1.CFP-The Globalization of Science in the Middle East and North Africa, 18th-20th Centuries
The Center for Religion, Ethics, and Culture and the Middle Eastern Studies Concentration at the College of the Holy Cross (http://www.holycross.edu) invite abstract submissions (300-400 words) for a conference to be held March 24-25, 2017 entitled, the Globalization of Science in the Middle East and North Africa, 18th-20th Centuries (see abstract below). Keynote speaker: Dr. Carla Nappi, the University of British Columbia.
Abstracts are due by June 15, 2016. Send abstracts to Sahar Bazzaz and Jane Murphey at email@example.com. Participants will be notified of their participation by July 1, 2016.
Conference participants will receive airfare/travel, ground transportation costs, and accommodation for the duration of the conference. In preparing their abstracts, potential participants should plan to produce a 8000-10,000 word paper for pre-circulation before the conference takes place. Participants are expected to contribute their papers to an edited volume, which will be the final outcome of the conference.
The nineteenth and twentieth centuries mark the period in which science became globalized and institutionalized as a dominant epistemology trumping all others. The scientific study of the natural world (Botany, Taxonomy, Systematics, Geology, Comparative zoology), of human behavior and society (Psychology and Sociology), and of the past (History and Archeology) emerged and developed their own disciplinary methodologies and notions of expertise and professionalism. As a way of understanding the globalization of science in non-European contexts such as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), scholars have turned to the field sciences such as natural history, geology, and cartographic surveying, highlighting these disciplines’ intimate connection to imperial conquest and global trade networks. Drawing on germinal works of Michel Foucault and Edward Said, some have argued that the ‘sciences’ served as a powerful tool in the hands of European conquerors. According to this view, disciplines including mapping, statistical census gathering, natural history, archaeology, and the taxonomy of peoples, languages, and religious traditions allowed Europeans to define, categorize and order—to “know”—colonized territories and peoples and hence to dominate and rule them.
But as critics have pointed out, this perspective problematically attributes the spread of the taxonomical revolution beyond Europe to “the often violent imposition of ‘rationality’ on cultures originally endowed with ‘another reason’.” Furthermore, science as an epistemology is now firmly entrenched in and embraced by Middle Eastern societies suggesting that its advent was something more than simply imposition. In order to challenge the ‘science as imposition’ narrative and to develop a more nuanced understanding of the globalization of science in the region—its perceived promises and perils and the role of local epistemologies in the development of modern science—this panel considers the reception/assimilation/rejection/translation of scientific theories and practices by the peoples of the region through examples from a variety of scientific disciplines. While the politics of knowledge production occurred in the context of state modernization (as in Ottoman Egypt and the central lands of the Ottoman empire), on one hand, and the extension of European power into these regions, on the other, the panel considers other social, economic, and intellectual developments, which shaped (and were shaped by) this process.
This conference brings together scholars from the Middle East, Europe, the United States, and Canada, and will explore important issues related to the history of science in the MENA region during the 18th-20th centuries—a critical period of change and modernization when Middle Easterners were concerned about the rising power of European states and societies and the weakness of Islamic ones in relation to them. Conference participants will present papers, which consider the nature of encounters between Islamic societies and the west as the balance of power between these regions shifted in the favor of Europe, including the role of science in modernization and development in the MENA region, the relationship between modern science and religion (Islam), the effects of European imperialism on the spread of modern science in the MENA (and the Global South more generally), and the use of science and technology by MENA states and societies to combat foreign domination in the region.
2. Workshop: “Time(s) in Comparison: Transregional Approaches to Contemporary Philosophical Thought in the Middle East and South Asia”, Berlin, 3-4 June 2016
The workshop is organized by Roman Seidel and Nils Riecken at the Berlin Graduate School for Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität Berlin / Zentrum Moderner Orient.
Information and program: www.bgsmcs.fu-berlin.de/dates/workshop_2016_times_in_comparison.html
3. Conference: “Medicine, Environment and Health in the Eastern Mediterranean World, 1400-1750”, University of Cambridge, 3-4 April 2017
Taking as our focus the politically heterogeneous southern Europe and eastern Mediterranean, the Mamluk Kingdom, and the Ottoman Empire, we aim to reconstruct the healthscape of this region in the early modern period, exploring its medical unity and disunity and the human and environmental factors that played a part in it.
Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2016. Information: http://us9.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e1ae5bef9757e58afec01a89a&id=4eba999427&e=82aeb6c61d
4. Submissions for Brill’s Middle East and Islamic Studies Early-Career Paper Prize 2016
The author of the winning article will receive a € 750,- cash prize and the article will be published in one of Brill’s leading journals. The Prize is open to students who are currently registered for doctoral research at a higher education institution, or have obtained their doctoral degree after 1 September 2013.
Deadline for submissions: 1 September 2016. Information: www.brill.com/paperprize
5. The international peer-reviewed open access journal Middle East – Topics and Arguments (http://meta-journal.net/) is seeking contributions for a special-themed issue on “ICONOGRAPHY”.
For more detailed information see:
6. Lapis and Gold, The Story of the Ruzbihan Qur’an
until 28 August 2016
The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle, Ireland
In the late 1920s, Chester Beatty purchased a large and magnificent Qur’an. Its beautifully executed script is the work of the renowned Shiraz calligrapher Ruzbihan Muhammad al-Tab‘i al-Shirazi, although its breath-taking illumination is the work of a team of anonymous of artists. The combined quality, extent, diversity and complexity of the manuscript’s decorative programme sets it apart from almost all other 16th-century Persian Qur’ans.
In 2012, the manuscript was disbound in order to allow badly needed conservation of its 445 folios to take place. Following certain intriguing discoveries during the course of conservation, it was decided to keep the manuscript temporarily unbound to allow the Library’s curatorial and conservation staff to conduct further research on it. Through the display of more than 30 single folios and double-page openings, as well as another 20-some folios partially displayed to facilitate the discussion of pigments, the exhibition presents many of the results of that research. Three other 16th-century Qur’ans and a manual on recitation from the Library’s Islamic Collections are also included in the exhibition.
The manuscript will be rebound in its 19th-century, Ottoman binding following the close of the exhibition.
An accompanying book will be published shortly.
7. ‘Culture and Cultural Production in Iran: Past and Present’
School of Modern Languages and Institute of Iranian Studies
(17th, 18th and 19th June 2016)
Convener: Saeed Talajooy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For the programme and registration, see:
8. Call for Papers Deadline approaching
The “Dangerous Classes” in the Middle East and North Africa
Conference: 26 January 2017
Middle East Centre, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
Call for Papers
The concept of the “dangerous classes” was born in mid-nineteenth century Europe and became famous after the publication in 1872 in New York of a book with the same title by the American social reformer Charles Loring Brace. The “dangerous classes,” the lumpenproletariat of Marx and Engels, described all those who had fallen out of the working classes into the lower depths of the new industrial and urban social environments, and survived there by their wits and by various amoral, disreputable or criminal strategies. They included beggars and vagrants, gypsies, pickpockets and burglars, prostitutes and courtesans, discharged soldiers, ex-prisoners, tricksters, drug-dealers; the unemployed or unemployable, indeed every type of the criminal and marginal, and were drawn from among women as well as men, and juveniles as well as adults. Such representatives of the “dangerous classes” were well-represented in literature, notably by Zola, Dickens and Victor Hugo in the nineteenth century and Brecht in the twentieth, and in popular culture of all kinds.
The “dangerous classes,” sometimes barely distinguishable from the new working class recently concentrated in the urban industrial centres, were a constant preoccupation of the emerging bourgeoisie. Fear of both permeated social policy, including among reformers, and was central to the establishment of new methods of control, policing and judicial, and even medical and psychiatric systems. Although the term fell into disuse in the twentieth century West, it is often argued that the concept remains embedded in elite discourses of connections between propertylessness, poverty, immorality, criminality and the “underclass.”
This conference takes as its central theme this notion of the “dangerous classes” and invites abstracts examining its explanatory power when applied to the Middle East and North Africa in the period from around 1800 to the present. Topics include but are not limited to: narratives of the lives of members of the “dangerous classes”; the social conditions in which they emerged; their relationship with “respectable” society and especially with the police; their political inclinations and potential; the attitudes towards them of elites; their role in shaping elite formulations of systems and institutions of discipline and control, legal/judicial, prison/asylum, medical; notions of the biological basis of criminality; their representation in literature and in popular culture. Abstracts which examine both collectivities (eg lutis or baltagiya) as well as individual strategies, and colonial/imperial as well as indigenous discourses and policies are welcome.
Abstracts of papers of no more than two hundred and fifty words are invited for consideration for inclusion in the conference.
