By Ahmad Al-Jallad, with a contribution by Ronny Vollandt
Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2020
160 pages (xxiv + 136); 31 figures
Paperback, 10 x 7 in.
2. Weekly Language Circles Online (Turkish, Persian, Armenian, Arabic, Kurdish), University of Chicago
These Zoom events usually feature a formal presentation in the target language, followed by Q&A.
Registration and information: https://mesana.org/resources-and-opportunities/2020/05/26/weekly-language-circles
3. Chapters for Edited Volume on “Islam, Muslims, and COVID-19: Examining the Intersection of Ethics, Health and Muslim Life in Diasporic Muslim Communities” for Series “Muslim Minorities” (Brill)
The volume will describe the challenges that Muslim communities face(d), and how they traverse them, with a particular focus on the interplay between religious obligations, health risks, public health mandates, and communal life. The volume seeks to provide a rich, multidisciplinary, and multidimensional account of Islamic/Muslim ethics operating in the COVID-19 era.
Deadline for abstracts: 15 July 2020. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. The Legacy of Late Imam Khomeini(ra)-Live Programme-Wed 3rd June 2020 at 7 p.m. (UK time)
Islamic Centre of England
5. Who am I? What are we? Identity and global citizenship
Pluralism and Plurality in Islamic Cultures
The last in a series of ten public events on Pluralism and Plurality in Islamic Cultures, co-produced by Aga Khan University Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, the Aga Khan Museum and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Education Programme and held online .
In this talk, Professor Appiah will begin by discussing the general idea of social identity—race, class, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, and the like—and develop a general picture of why, though they are enormously diverse, they do have some important things in common. He will move on to explore some of the problems associated with class and the idea of meritocracy, and with ethnic identity and the challenges of tribalism. He will commend a way of dealing with some of these challenges by way of what he calls cosmopolitan conversation.
He says: “I want to counter a powerful strand of opposition to this ideal of global citizenship, from left and right today, returning, at the end to defending the openness to others that has defined a cosmopolitan tradition for millennia.”
Time and Venue
11 June 2020, 18.00-19.30
Log on to our webinar using this link
6. CFP: Materiality of Languages: Byzantium and Early Islamic Near East from 324 to 1204 (Kalamazoo International Medieval Congress 13-16 May 2021)
Papers are sought for “Materiality of Languages: Epigraphy, Manuscripts, and Writing Systems in Byzantium and Early Islamic Near East (324-1204), a series of sponsored sessions organized by Yuliya Minets (University of Notre Dame and Jacksonville State University) and Paweł Nowakowski (University of Warsaw) for the International Medieval Congress to be held on 13-16 May 2021 in Kalamazoo Michigan
This series of sessions at the 56th International Congress on Medieval Studies (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, May 13-16, 2021) will bring together a group of scholars to explore the links between languages and their material and visual forms (including specific media of writing, writing instruments, scripts, etc.) in the Eastern Mediterranean in the Byzantine and early Islamic eras.
The interplay between languages and their visual representations in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages is a fascinating topic that has attracted scholarly attention in recent years but still requires further investigation. In this period, the Eastern Mediterranean witnessed greater linguistic transformations that affected the entire regions and cultures, including their popular and elite levels. Linguistic frontiers were often not a line drawn on a map, but rather extended grey areas where large numbers of people possessed some form of multilingual competence; communities speaking different languages coexisted side by side for centuries. The purpose of the sessions is to examine whether this situation led to consolidating associative links between certain languages (or their varieties) and particular types, methods, and styles of writing regarded as their “proper” or “preferred” mediums; and to what extent modern scholars can detect these links today, studying epigraphy, manuscripts, and writing systems.
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of visual and material forms in which languages appeared in the historical record. When shared, those forms helped to bridge the differences in vocabulary and phonetics, bringing distinct languages closer to each other as cultural artifacts that employ the same symbolic codes. By contrast, visually distinct language forms helped to solidify social boundaries and to emphasize social differentiation within the same speech community.
We are specifically interested in the following issues:
- Changes in scribal features and practices: those inherited from the past, transformed, and newly invented;
● A distinct physical outlook of a language as a factor contributing to its high or low status;
● Visual differentiation between the “High” and “Low” varieties of the same language;
● Ancient writers’ reflections on changing appearances and materiality of languages;
● More or less prestigious placements, art forms, and materials (e.g. languages chosen for precious floor mosaics and opus sectile decorations vs. those for plain unadorned rock inscriptions located in desolate areas);
● Preferable directions of writing (e.g. why Syriac inscriptions were often written from top to bottom?)
