1.Introduction to Arabic Manuscript Studies – Workshop
4-8 April 2016
The IIS-ISMC Joint Library in Central London warmly invites applications for a five-day workshop entitled Introduction to Arabic Manuscript Studies,
led by world expert on Islamic manuscripts Adam Gacek
The primary focus of the workshop is to provide an overview of writing supports and structures of Islamic manuscripts, bookbinding and decoration, scripts, as well as composition and transmission of texts. The last day will feature a hands-on session where participants will be able to examine rare manuscripts from the Institutes’ collections under the supervision of the instructors.
The workshop is open to suitably qualified academics, scholars and students.
The deadline for applications is March 4, 2016.
The fee for the five-day workshop is £500, with an early bird discount of £50 for bookings received by Friday 29 February 2016.
Applicants should email Walid Ghali at email@example.com with their affiliation and contact details. Payment will be required by bank transfer on successful registration
2. Conference (October 7-8, 2016): “Regional and Transregional Elites – Connecting the Early Islamic Empire”
Call for Papers
The ERC project “The Early Islamic Empire at Work – The View from the Regions Toward the Center” investigates how the vast Islamic empire, stretching from the Hindukush to the Atlantic and more diverse in terms of religion, language, and (if this is a valid concept at all) ethnicity than the Late Roman or Chinese Empire, was governed. It focuses specifically on the question of how its various regions were controlled and integrated into one of the most prosperous empires of the (late) antique world.
To integrate the regions of the early Islamic empire politically, to create an imperial idea and an imperial culture, elites of various backgrounds were essential. To fulfill their role, they had to commute and to communicate. The conference seeks to examine the roles that regional and transregional elites played in governing the vast early Islamic Empire (7th-10th century CE), with a particular emphasis on aspects of (social, institutional, spatial) mobility. The regional elites and their participation in governance and administration are essential for understanding the intricate workings of the early Islamic Empire. Similarly, the study of transregional elites, who projected imperial power but sought also to negotiate regional interests at the caliphal court, promises key insights into how the caliphal administration controlled and integrated diverse regions and populations whilst securing the interests of the empire at large.
The composition of the imperial elite, mostly expressing themselves in Arabic, changed over time, exhibiting both spatial and social mobility. While the conquering elite had a tribal background going back to the Arab Peninsula, this changed with manumitted slaves and the rise of the Persian-speaking elite under the ʿAbbāsids, as well as the substitution of the Arab and Persian military forces with Central Asian Sogdian and Turkish commanders and military. Nevertheless, moving elites were created not only by the military and the religious establishment, but also by investing landowners and networks of long-distance merchants. These various different elite segments created a shared taste in Arabic literature (adab), science and material culture.
The conference seeks to address a number of core issues about regional and transregional elites: who were the various elites in a region? How did these regional elites interact with the empire, and did they change in the course of interaction? What mechanisms and strategies did they develop? How and through which agents did they influence imperial decisions? How were transregional elites influenced by their interaction with regional elites, eventually becoming entrenched in the regions? How did they balance their relationships with regional elites, on the one hand, and central caliphal authorities on the other? How important was conversion to Islam for elite access? Where and how were transregional elites recruited? Was the shift from one imperial elite (Arab, Khurāsānian, Central Asian, and others) to another a sign of failure, or were some elites better at reproducing themselves? Which existing networks and emerging institutions helped elites to connect the empire and its diverse regions (tribal affiliations, family policies, mawālī, strategic appointments)?
The conference will be organized around three key themes:
- Conceptualization of regional and transregional elites from a comparative perspective
Definitions of elites, their origins, and their evolving identities
- Transregional and imperial elites
Recruitment, function, networks, and reproduction of imperial elites (Arabs, Khurāsānians, Central Asians, non-Muslim elites, and others)
- Regional elites
The interactions of converted regional elites and non-Muslim elites with the empire in
- North Africa and Egypt,
- the Arab Peninsula, Syria, the Jazīra, and Iraq,
- and Iran and Greater Khurāsān
The conference will follow a workshop format, with a focus on discussion. Individual slots will be 45 minutes, leaving 20 minutes for presentation and 25 minutes for discussion. Abstracts of 500 words should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before February 15, 2016; you will be notified whether your abstract has been accepted before April 1, 2016. Full papers should be sent by July 15, 2016, for pre-circulation among the participants. A financial contribution to travel and accommodation costs might be possible, but cannot be guaranteed at this point.
