In today's program, Ayfer Karakaya-Stump, Associate Professor of History at the College of William and Mary, discusses her recently-published monograph, The Kizilbash-Alevis in Ottoman Anatolia: Sufism, Politics, and Community (Edinburgh University Press, 2019).
The Kizilbash-Alevis in Ottoman Anatolia, winner of the 2020 SERMEISS Book Award for outstanding scholarship in Middle Eastern/Islamic Studies, is the first monograph to address the social history of Kizilbashism/Alevism. It explores the origins of the Kizilbash/Alevis within the context of cosmopolitan Sufism in the Middle East. Using newly surfaced sources generated from the Kizilbash/Alevi milieu, she traces the transformation of the Kizilbash from a radical religio-political movement into a religious order of closed communities. In doing so, she breaks with paradigms that have dominated the study of Kizilbash/Alevis and offers an alternative approach to the study of 'heterodox' religious communities in the Islamic world.