College of Liberal Arts

Unraveling Heresy: Sufism, Politics, and the Formation of the Kizilbash/Alevi Communities in Ottoman Anatolia

Thursday Apr 13, 2017 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM | CLA 1.302E

Speaker: Dr. Ayfer Karakaya-Stump, assistant professor of history at the College of William & Mary.

The Kizilbash, today referred to as Alevis, constitute the largest religious minority in modern Turkey, making up somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of the country's population, with smaller pockets of related groups in the Balkans and Iraq. The talk explores the formation and transformation of the Kizilbash/Alevi communities in the borderland territories between two imperial powers, the Ottomans and the Safavids, demonstrating the crucial role of informal networks of saintly lineages and Sufi convents in forging and sustaining their collective structures and identities.

Bookmark and Share