stump (College of William & Mary): “Defining the Polity by its Boundaries: The Anti-Kızılbash Campaigns as a Catalyst of Ottoman Confessionalization, 16th and 17th Centuries”


3:30-4:30: Discussion



Day 2: October 25, 2014


9:30-10:15: Paul Losensky (Indiana University, Bloomington): “Methodological Considerations for a New Comparative Study of Ottoman and Persian Poetry”


10:15-11:00: Sholeh Quinn (University of California, Merced): “Universal Chronicles and Early Ottoman and Safavid Persian Historiography”


11:00-11:15 Coffee/tea break


11:15-noon: Guy Burak (New York University): “Beyond the Shi‘i-Sunni Divide: Dynastic Law/Qanun and ‘Orthodoxy’ in the Ottoman and Safavid Empires”


Noon-2: Lunch break


2-2:45: Ron Sela (Indiana University, Bloomington): “The Flight of Khorasani Intellectuals to the Chinggisid Courts of Central Asia, 1500-1550”


2:45-3:30: A. Azfar Moin (University of Texas, Austin): “The Politics of Shrines in Mughal, Safavid, and Ottoman Empires”


3:30-4:30: Discussion


Organizers: Kaya Şahin (Indiana University, Bloomington), Erdem Çipa (University of Michigan)

Contact for more information.


October 31 - November 2

Mapping the Landscapes of Islamic Studies at IU Conference


When: October 31 - November 2


Where: Tocqueville Room, Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis (513 N. Park Ave.); Bridgwaters Lounge, Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center (275 N. Jordan Ave.)


Contact for more information.




























































Tuesday, November 11 | 4:00 pm

Post-Trip Vice-Presidential Forum and Reception


On Saudi Arabia and Turkey


When: Tuesday, November 11 | 4:00 pm


Where: Presidents Hall (in Franklin Hall)


What: The next post-trip Vice-Presidential Forum and Reception will be on Saudi Arabia and Turkey, following the Sept. 21-29 presidential trip to Turkey and the Oct. 25-Nov. 2 presidential trip to Saudi Arabia and India. It will be cosponsored by the School of Global and International Studies and will be held in Presidents Hall (in Franklin Hall) on Tue., Nov. 11at 4pm. It will also be live-streamed and archived for later viewing on


Wednesday, November 12 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Lunch and a Lecture


"Is Displacement Rational? Explaining the Relationship between Information Flows and Displacement"
Justin Schon, PhD Candidate of Political Science, IUB


When: Wednesday, November 12 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

*Lunch Provided


Where: CSME

1105 E Atwater, Bloomington, IN 47401


What: How do information flows affect civilian responses to conflict? Conflict scholars tend to assume that civilians will know about all important conflict events. This allows them to make rational decisions about whether to leave their homes and where to go if they do leave. However, civilians often make decisions that make them unsafe or cost excessive amounts of money. These seemingly irrational decisions are systematic, not rare aberrations. To explain them, this paper challenges the assumption of complete information. Interviews conducted with Syrian refugees in Jordan illustrate how Syrian civilians have consumed and reacted to information about the Syrian conflict. The most important finding is that the ways in which civilians consume information change during conflict. Civilians consume less precise and less accurate information. These findings add nuance to current explanations of displacement.


Justin is a 3rd Year Political Science PhD student at Indiana University Bloomington. He uses a variety of time series analyses, spatial analyses, event count modelling, and qualitative fieldwork to pursue his interests in conflict, displacement, and insurgency.


Wednesday, November 19 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Lunch and a Lecture


"Beyond ISIS: Gender-Based Violence in Iraq"

Nadje Al-Ali, Professor of Gender Studies at University of London's SOAS


When: Wednesday, November 19 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

*Lunch Provided


Where: CSME

1105 E Atwater, Bloomington, IN 47401


What: The talk will address the issue of gender-based violence and violence against religious and ethnic minorities in the context of ISIS in Iraq. It will also reflect on the difficulty to talk about women and minorities in a context where sexual violence is being instrumentalised by both sectarian and imperialist agendas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 | 4:30 - 7 pm

"We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War"


A lecture and discussion with author and gender studies professor Nadje Al-Ali about her prize-winning book We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War (Contemporary Issues in the Middle East).


When: Wednesday, November 19 | 4:30 - 7pm


Where: Indiana Memorial Union, Oak Room


What: While the occupation of Iraq and its aftermath has received media and political attention, we know very little about the everyday lives of Iraqis. Iraqi men, women, and children are not merely passive victims of violence, vulnerable recipients of repressive regimes, or bystanders of their country’s destruction. Professor Nadjer Al-Ali will introduce this co-edited anthology )with Deborah Al-Najjar) consisting of contributions by Iraqi artists, writers, poets, photographers, film-makers and activists etc, who are all trying to creatively engage with issues of war, violence and identity. The book recently one the Evelyn Shakir non-fiction award.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Lunch and a Lecture


"Tensions in Iran's Ethnic Minorities"

Professor Jamsheed Choksy, Department of Central Eurasian Studies, IUB


When: Wednesday, February 11 | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

*Lunch Provided


Where: CSME

1105 E Atwater, Bloomington, IN 47401


What: Prof. Choksy speaks on ethnic minorities-related tensions in the Islamic Republic of Iran.


Dr. Choksy is a professor at Indiana University and Chair of the Department of Central Eurasian Studies.