3. Craven Museum & Gallery is hosting an ambitious new exhibition in the New Year – showing work from some of the most exciting contemporary Islamic artists working in the UK. The Faith in Art Exhibition, run in collaboration with the Muslim Museum Initiative, opens on February 5, 2016, and is on until March 28.
Curated by Mobeen Butt, founder of the Muslim Museum Initiative, the exhibition will bring together 10 exceptional artists, to celebrate the variety and vibrancy of Islamic art being produced in Britain. The exhibition will showcase calligraphy, geometry, arabesque, illumination, miniature painting, wood crafting, paper-cutting, embroidery, fabric dyeing and three dimensional works.
“Art has the power to transcend, it can bring worlds together, evoke emotions, pierce through politics, tell stories, and take people to distant times and far off places. The Faith in Art Exhibition aims to do all the above and more. This will be a rare and unmissable opportunity to see such a spectacular array of contemporary Islamic art exhibited outside of London, UAE, Qatar or Malaysia. Muslims in Britain are producing exceptional art; art with real soul, depth and meaning; art that mesmerises; and art that is increasingly being collected around the world. Synonymous with Islam, and the religion’s real strength, this exhibition will show that there can be ‘unity within diversity’ and ‘diversity within unity’.’’ – Mobeen Butt
Craven Museum & Gallery is part of Skipton Town Hall, and is open every day 10am – 4pm except Tuesdays and Sundays, admission is free. The Faith in Art Exhibition is a joint initiative between Craven Museum & Gallery and the Muslim Museum Initiative and has been funded by Arts Council England Museum’s Resilience Fund, as part of the museum’s Museum: Indispensable project. Run by Craven District Council and part of Skipton Town Hall, Craven Museum & Gallery has impressive displays of social history, archaeology, costume and art. The exhibition gallery on the ground floor shows a changing programme of exhibitions related to heritage and the arts. For more information visit cravenmuseum.org or contact the museum on 01756 706407.
The Muslim Museum Initiative explores the 1,400 year relationship between Britain and Islam, and celebrates the history and culture of Muslims in Britain. It endeavours to work with museums, universities, archives, and other educational and cultural institutes to help explore and feel inspired by a shared past. The Muslim Museum Initiative provides advice, consultancy and assistance to heritage, arts and educational institutes wanting to engage Muslim communities, explore elements of Islamic culture or Muslim heritage in Britain. http://muslimmuseum.org.uk/
4. New research project funded by the CSIC (Spain), in collaboration with the Université de Liège (Belgium) and the Université d’Aix-Marseille (France):
The diplomatic exchanges between Islamic Mediterranean and Christian European powers in the Middle Ages: new methods for the analysis of documents
The main objective is to create an international research group of specialists in the study of Arabic and Christian diplomatic documents in the Late Middle Ages, and to develop a common methodology combining philological and historical perspectives. The methodological focus will include specific aspects of the study of Arabic diplomatic documents from the Middle Ages, such as:
- The establishment of a model (or models) for the diplomatic description of the documents based on standardized criteria. The model(s) will be used to assess both the Arabic documents and those in Latin or Romance languages.
- The establishment of a model (or models) for the paleographic description of the documents, with a set of standardized criteria. The model(s) will be used to assess both the Arabic documents and those in Latin or Romance languages.
- The definition of common guidelines for the edition or re-edition and translation of the texts in Arabic, in Latin or in other Romance languages, their contemporary translations, and contemporary archive materials.
- Reaching agreement on the processes of revision of the old editions and translations available, and a substantial broadening of the study of the processes by which they were produced.