Deadline for submission of abstracts is 30 June 2016.
Abstracts and enquiries should be addressed to Stephanie Cronin Stephanie.email@example.com
9. The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania announces the availability of a position as full-time Lecturer in Arabic Language for the academic year 2016-2017.
The appointment will be for one year with the possibility of annual renewal for up to an additional two years based on satisfactory performance and approval of the Dean.
Applicants should have native or near-native competence in modern standard Arabic, knowledge of an Arabic dialect, and an advanced degree in Arabic language pedagogy and/or another relevant subject with a primary focus on Arabic language and culture. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience in teaching Arabic language at all levels at the university or college level, in language pedagogy, and in administering the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). The teaching load for this position is five courses per year (3/2 or 2/3), which includes one section of the elementary-level Arabic language. Additional responsibilities include regular attendance at meetings of the Arabic language program, and working with the Director of the language program and Arabic faculty on materials development.
Candidates should apply online at http://facultysearches.provost.upenn.edu/postings/880. Submit a cover letter, CV, and statement of teaching philosophy. Also submit the names and contact information of two individuals who have agreed to provide a letter of recommendation. The University will contact the referees with instructions on how to submit their letters.
10. An 18th Century North African Travelling Physician’s Handbook
While cataloguing the British Library’s collection of Arabic manuscripts from West Africa (see BL blog passim) I came across a very strange item. This manuscript, Or.6557, was given to the British Museum Library (the forerunner of the British Library) by a Muhammad Shami on the 10th of October 1903 and catalogued the following year. According to a slip of paper pasted on the blank recto of the first folio in the handwriting the donor, this work is a “book on Reml [Arabic: ʻIlm al-Raml, meaning divination by sand] and magic and some of austronomy by Saidi Saeed Abdoul Naim” with the date of composition given as 1202AH (1788 AD). The text block is loose-leaf, as is often the case in North and West Africa, and protected at either end by squares of animal hide.
– See more at: http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/asian-and-african/2016/05/an-18th-century-north-african-travelling-physicians-handbook.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+asian-and-african+%28Asia+and+Africa%29#sthash.6LzDDmrc.dpuf
11. The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, opening October 15, 2016 at Freer|Sackler in Washington, D.C.
From October 15, 2016 until February 20, 2017, the Freer|Sackler will host the first major international loan exhibition on Qur’ans in the United States. It highlights more than fifty of the most important manuscripts from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (Türk ve Islam Eserleri Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey, complemented by twenty works from the Freer|Sackler collections. Representing Qur’ans from early eighth-century Damascus to late sixteenth-century Herat and Istanbul, the exhibition will trace the evolution from an orally transmitted message to a written text and its transformation into sumptuous volumes by celebrated calligraphers, illuminators, and bookbinders.
The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts will also consider the carefully recorded “biography” of many of the Qur’anic manuscripts. Commissioned by some of the most powerful rulers of the Islamic world, the volumes were sought out and cherished by the Ottoman ruling elite as prized possessions and were offered as gifts to public and religious institutions to express personal piety, to secure political power and prestige, and to ensure the continuity of the divine blessings (baraka) which these precious manuscripts were believed to carry.
Please see the exhibition website here, and check back for more information as it is posted.
Symposium: The Word Illuminated: Form and Function of Qur’anic Manuscripts
In conjunction with the exhibition The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, the Freer|Sackler will hold an international symposium from December 1 to December 3, 2016. The focus will be on production of luxury Qur’an manuscripts in the Islamic world as well as their usage from the late seventh to the seventeenth century. Speakers will also address issues of patronage and the later lives of these remarkable works of art.
The full conference program will be posted on the Freer|Sackler website in September.
12. Les Arts de l’Islam en France: collections, trésors et découvertes archéologiques
6 June 2016
Auditorium du Louvre, Paris
La présence des arts de l’Islam dans les collections publiques françaises interroge l’histoire et la nature du patrimoine national défini comme art islamique. Ce patrimoine a déjà fait l’objet de deux expositions : « Arts de l’Islam des origines à 1700 dans les collections publiques françaises » en 1971 à l’Orangerie des Tuileries, puis « L’Islam dans les collections nationales » en 1977 au Grand-Palais.
13. Columbia University – Professor / Associate Professor of Islamic History
Freie Universitaet Berlin – Lecturer, Medieval Middle Eastern History (3 years)
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- June 04, 2016
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