The religion of the old women of Nishapur

The forum on the religion of the old women of Nishapur builds and expands on conversations originally convened at McGill University. Cocurated by Katherine Lemons (McGill) and Setrag Manoukian (McGill) and edited by Mona Oraby (TIF editor and Howard University), the forum includes an analysis of texts in which these women are mentioned; an etymology of the Arabic root ‘a, j, z; and several substantive essays that consider the significance of these appearances from many conceptual and methodological standpoints. As Lemons and Manoukian note in their introduction, “None of the contributors speak on behalf of the old women of Nishapur but each in their own way addresses the question: What do the old women do to our thinking? What kind of thinking do they make possible?” Guided by these questions, the featured contributors consider how “the old women’s modality of inhabiting Islam” compels scholars to rethink limits to our understanding of gender, knowledge, and power.