The Traffic in Iranian Pilgrims: Historicity and Sociality of Saint Visitation across the Middle East

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Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies

170 St. George Street, 1st floor, Room 100

Professor Emrah Yildiz
Middle Eastern Studies & Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University

The Traffic in Iranian Pilgrims: Historicity and Sociality of Saint Visitation across the Middle East

Friday, February 7, 2020 from 3:00 to 4:30
Room: JHB100, Jackman Humanities Building
RSVP

This talk follows the pathways of a ziyarat (saint visitation) route, also known as Hajj-e Fuqara’ (pilgrimage of the poor) from bus stations in Iran through Turkish bazaars in Gaziantep, Turkey to the Sayyida Zainab shrine near Damascus, Syria. I propose that this pilgrimage route can be productively understood as a region-making route. I trace the inter-articulations of saint visitation with contraband commerce circuits. In contrast to those scholars who see in Islamic ritual the pre-determined stage for ethical cultivation and self-making pedagogy, The Traffic with Iranian Pilgrims interprets ritual as a generative dimension of social action and spatial production on a regional scale that exemplifies the historicity and sociality of ritual.

Emrah Yıldız is Crown Junior Chair in Middle East Studies and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Northwestern University. Yıldız holds a PhD in Social Anthropology and Middle East Studies from Harvard University. A founding and former co-editor of Jadaliyya’s Turkey Page, Yıldız co-edited (with Anthony Alessandrini and Nazan Üstündag) the collection “Resistance Everywhere:” The Gezi Protests and Dissident Visions of Turkey (2014). His recent academic publications and short-form writings could be found here: https://northwestern.academia.edu/emrahyildiz

Part of the CDTS Visiting Lecture Series
More information: https://cdts.utoronto.ca/index.php/2019-2020/#Yildiz
More events: https://cdts.utoronto.ca/index.php/2019-2020/

Free and open to the public

For further information, contact the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies at 416 946 8464.