The Islamic Manuscript Association Lecture Series
In 2012 the Islamic Manuscript Association launched an occasional lecture series on the study of Islamic manuscripts. The lecture series encompasses general introductions to various aspects of this vast field, as well as specialist discussions of interest to manuscript professionals and scholars. Two or three lectures will take place each calendar year both in the UK and other countries, in collaboration with host institutions around the world.
The lecture series publicises members’ and other researchers’ work with Islamic manuscripts, bringing expert knowledge and insights to new audiences beyond the Association’s core membership. If your institution would like to collaborate with the Association to develop a particular lecture topic or to suggest a speaker, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Islamic Manuscript Association in collaboration with Pembroke College, Cambridge presents
Reading Books By Their Covers: What 10,000 Mauritanian Manuscripts Tell Us About 350 Years of an Islamic Culture
Date: Tuesday, 17 November, 5pm (Registration required)
Venue: Nihon Room, Pembroke College Cambridge, Trumpington St, Cambridge, UK
Light refreshments will be provided at the end of the lecture.
Places will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. The event is free of charge but registration is required.
In December Brill will publish the Arabic Literature of Africa Volume V. This compilation documents 350 years of literary activity by 1875 male and female authors in Mauritania, a Bedouin society which was well isolated from the mainstream, yet reflective of debates within the Islamic heartlands.
This fifth volume in the Arabic Literature of Africa series is, in effect, a narrative of the emergence of an Islamic literary culture. Through an analysis of over 100 private libraries and the contents of the 10,000 manuscripts themselves, the architecture of that literary culture emerges. The blueprint for its development is evident in locally written derivative works in the Islamic disciplines, as well as local commentaries on these works. The Mauritanian manuscript tradition also provides a backdrop for re-thinking the famed Timbuktu scholarship that periodically captures press attention.
Charles Stewart is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Visiting Scholar at Northwestern University's Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa. Professor Stewart has written widely on Islam in West Africa in the 18th through to the 20th centuries. He is the author of Islam and Social Order in Mauritania: A Case Study from the Nineteenth Century and the founder of the Arabic Manuscript Management System, a bilingual database of over 20,000 Arabic manuscripts from West Africa.