● Decorative techniques and calligraphy in book manuscripts and monumental inscriptions as a cross-lingual phenomenon;
● Features of cursive and documentary scripts (non-)attested across different languages;
● We also welcome contributions on the social functioning of different Aramaic scripts, cases beyond a simple division into ʾEsṭrangēlā, Serṭā, and Maḏnḥāyā in Syriac; the visual differentiation of JPA and CPA; the way Hebrew and Aramaic coexisted in late antique synagogues; the emergence of Garshuni; the birth of Arabic scripts; the adoption and adjustment of the Greek alphabet for writing in Egyptian (Coptic); the beginnings of writing traditions in Germanic and Slavic languages; and similar.
We invite proposals of up to 300 words for 15-20 minutes talks. Titles and abstracts should be submitted to Yuliya Minets, the University of Notre Dame/Jacksonville State University (email@example.com), and Paweł Nowakowski, University of Warsaw (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please, indicate your academic status and affiliation (if applicable).
The deadline is 1 July 2020.
Papers in all the working languages of the Congress (English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Russian, and Turkish) are accepted. We encourage linguistic diversity within these sessions.
The proposal for this series of sessions (three or four, depending on the interest) will be submitted to the Organizing Committee of the Congress for approval. The sessions are sponsored by the research project ‘Epigraphy & Identity in the Early Byzantine Middle East’ (National Science Centre, Poland, grant Sonata 15 and the University of Warsaw, Faculty of History). We will apply for external funding which may allow us to cover the conference fee for the participants. For details on conference fees, see the Congress website.
7. Call for Submissions:
The Journal of Iranian Islamic Period History, University of Tabriz is now taking submissions for one of its issues in 2020.
This is a PhD student, their professors and independent researchers of post-Islamic Iranian history publication based at University of Tabriz in Iran, accepting submissions of full-length articles on the post-Islamic Iranian history in English, including history of culture, foreign policy and so on. More information can be found on our website at https://tuhistory.tabrizu.ac.ir/ .
We are open to submissions from students in any year, from any subject and require no previous publication experience. We also welcome submissions from academics, writers, and faculty experts. We offer an opportunity to be published online and in print for a broad international and inter-university readership.
In this issue, we welcome pieces that address the articles on new, non-repetitive In this issue, we welcome pieces that address the articles on new, non-repetitive, and preferably micro-research topics in the political-military, social, cultural, and economic fields of post-Islamic Iranian history. The journal aims to offer an opportunity for readers to engage with accessible and reflective content that will offer relevant context for a discussion of favorite topics in these areas. That said, any pieces that discuss other topics of Iranian history are also welcome.
This can include Healthcare, roads and communication routes, beliefs, sciences, relations with other countries, historiography, art, architecture, etc. throughout the history of post-Islamic Iran. In short, submissions will not be limited in any way to solely discussion of one or more topics from the history of post-Islamic Iran.
For any questions, contact:
Associate Professor of Iranian History, Department of History, Faculty of Laws and Social Sciences, University of Tabriz, East Azerbaijan, Iran;
Editor-in-Chief: Journal of Iranian Islamic Period History; Link:
8. CfP: The Dynamics of Speech Communities in the Eastern Mediterranean 324 to 1204 (International Congress on Medieval Studies, Leeds 5-8 July 2021)
Papers are sought for “Changing Winds and Great Storms: The Dynamics of Speech Communities and Forms of Their Linguistic Self-Expression in the Eastern Mediterranean (324-1204),” a series of sponsored sessions organized by Yuliya Minets (University of Notre Dame and Jacksonville State University) and Paweł Nowakowski (University of Warsaw) for the International Medieval Congress to be held on 5-8 July 2021 in Leeds, UK.
As the surfaces of stone inscriptions are subject to weather conditions, languages and their speakers experience the winds of history and harshness of the ever-changing political, social, and religious climates. We would like to invite participants to explore how different languages and speech communities withstood (or did not) various transformations that took place in the Eastern Mediterranean in the period from the fourth to the twelfth century.
As a number of recent studies have demonstrated, the shifts in practices and performances of language use in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages rarely came as a result of an intentional policy from above, but were rather introduced from the bottom-up perspective. While the organized actions on behalf of political authorities may have been indeed lacking, the political climate itself, as well as the dynamics of social relationships, suggested certain opportunistic choices available for local groups, who had to compete for political favors, economic resources, and social prestige and sought to preserve their distinct religious or confessional identities. In this situation, the choice was often made for practical benefits that the language associated with power and authority provided, while the use of other languages was reduced to certain traditional communicative domains (e.g. language of liturgy). We encourage participants to address various aspects of these processes and contribute to the on-going scholarly discussion of this fascinating topic.