- The establishment of paradigms for the study of linguistic and terminological features, both of the Arabic of the original texts and of the contemporary Latin and Romance translations; a linguistic study of the Arabic, Latin and Romance languages used in correspondence (dialectology, diplomatic and notarial formulae, vocabulary …) and their translations.
- Methodology for the selection, evaluation and classification of complementary historical materials that provide contextualization (letters in Latin, Catalan, Italian and other chancery documents).
- Comparison of the practices and arts of chancery used by the various Islamic powers in the mediaeval Mediterranean, by consulting the secretarial manuals in use at that time as guidelines for the preparation of documents in Arabic.
- Guidelines for the compilation of a comprehensive record of the individuals who took an active or a passive part in diplomatic exchanges and in the transmission of documents, or who are mentioned in them.
- Prosopographic studies of the individuals involved; identification and characterization of the groups that mediated in the political and diplomatic contacts of the relations between European cities and the Arab countries of the Mediterranean.
- The study of the mechanisms and strategies for exploiting the linguistic and cultural skills of these groups.
- Guidelines for analyzing the strategies of socio-economic, political and institutional integration of European groups in the Arab-Islamic countries of the Mediterranean and the presence of Islamic groups in the Christian lands.
Members of the official team
– Roser Salicrú i Lluch (CSIC, Milà i Fontanals Institution, Barcelona) and Marta Manso Rubio (CSIC, Milà i Fontanals Institution & Universitat de Barcelona): Nasrids-Crown of Aragon, Christian sources
– Maria Mercè Viladrich Grau (Universitat de Barcelona) and Anas Benmokhtar (Universitat de Barcelona): Merinids-Crown of Aragon
– Mohamed Ouerfelli (Université d’Aix-Marseille): Hafsids-Crown of Aragon and Hafsids-Pisa
– Frédéric Bauden (Université de Liège): Mamluks-Crown of Aragon; Mamluks-Venice; Alessandro Rizzo (Université de Liège): Mamluks-Florence
With kind regards,
Roser Salicrú i Lluch
Milà i Fontanals Institution
Principal investigator (I-LINK0977)
5. Last few days of “Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts” (Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, USA)
“Pearls on a String: Artists, Patrons and Poets at the Great Islamic Courts” is up at the Walters until January 31st, 2016.
Two of reviews are here:
6. Call for Papers: BRISMES International Annual Conference 2016: ‘Networks: Connecting the Middle East through Time, Space and Cyberspace’
Date and time: 13 – 15 July 2016, University of Wales Trinity St David, Lampeter Campus
Conference website: www.brismes.ac.uk/conference
Deadline for paper and panel proposals: 19 February 2016
BRISMES Annual Conference 2016 welcomes abstracts examining ANY aspect of Middle East and North Africa Studies. We will include panels on as wide possible a range of disciplines, including: politics; religious studies; history; law; economics; sociology; anthropology; literature; linguistics; geography; translation studies; and language teaching.
Proposal forms and more details are available on the conference website.
7. 2ème Symposium international sur les langues iraniennes en danger
8-9 Juillet 2016
UMR Mondes iraniens et indien (CNRS, Sorbonne Nouvelle, Inalco, EPHE), Paris
Département de linguistique empirique, Goethe-Universität, Francfort
Organisatrices : Saloumeh Gholami (Goethe-Universität) et Pollet Samvelian (Sorbonne nouvelle)
La seconde édition du Symposium international sur les langues iraniennes en danger (ISEIL) aura lieu à Paris, le 8 et le 9 juillet 2016. Il sera co-organisé par l’UMR ‘Mondes iranien et indien’ (CNRS, Sorbonne nouvelle, EPHE, Inalco) et le Département de linguistique empirique de la Goethe-Universität de Francfort.
