1. The conference Perfume Production in the Ancient World will take place 7-8 November 2023 at the Vila Lanna of the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague.
The conference’s aim is to challenge familiar ideas of ancient perfumery cultures (“Egyptian”, “Mesopotamian”, “Roman”) and explore (a) how ingredients and methods of using scented materials were transmitted across cultures, and (b) how perfumery and the production of scented materials varied within the same culture across place and time. It is a multidisciplinary conference with talks from historians, scientists, perfumers and olfactory artists.
Organized as part of Grant 21-30494M, “Alchemies of Scent,” a research group in the history of science, funded by the Czech Science Foundation and coordinated by the Research Team for Ancient Thought of the Department for the Study of Ancient and Medieval Thought at the Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Additional financial support comes from a generous Subject Development Award from the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry.
Tuesday 7 November 2023
09:00. Welcome and Introduction. Sean Coughlin, Heike Wilde, Laurence Totelin.
Part 1. People of Perfumes
09:15. Giuseppe Squillace (Calabria): Perfumers in the ancient world. Techne and professional secrets.
10:15. Laurence Totelin (Cardiff): ‘Plunge the jar in a well of cold water for 40 days’: Greek and Roman medical authors on perfume manufacture.
11:45. Roberto P. Dario (perfumer): From “Myrepsos” to modern “Noses”: knowledge, techniques and perfumery evolution.
Part 2. Tools and Techniques
13:45. Maria Rosaria Belgiorno (ISPC-CNR): “Eau de B.C.”, perfumed, alcoholic, intoxicating spring of human pleasure. (Mesopotamian and Aegean origins of Mediterranean distillation).
14:45. Bastien Rueff (École française d’Athènes): Was the firebox an incense burner? Preliminary Research on Minoan Perfumery.
15:30. Laura Prieto (FLU / IOCB Prague): The Influence of Modern Chemistry on the Development of Fine Fragrance.
16:00. Eduardo Escobar and Giacomo Montanari (Bologna): The “First” Perfume Recipe: Why Water Matters in Ancient Assyrian Perfumery.
17:15. Andrea Salayová (Masaryk): Castoreum and its uses through times: from perfumes to medicine.
17:45. Anya King (Southern Indiana): Innovation and Heritage in Early Islamicate Perfumery.
Wednesday 8 November 2023
Part 3. Novel Methods for the Study of Perfumery’s History
09:00. Jay Silverstein (Nottingham Trent) and Robert Littman (Hawaii Manoa): Making the Mendesian: The Hellenistic Perfume Industry at Tell Timai.
10:00. Alice Capobianco (Genova): Ethnoarchaeology as a tool for understanding the production cycle of scented ointments in the Roman period.
10:30. Marie Theres Wittmann (Oxford): The Price of Smell: An Economic Approach to the Economy of Perfume in Pompeii.
11:00. Break + Discussion. Coughlin (FLU): Digital Approaches to Studying Perfume Recipes.
11:30. Béatrice Caseau (Sorbonne): Christian perfumes: incense and liturgical Myron, sources to understand how perfumes were created.
12:00. Klara Ravat (olfactory artist): Working creatively with raw materials: naturals vs. synthetics.
Part 4. Cultures of Scent
14:00. Miguel Matos (author / perfumer): Against All Odds: On Becoming a Self-Taught Perfumer While Developing Personal Composing Methods and Techniques.
15:00. Barbara Huber (Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology): Arabian “Perfumes”.
16:20. (via ZOOM) Mohammadreza Jalali (independent scholar): The Persian Scents of Antiquity: A Cultural History of Ancient Iranian Perfumes.
16:50. (via ZOOM) Katarzyna Gromek (independent scholar): Introducing xiāng: the reconstruction of the olfactory landscape of early China in practice.
17:30. Heike Wilde (FLÚ): Sources for Perfumery and Scent in Ancient Egypt.
18:00. Demi Lizzann Williams (Worcester Polytechnic Institute): African Ritual Aromatics and Cosmetics. Exploring Cultural Significance and Global Impact.
18:30. Closing discussion.
More information is available at our website: https://www.alchemiesofscent.org/perfume-production-in-the-ancient-world
2. J.B. Harley Research Fellowships – applications deadline extended to 1 DECEMBER 2023
In light of the cyber incident affecting the British Library from Saturday 28 October 2023, which has rendered the Harley Trust’s principal contact and applications email address temporarily inaccessible, the deadline for applications to the J.B. Harley Research Fellowships in the History of Cartography has been extended from 1 November to 1 December 2023.