We particularly welcome papers on these themes:
- The dynamics of linguistic changes in administration and legal systems, with a particular emphasis on the use of vernacular languages in these domains
● Languages of private communication among friends and family members
● Languages of monumental epigraphy, historical memory, and commemorative practices
● Linguistic abilities of authors, consumers, and target audiences of ancient texts
● The accessibility and costs of interpreting services
● Language choice from the perspective of career and business opportunities
● Language choice and religious or political affiliations
● Language choice in urban centres and peripheries
● Language choice and gender
● Opportunistic choices with regard to languages
● and others
Titles and abstracts of up to 300 words for 20 minutes talks should be submitted to Yuliya Minets, the University of Notre Dame / Jacksonville State University (email@example.com) or Paweł Nowakowski, University of Warsaw (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please, indicate your academic status and affiliation (if applicable).
Deadline for abstracts: 1 July 2020.
We encourage linguistic diversity at our sessions, though in accordance with the guidelines of the Organizing Committee, we will ask for a short outline in English to be distributed among the attendees if the talk is given in a different language.
The proposal for this series of sessions (three or four, depending on the interest) will be submitted to the Organizing Committee of the Congress for approval. The sessions are sponsored by the research project ‘Epigraphy & identity in the early Byzantine Middle East’ (National Science Centre, Poland, grant Sonata 15 and the University of Warsaw, Faculty of History). We will apply for external funding which may allow us to cover the conference fee for the participants. For details on conference fees, see the Congress website.
9. CIS Public Talks – Yossef Rapoport on: Lost Maps of the Caliphs
Thursday 11 June at 5pm UK time – Live on Zoom
“About a millennium ago, in Cairo, someone completed a large and richly illustrated book. In the course of thirty-five chapters, our unknown author guided the reader on a journey from the outermost cosmos and planets to Earth and its lands, islands, features and inhabitants. This treatise, known as The Book of Curiosities, was unknown to modern scholars until a remarkable manuscript copy surfaced in 2000.”
In this talk Prof. Rapoport will give a general overview of The Book of Curiosities and the unique insight it offers into medieval Islamic thought. He will explain how the book helps us to re-evaluate the development of astrology, geography and cartography in the first four centuries of Islam. Early astronomical ‘maps’ and drawings demonstrate the medieval understanding of the structure of the cosmos and illustrate the pervasive assumption that almost any visible celestial event had an effect upon life on Earth.
To register on Zoom please use this link:
Professor Rapoport is a historian of the social, cultural and legal aspects of life in the Islamic, Arabic-speaking Middle East in its Middle Ages, from about 1000 to 1500 AD. He was trained in the universities of Tel Aviv (Israel), Princeton (USA) and Oxford, before joining Queen Mary in 2008.
His work mostly relates to the history of the Islamic Middle East under the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk dynasties. His main focus is the history of everyday life and the relatively unexplored history of women, slaves and peasants. He is also interested in the history of Islamic medieval maps. His current research is on ‘Tribal identity and Conversion to Islam in Rural Egypt and Syria, 1000 – 1500’.
10. Call for applications: International Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society ‘Seed Funding and Small Research Grants’ scheme
The International Network for the Study of Science and Belief in Society is inviting applications to the ‘Seed Funding and Small Research Grants’ scheme.
INSBS supports the growth of high-quality international research examining the relationship between science and religion, in relation to cutting-edge social issues and individuals’ lived experiences.
We aim to foster and support research that examines any social or cultural aspect of science, technology, engineering, mathematics or medicine (STEMM) in relation to any religious, spiritual or non-religious tradition, position or worldview, including unbelief.
The Seed Funding and Small Research Grants scheme 2020 – 2021, is the first of a number of grant opportunities which we are able to offer due to the generous support of the Templeton Religion Trust.
This scheme seeks to promote the growth of the social study of science and religion globally, by supporting the ongoing development of an international network of active academic researchers in order to stimulate new avenues of individual or collaborative research.
Researchers at any career stage who work on the social study of science and religion in society may apply. The scheme has been designed to support academics just starting out in their careers in the field or seeking to establish themselves further by conducting socially relevant research in this field.
If you are not currently affiliated to a university, or other institution set-up to receive research grants, please contact our Grants Officer, Paula Brikci, at email@example.com before applying.
Value and Duration
Two levels of grant funding are available:
1) Seed Funding: No less than £1,000 and no more than £5,000
2) Small Research Grants: No less than £5,000 and no more than £20,000
All projects must complete within ten months of the start date and are expected to complete no later than 31 July 2021.
The scheme will operate on a rolling basis until at least 1 October 2020 when it will be reviewed. Applicants can apply anytime up until 1 October 2020.
If you are not already a subscriber to our website, you may wish to join our mailing list at to stay up to date with announcements and news.
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- June 02, 2020
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