Ce symposium a vocation à rassembler les chercheurs travaillant sur les langues iraniennes en danger dans différentes perspectives. Nous invitons des communications sur tous les aspects de la recherche sur ces langues, notamment (mais pas exclusivement) :
- description (phonologie, morphologie, syntaxe…)
- philologie et étude diachronique
- dialectologie et atlas dialectologiques
- méthodes et outils pour la documentation des langues en danger
- revivification des langues en danger : enjeux et expériences
Le symposium comportera une session spéciale dédiée à l’élaboration des atlas linguistiques, animées par E. Anonby (Université de Carleton) et Amos Hayes (Université de Carleton) :
Comité scientifique : Johnny Cheung (Inalco, Chaire d’excellence USPC), Matteo De Chiara (Inalco), Saloumeh Gholami (Goethe-Universität), Geoffrey Haig (Universität Bamberg: Otto-Friedrich), Pollet Samvelian (Sorbonne nouvelle)
Comité d’organisation local : Pegah Faghiri (Sobonne nouvelle), Ophélie Gandon (Sorbonne nouvelle), Emmanuel Giraudet (CNRS, MII), Farzaneh Zareie (CNRS, MII)
Consignes aux auteurs :
La langue du symposium est l’anglais. Les résumés ne doivent pas dépasser deux pages (police de caractères 12, marges 2,5 cm), exemples et références bibliographiques inclus. Les documents devront être envoyés au format Word ou PDF. Veillez à ce que les polices de caractères soient compatibles avec Unicode.
Les soumissions, anonymes, se feront sur le site EasyChair en utilisant le lien spécial pour le symposium :
Les auteurs dont le résumé est retenu se verront proposer soit une présentation orale soit une présentation par poster.
Dates importantes :
– Date limite pour soumettre un résumé : 15 février 2016
– Notification aux auteurs : 30 mars 2016
– Inscriptions : 30 avril 2016
– Annonce du programme final : Mai 2016
– Symposium : 8-9 juillet 2016
8. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows
The American University of Beirut invites applications for its newly established Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Arts and Humanities, which will begin September 2016. The normal duration of appointment will be one year. Appointees will be attached to a relevant department and will be expected to remain in residence for the duration of the academic year.
The competition is open to recent recipients of the PhD whose research and teaching interests involve one or more of the following disciplines: Arabic language; Arabic literature; archaeology; art history; English language; English literature; fine arts (visual arts, theatre, and music); history; and philosophy. AUB is particularly interested in innovative work that explores humanistic study from multiple perspectives and pushes disciplinary boundaries.
Calls for Mellon postdoctoral fellows will focus on specific disciplines and departments that are likely to have permanent openings in the near future. These may occur as senior faculty retire; as new lines are created to reduce teaching loads; and as existing lines are redistributed after academic program reviews. However, while promising fellows will be urged to apply for openings that may arise in their areas of specialty, all positions must be filled through open searches in accordance with University policy.
• Applicants must have received their doctoral degrees no later than 30 days and no earlier than five years prior to the appointment start date;
• Applications must include the following:
• Letter of interest;
• Curriculum vitae;
• Statement of research interests (2-3 pages), specifically, research to be undertaken during the fellowship and proposed research product;
• Dissertation abstract or summary (1 page);
• Samples of publications (or dissertation extracts)
• Statement of teaching interests and experience;
• Three letters of recommendation;
• Copy of official transcript or letter of confirmation from dissertation committee chair indicating that the degree will be granted by the appointment start date.
Individuals who have held other postdoctoral fellowships are not barred from applying.
Stipend, benefits, and other advantages of the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships in the Arts and Humanities include:
• Annual stipend of $45,000;
• Co-pay health coverage under the University’s Health Insurance Plan;
• Relocation allowance and housing subsidy as described in the AUB Faculty Handbook;
• Eligibility for travel grant in the second year of extended fellowships;
• Teaching load of one course per semester;
• Participation in Arts and Humanities core group activities;
• Access to training and support from the Center for Teaching and Learning; the Academic Core Processes and Systems Unit; the Office of Grants and Contracts; and the University Writing Center.
Candidates with experience in or exposure to innovative approaches to research and teaching are strongly encouraged to apply.
Completed proposals should be submitted by close of business (5:00 p.m.) on March 10, 2016. Decisions will be announced by April 20, 2016.