We would like to reassure anybody who has applied or sent a question to the Harley Trust on or after 27 October that their contact will be acknowledged or answered as soon as possible.
Thank you for your understanding,
Tom Harper, Hon. Secretary. J.B. Harley Research Fellowships Trust,
Lead Curator of Antiquarian Mapping, The British Library
3. Call for Submissions: Princeton University’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center 2024 Book Award
Books must be received before April 30, 2024.
For more information:
4. Historical and Contemporary Migrations of Central Asian Muslims: History, Culture and Identity
Central Asian Studies Unit, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, 3-5 April 2024
We are pleased to announce the call for papers for our upcoming conference on Central Asia (CA), a vast geographical area stretching from Western China to Caucasus in the west and from Kazakhstan to Afghanistan in the south. The conference aims to bring together scholars from various disciplines to discuss and exchange ideas on a wide range of topics related to the historical and contemporary regional and transnational migrations of Central Asian Muslims.
Migration is a complex, multi-layered, multi-generational, and meta-territorial phenomenon which is triggered and influenced by multiple factors including personal and family decisions, socio-economic and political conditions in the lands of origin and destination, and international rules and regulations. Migration acquires various forms and often leads to the formation of diaspora, with its own case-specific dynamism rooted in the history, contextual realities and culture of the migrant communities. Central Asia has witnessed intense movements of people in the course of history which shaped the cultural composition of Central Asian nations with their dominant Muslim population. In contemporary period the outward migration has become an important characteristic of the developments in the region. The conference aims to explore and analyse the trends, the forms and the transformations experienced by the Central Asian migrant communities in various contexts and their influence on the homeland.
We invite the submission of original research papers that contribute to the advancement of knowledge and to our deeper understanding of the migration in its various manifestations. The exchange of ideas and research findings by scholars from different disciplines will result in new insights into historical and contemporary regional and transnational movements of Central Asian Muslims.
The conference will cover a broad spectrum of subjects, including but not limited to:
Historical and Contemporary Cases of Central Asian Regional and International Movements
- The socio-economic, political and ecological factors which contribute to migration from Central Asia;
- The region’s history of colonization and Soviet influences;
- Regular and irregular migration from CA countries.
Forced Migration and its Consequences for Migrant Communities
- Refugee, asylum and immigration laws and policies in host countries;
- Inclusion and exclusions (citizenship, social mobility);
- Support networks (friends, family, and communities) during separations and reunions.
Transforming Identities of Migrant Communities
- Preservation of ethnic, national, and religious identities and cultural practices (language, food, music, clothes, and art) in the host country;
- Migratory transformations in host and migrant communities;
- Formation of diasporas and organisation of migrants;
- Gender, marriage, educational opportunities, and multi-/bi-cultural identity.
This will be a hybrid event and the papers accepted can be presented on-line or in person.
Abstract deadline: Authors are expected to submit their abstract (up to 500 words) by 15 December 2023 to email@example.com
Notification of accepted abstracts: Submissions will undergo a rigorous peer-review process to ensure the quality and relevance of accepted papers. Accepted papers will be notified by 10 January 2024.
Dates of the Conference: 3-5 April 2024
5. Assistant Professor of Persian Literature and Culture, University of Virginia
Tenure Track Position
The Department of Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Virginia invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in Persian Literature and Culture.
We seek scholars who draw on deep training in the history of Persian literature to engage with contemporary forms of cultural production, especially as embedded in their political and cultural contexts, inorder to broaden understanding of our globalized world. We encourage application from those who work on literature in any part of the Persian-speaking world, including transnational and diasporic locations, and those whose work brings them into conversation with emerging trends within theoretical paradigms, such as: translation studies, migration and diaspora studies, disability studies, sexuality and gender studies, or democracy and human rights.
Preference will be given to candidates who can teach undergraduate and graduate-level courses in both Classical and Modern Persian literature, as well as to those who can contribute to the intellectual community of a department diverse in language and discipline.
Review of applications will begin 5 January 2024 and continue until the position is filled.
We seek scholars with an active program of research and publication in Persian literature, cinema, or related specialty, and with a commitment to excellence in teaching.
