Khōjā Studies

The development of Khōjā Studies at FIU aims to make FIU a world-leader in the study of the Khōjā and contemporary Khōjā communities through funding graduate students interested in studying Khōjā traditions, such as the ginānō, preservation and digitization of Khōjā texts, and public lectures such as these that will help to open discussion as to what accounts for the Khōjā experience. It is meant to be an egalitarian venue in which scholars and thinkers from around the world, particularly the Global South such as Pakistan, can come discuss their perspectives on the past, present, and future of the Khōjā people. This academic study of the Khōjā is meant to bring academic rigour to our understanding of Khōjā heritage and experiences in a respectful but analytical manner. It also wishes to bring in marginalized voices, such as the poor or historically of women into the fore. In addition to public lectures on the past and present of the Khōjā peoples, we would encourage students wanting to study Khōjkī manuscripts, material culture, or other facets of the Khōjā experience to apply to our master’s programme in religious studies.

We also want to reach out to community historians and archivists of the Khōjā who have an interest in the preservation of histories and oral traditions to engage with the programme. Our interest is in preserving the remarkable journeys of individuals, for instance the migration from East Africa to the West, and understanding that impact of movement on the construction of identity. The history and experience of the Khōjā people is diverse and has much to offer the academic study of religion through their search for a communitarian modern Islamic identity. It is our sincere hope that a spirit of inquiry and mutual cooperation will develop within the academic study of the Khōjā.

A full introduction to the programme can be found here.

For those interested in donating their books to the open-access Khōjā Studies library or having them digitized and returned, FIU will pay for shipping. If you are interested in contributing materials, please contact the director of the programme via email. The Khoja Studies listserv serves as a virtual academic community for issues related to the South Asian diaspora in the Western Indian Ocean region focusing on ethnic, religious, and social issues in the cooperative telling of its history.