Application material should be sent to:
The completed application should be submitted electronically to The Center For Arts And Humanities [email@example.com]
9. CALL FOR PAPERS
The Journal of the International Society for Iranian Studies
Special Issue: Persian Language Pedagogy and Assessment in the 21st Century
Paper submission deadline: July 1st 2016
Guest Editors: Anousha Sedighi (Portland State University) and Samad Alavi (University of Washington)
The guest editors for a special issue of The Journal of the International Society for Iranian Studies seek submissions on the topic of Persian Language Pedagogy and Assessment in the 21st Century. Scholars, researchers, and professionals in the field of Persian teaching are invited to submit papers for this special peer-reviewed volume. The volume aims to provide instructors of Persian with state-of-the-art research in the field of pedagogy and assessment and will include a wide range of creative and scholarly work on such topics as second language acquisition, methods and techniques for teaching Persian language and culture, incorporating cutting-edge technology into curricula, corpus-based research, and web-based teaching. Both quantitative and qualitative research are welcome. More specific topics encompass, but are not limited to:
– Interlanguage or learner language analysis (error, discourse, and pragmatics analyses)
– Task based instruction
– Content-based instruction
– Project-based instruction
– Form-focused instruction
– Teaching cultural understanding
– Teaching and proficiency assessment of listening, speaking, reading, and writing
– Teaching and assessment of vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar
– Genre and academic language teaching
– Learning strategies and styles
– Heritage language teaching and assessment
– Bilingualism and multilingualism
– Standards-based language instruction
All papers will undergo the standard peer-review process of the Iranian Studies Journal. For submission guidelines please click here
Papers and inquiries should be sent directly to the Guest Editors, Anousha Sedighi and Samad Alavi at the following email address: 21stCenturyPersianPedagogy@gmail.com
Submission deadline: July 1st 2016
10. The University of Edinburgh will offer up to 3 postgraduate scholarships for students from Syria studying a one-year Master’s degree programme in any subject offered by the University for the 2016-2017 academic session. See for further
The deadline is 1 April.
11. We are very happy to announce that, thanks to a collaboration with the Smithsonian Libraries and Internet Archives, the Ars Orientalis back issues, volumes 1 to 41, have now been digitized, and are available for free on our new website. (http://www.asia.si.edu/research/ars-orientalis/) Please check our new website to learn more about the journal and access the volumes 1 to 41 at your leisure from the “Browse volumes” section. (http://www.asia.si.edu/research/ars-orientalis/explore.asp)
Thank you and with best wishes,
Program Specialist Public and Scholarly Engagement
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Smithsonian Institution
12. We are glad to announce that a new way to explore the MWNF Database is now available. 5,951 objects from 31 countries.
The ‘MWNF Database complete listing’ lets you search the entire MWNF Database. Results include relevant material from all the thematic databases (Discover Islamic Art, Discover Baroque Art, Sharing History) and list: first, database entries where the search term appears in the name of the item or where it has been added as a keyword; and second, entries where the search term is mentioned in the text. Results appear chronologically according to the time span entered during the upload by our team.
Click here to try: http://www.museumwnf.org/database_searchform.php
We hope you will enjoy using this new way to explore our Database.
With our best wishes,
Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF)
13. al-Usur al-Wusta
I write in my capacity as co-editor, with Antoine Borrut, of al-Usur al-Wusta, the newly transformed journal of Middle East Medievalists. As many of you know, UW is now an online, open-access and peer-reviewed journal. If you have not done so already, I would urge you to have a look. We would welcome your comments and suggestions, and invite you to consider submitting your essays, reviews and other work to us for publication.
We are also very pleased to announce the creation of our new editorial board.
To access the new issue of UW and view the list of board members, please proceed to the Islamic History Commons site (http://islamichistorycommons.org). Click on the link for Middle East Medievalists.
I would also urge you – again, if you have not done so already – to renew or begin your membership in MEM. The process is straightforward and, we believe, the dues quite modest.
with best wishes,
Matthew GordonPosted in: Academic items
- January 23, 2016
- 0 Comment