The successful candidate must have a PhD completed by the time of appointment, 25 August 2024, and must have native or near-native fluency in Persian and English.
Application Instructions : Visit http://apply.interfolio.com/130434 to apply.
Attach the following to your application:·
Curriculum vitae including the names of three referees;
- Cover letter addressing your research trajectory, areas of scholarly and teaching interest, potential collaborations at UVa or beyond, and how your skills and experiences could advance the University’s ambition to cultivate the most vibrant community in higher education in order to prepare students to be leaders in a diverse and globally connected world;
A sample of your scholarly writing.
Please direct any questions about the position to: Farzaneh Milani firstname.lastname@example.org .
For question about the application process, contact Melanie Sponaugle, Academic Recruiter email@example.com .
6. UCLA, IRANIAN STUDIES OUTREACH, BILINGUAL LECTURE SERIES
Rethinking Gender, Ethnicity and Religion in Iran
Monday, December 4, 2023 at 2:00pm Pacific Time via Zoom
For more info, and to register (required):
7. Call for Papers: Forgotten Voices from Mongol Eurasia
International Conference, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, June 25-26, 2024
Conveners: Michal Biran, Jong-kuk Nam, Dongkyung Shin
Deadline: December 1, 2023
At its height the Mongol Empire (1206-1368) ruled over two-thirds of Eurasia. Connecting
east, west, north, and south, the Mongols integrated most of the Old World. Mobilizing
people, ideas and artifacts in an unprecedented scale, the Empire promoted cross-cultural
contacts, triggered the reshuffle of religious, ethnic, and geopolitical identities, and opened a
new chapter in world history.
While the study of the Mongol Empire has made tremendous strides in the last decades,
enabling us to portray the contours of the Empire’s political history and the Chinggisid
exchange, there are still many voices that are yet to be heard. These are mainly the voices of
the common people (nomads, farmers, sailors, slaves, women, artisans..), lesser elites, or
people living at the empire’s peripheries. New sources (e.g. inscriptions, manuscripts),
innovative techniques (e.g. micro-archaeology, aDNA) as well as a fresh look on our sources
or new combinations of them, can now allow us to broaden and deepen our understanding of
the Mongols and the life under their rule.
Our conference aims to shed light on people, ideas and artifacts that have so far received less
attention from historians or have been barely discovered, and yet can illuminate the economic
and cultural exchange that took place under Mongol rule or the daily life of the Mongols and
their various subjects. By “Voices” we mean not only people (including diasporas, border
communities, commercial or intellectual networks of various scales), but also cultural
commodities (texts, images, paintings), as well as specific artifacts or trade goods (including
plants, animals, slaves). We hope that such heretofore forgotten voices will enable us to get a
“thicker description” of life under Mongol rule.
We especially welcome papers dealing with (but not limited to):
Cultural biographies of objects or sites
Slaves and slave trade
Daily life in the Mongol Empire- archaeological, visual or literary perspectives
Migrant and border communities
We plan to publish a selected number of the papers in an edited volume.
The conference will be held on June 25-26, 2024 in the Department of History at Ewha
Womans University, Seoul and hosted by the Ewha Frontier 10-10 Project “Research in
Global History for Peaceful Coexistence.” The hosts will provide three-nights’
accommodation (June 24-26) near Ewha Womans University, one of the most beautiful
campuses in South Korea located in central Seoul. We also hope to be able to offer partial or
full refund of airfare travel (economy ticket) to some of the presenters. if you wish to be
considered for funding, please state so when submitting the abstract.
We welcome proposals of panels and/or individual papers. Please send abstracts (up to 250
words) together with a short (maximum 1 page) CV for individual papers in one file. Panel
proposals should also include an abstract of the panel’s theme (up to 250 words) as well as
abstracts of each paper, and CVs of the organizer/s and each panelist, all in one file.
Abstracts and CVs should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org by December 10, 2023.
For question please contact email@example.com or Michal Biran at
Presenters will be notified of acceptance no later than February 1, 2024.
8. Upcoming online short course on Warfare in Muslim Material Cultures: From Egypt to Bilad al-Sham
Course name: Warfare in Muslim Material Cultures: From Egypt to Bilad al-Sham
04 December| 13:30 – 16:00 (London time)
11 December | 13:30 – 16:00 (London time)
Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations
The Aga Khan University (International) in the United Kingdom
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- November 07, 2023
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