Research output per year

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Personal profile


Dr Calderini's main areas of teaching and research are Islamic Studies including Shiism and specifically Ismailism, Islam and Gender, Religion and Human Rights. Her doctoral research (SOAS, 1991) was on medieval Ismaili cosmology and authority. She researched further the relationship between cosmology and religious hierarchies and publisehd an article on this topic "Cosmology and authority in medieval Ismailism" which was later republished and translated into Czech (2004) and French (2006). She published with D. Cortese Women and the Fatimids in the World of Islam (Edinburgh University Press, 2006). She is currently researching into classical and contemporary scholarly arguments in favour and against women imams, Ismailism and the issue of the veil, as well as women's rights.


PhD, Laurea

Research projects

2008 AHRC study leave for research on Female Imams: the contexts and discourses of arguments in favour and against female ritual leadership and religious authority in Islam

2003-4AHRB study leave on women of the Fatimid dynasty, project was awarded an A rating by peer review panel: outcome: Book EUP 2006.

1995-7Post-doctoral fellowship in "Arabic and Islamic Studies" for a research project on Cosmologies and authority structures in medieval Islam, awarded by the Department of Studies on Africa and the Arab countries, Oriental Institute, Univ. of Naples: outcome journal article (1996)

Professional affiliations

Member of the American Academy of Religion
Member of The Middle East Studies Association (MESA)
Member of the Royal Asiatic Society
Member of the British Association for the Study of Religion (BASR)
Member of the Istituto per l'Oriente (Rome).



The Qur'an
Islam and Women
Quranic Arabic
Introduction to the study of religion (co-taught with Dr. Lynn Thomas)
London asa resource for the study of religion


Gender and Human Rights for the MA on Religion and Human Rights
Islam and the media

Research Output

Women as imams: classical Islamic sources and modern debates on leading prayer

Calderini, S., Mar 2019, (Submitted) London: Bloomsbury.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Mary and Prayer in the Quran, tafsir and Interpretation

Calderini, S., May 2018, In : Studi Magrebini. XII-XIII (2014-2015)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

‘Leading from the Middle’: al-Qadi al-Nu’man and female prayer leadership’

Calderini, S., 2018, The Fatimid caliphate: diversity of traditions. Daftary, F. & Jiwa, S. (eds.). London: I.B. Tauris, p. 94-117

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Sources and evidence for the architectural patronage of Durzan

Calderini, S., 2015, Material Evidence and Narrative Sources: Interdisciplinary Studies for the History of Islamic Societies. Talmon, D. (ed.). Leiden: Brill, p. 87-112

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Classical sources on the permissibility of female imams: an analysis of some hadiths about Umm Waraqa

Calderini, S., 2013, Sources and Approaches across Near Eastern Disciplines. Klemm, Verena & Al-Sha'ar, N. (eds.). Peeters, p. 53-69

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter