Imran Visram


Justin Jones


St Antony's

Research Area/s: 

Indian Religions, Islam in South Asia


Before starting my DPhil at Oxford, I graduated with an MPhil in South Asian Studies from the University of Cambridge. Previously, I pursued a graduate course in Islamic Studies at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, and completed undergraduate studies in my home country, Canada, at the University of Waterloo. My past academic work at these institutions laid the foundations for my current DPhil research, which is focused on a body of religious songs that are known as gināns.

Gināns are lyrical poems of North Indian provenance which play an important role in the daily liturgy and devotion of Indo-Ismaili Muslims. My DPhil project investigates how Ismaili gināns have been preserved into and over the twentieth century—a time period which not only saw the formalisation of these lyrics into a textual, religious canon, but also one in which the preservation of gināns began to take place in the recorded analogue sound mediums of the gramophone disc and the magnetic cassette tape.

In addition to my ongoing DPhil research, I occasionally assistant teach graduate modules in Islamic Studies at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London. I also recently facilitated tutorials on Hinduism and critical religion for Oxford’s Access Programme, a summer initiative designed to help prepare high school students for university. In the past, I have worked at higher education institutions in diverse international contexts, including at TOBB University of Economics and Technology (Turkey), The Aga Khan University (Kenya), Humber College (Canada), and Seneca College (Canada).

In my spare time, I enjoy cooking and reading, writing, and translating poetry.

Academic Interests: 

Indo-Muslim literature; devotionalism in South Asia; methodology in the study of religion; Islam and sexual diversity


The Institute of Ismaili Studies