The Mellon Islamic Studies Initiative
Friday, November 9
Swift Common Room
8:30 am — 5 pm
Public Lecture by Prof. Neuwirth:
"The Qur'an and the discovery of writing - an epistemic turn in Late Antiquity"
Friday, October 12, 4:30 p.m. in Swift Hall Common Room (1st floor).
Academic year 2011-2012 saw the following visitors:
• Professor Maribel Fierro, served as a Visiting Scholar in Islamic Studies in the Divinity School in the Fall Quarter 2011. Dr. Fierro is the Head of the Institute of Arabic Studies at the National Research Council of Spain, and a leading scholar on the history of Islamic Spain, as well as the interaction of violence and religion in the Islamic world. She taught a class titled "Religious Deviation in Premodern Islamic Societies."
• Professor Abdulkarim Soroush joined the Divinity School in the Winter Quarter 2012. Dr. Soroush is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Epistemological Research in Tehran and a Research Associate of the London School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). He is an internationally renowned Islamic philosopher, an author on Islam, history and human rights, as well as a noted scholar and reciter of the poetry of Rumi. He taught a class on the Religious and Intellectual History of Modern Iran.
• Professor Serpil Bagci joined the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations in Spring Quarter 2012. Dr. Bagci is the Chair of the Department of Art History at Hacettepe University in Ankara, and the foremost historian of the visual arts of the book in the Ottoman Period (ca. 1300-1924) active today. She taught a course on Ottoman Painting.
Friday, May 18: Workshop
Location: Cochrane-Woods Art Center, Room 157
RE-IMAGINING ALEXANDER IN THE “EAST”
Identified with the mysterious and eschatological Two-Horned Dhu'l-Qarnayn of the Qur'an, Alexander of Macedon commands an imposing presence in Islamic culture as a powerful, just, wealthy and wise universal sovereign. His legendary personality, and its attributes, constituted an attractive model for competing rulers who sought to appropriate his qualities, especially after the non-Muslim Mongols conquered much of the Islamic world in the thirteenth century. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as a model of not only world-encompassing but also sacral kingship, the Alexandrine empire received new attention that emphasized its eschatological and prophetic dimensions. This workshop will examine the image of Alexander, or Iskandar-i Dhu’l-Qarnayn, from historical and art historical perspectives in order to understand the attributes of his personality within the visual and political cultures of the pre-modern Islamic world.
Serpil Bagci, Hacettepe University
Evrim Binbas, Royal Holloway, University of London
Cornell Fleischer, University of Chicago
Massumeh Farhad, Freer/Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution
Cemal Kafadar, Harvard University
John Woods, University of Chicago
"Safavid and European Inspirations in the Ottoman Art of the Book: Ahmed I Album"
Dr. Serpil Bagci
Chair of the Dept. of Art History, Hacettepe University,
and Visiting Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Commons Room, Swift Hall
Friday, March 2
Divinity School Lecture Hall (3rd Floor)
Hossein Kamaly, Barnard College
Mirjam Künkler, Princeton University
Arash Naraghi, Moravian College
Ahmad Sadri, Lake Forest College
Abdulkarim Soroush, University of Chicago
Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, University of Toronto
On November 18,2011, the initiative sponsored the following workshop:
Friday, 18 November 2011
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Lecture Hall, Swift Hall
In his work Islam: The view from the edge, Richard Bulliet reminded us that the story of religious evolution at the edges of Islam is very much the tale of when, how, and why the 'ulama, came into existence. It is also the story of the ways in which the 'ulama managed to draw Islam together while responding to local conditions. But where Bulliet's work focused on the Eastern edge of Islam (in what we would now call Iran), this workshop takes us to another edge - the Islamic West. More specifically, it focuses on the experience of religious scholars in North Africa (excluding Egypt) and al-Andalus (Muslim Spain).
This workshop will explore how scholars came into existence in the Medieval Islamic West, using both studies of specific individuals and works of a more general perspective. The exploration is not limited to Muslim scholars, but also examines scholarship among the ahl al-dhimma.
Ali Humayun Akhtar, Bard College
Maribel Fierro, Visiting Professor, Divinity School; Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean and the Middle East in the Center for Humanities and Social Sciences (CCHS) at the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas – CSIC)
Noah Gardiner, University of Michigan
James T. Monroe, University of California, Berkeley
David S. Powers, Cornell University
Paul Walker, University of Chicago
David J. Wasserstein, Vanderbilt University
Richard C. Taylor, Marquette University & Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Ahmed El Shamsy, University of Chicago
Consuelo Lopez Morillas, Indiana University
Tahera Qutbuddin, University of Chicago
D. Fairchild Ruggles, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
For more information on the initiative, please contact Harry Bastermajian at email@example.com.