Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute




Manifestations of a Sufi Woman in Central Asia
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Important Note

Registration required. Please note that all attendees must follow Columbia’s COVID-19 Policies and Guidelines. Columbia University is committed to protecting the health and safety of its community.  To that end, all visiting alumni and guests must meet the University requirement of full vaccination status in order to attend in-person events.  Vaccination cards may be checked upon entry to all venues.  

Please join us for a discussion with Aziza Shanazarova, author of Manifestations of a Sufi Woman in Central Asia. The Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib is, as of today, the only known extensive treatise devoted to a female religious master in Islamic Central Asia. It is a devotional work written to expound upon the teachings of Aghā-yi Buzurg, (“The Great Lady”), who was active in early 16th century Bukhara. Not only does the Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib provide information for understanding the religious history of 16th century Central Asia, but it also serves as an important source for the study of female religiosity and gender history in early modern Central Asia. This lecture will discuss the recently published critical edition of the Maẓhar al-ʿajāʾib and its overall importance for the study of gender history in Muslim societies. Moderated by Valentina Izmirlieva, Director of the Harriman Institute. This event is part of a Director’s Seminar series, which allows new Harriman faculty members to introduce their research to both colleagues and students across disciplinary and departmental divides.


Aziza Shanazarova is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religion at Columbia University, where she specializes on the religious history of Islamic Central Asia and the broader Persianate world with an emphasis on the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. She holds a dual PhD in Religious Studies and Central Eurasian Studies, which she completed at Indiana University-Bloomington in 2019. Before joining Columbia University, Aziza served as a UCIS/REEES Postdoctoral Associate in the Humanities at the University of Pittsburgh and taught at Stanford University.