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07 July 2020 / 16. Zil-Qad 1441

The First Ever Academic Conference of Khoja Studies sponsored by The Khoja Heritage Project of The World Federation

The First Ever Academic Conference on Khoja Studies sponsored by The World Federation

The Khoja Heritage Project of The World Federation of KSIMC is pleased to announce the Inaugural Conference on Khoja Studies to be convened in Paris on the 8th and 9th of November 2016. The conference is being organised by The World Federation in collaboration with FIU in Miami and CNRS- CEIAS in Paris.

The two-day conference will bring together interdisciplinary anglophone and francophone scholars in the humanities, to present and discuss the development of Khoja identity over the past three centuries among transnational communities in South Asia, East Africa, Western Europe, and North America. 

This gathering will explore religious and social transformations that occurred as a result of migration and cosmopolitanism. Some of the questions posed by this conference will include:



What makes a religious text uniquely ‘Khōjā’ and how has that identity evolved diachronically in various spatial contexts?


How does the tension between and ethnic Indic and Near Eastern Islamic identities manifest itself in the preservation of Khōjā heritage?


How is communal religious authority constructed and contested transnationally?


The output of the conference will be an edited volume published by École Française d'Extrême-Orient. The organisers hope that the conference will help iniitiate a rigorous transdisciplinary international programme of research on the history of the Khoja peoples through recherche scientifique on manuscripts, printed texts, oral traditions, and material culture.


The conveners of the conference are Mr. Michel Boivin (Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for South Asian Studies who teaches Historical Anthropology of Muslim Societies in Colonial and Postcolonial South Asia at the School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences, Paris), Dr. Hasnain Walji (Former President of The World Federation, educator, historian, author, and producer of the documentary, The Khojas – A journey of Faith. He is also the Co-Chair of Khoja Heritage Project), Dr. Iqbal Akhtar (An assistant professor with a dual appointment in the departments of Religious Studies and Politics & International Relations in the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs, Florida International University) and Shaykh Kumail Rajani (Co-Chair of Khoja Heritage Project and founder of the KhojaPedia. His major interest lies in Comparative Religious Studies, Islamic Jurisprudence, Shiite Hadith and Khoja History).


The deadline for submitting a paper for the conference that will be reviewed by the conference panel is 1st May 2016.


More information on the conveners and the conference is available on For any queries please email [email protected]


To read this in Gujarati, please click here.

To read this in French, please click here.

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