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Michaelmas Term 2017

Middle eastern Studies Seminar Series

Michaelmas Term, 2017

Unless otherwise arranged and noted below, all seminars take place on Thursdays at 5:15pm in Rooms 8 & 9 in the Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. Admission is free and all are welcome.

[ Series poster ]

  • Thursday, 19th October, 2017
    Teaching Persian in Colonial Calcutta
    Dr Arthur Dudney, University of Cambridge

    From the 1780s, the East India Company took an active interest in teaching Persian to its employees. Persian was the language of most record-keeping, formal correspondence, and courts of law in northern India at the time, and it was a crucial skill for young officers to master. At first, Indians and Europeans used the same curriculum anchored in the same manuscript tradition, but eventually some enterprising Europeans found that they could make money by printing editions of Persian pedagogical texts, often under Company patronage. These were distinguished from the manuscripts by their higher price but also by having been "corrected" by European intervention (sometimes with additional commentaries or translations provided). This talk uses a list of book prices from 1816 found in a manuscript in the British Library to show how printed and manuscript pedagogical materials co-existed in colonial Calcutta.

    Arthur Dudney is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Cambridge University, from August 2015 until August 2018. His three-year research project aims to write a history of Persian literary education, focussing on places like India where Persian was culturally important but not the local language of everyday life. Before joining Cambridge, he was a TORCH Early Career Fellow (Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford), pursuing new research on the history of philology in South Asia.

  • Thursday, 16th November, 2017
    Doing emotions in Medieval Arabic
    Prof. Julia Bray, University of Oxford

    The history of emotions is an established and growing field in European studies. Why would it be good to establish it in medieval Arabic? What problems and approaches have been identified so far?

    Julia Bray did her BA and DPhil in Arabic at Oxford and went on to teach at the universities of Manchester, Edinburgh, St Andrews and Paris—8 Saint-Denis before returning to Oxford in 2012 as the first woman to hold the Laudian Chair of Arabic (established four years after the Sir Thomas Adams chair in Cambridge). Her interest in the history of emotions was triggered by a series of lectures given by Barbara Rosenwein, which gave rise to a couple of exploratory articles in IJMES (2016) and the Journal of Abbasid Studies (2017), and in summer 2017 she took part in two conference panels on the emotions in medieval Arabic, at Umea in Sweden (the International Society for Cultural History) and Ghent in Belgium (Society for the Medieval Mediterranean). With a group of panel members she plans to continue working on a broad front on developing the field within Arabic studies and making it known to outside audiences.

  • Thursday, 23rd November, 2017
    Monuments, memory and misinterpretation: the temple of Zeus, or throne of Bilqis, in Athens
    Dr Elizabeth Key Fowden, University of Cambridge

  • Thursday, 30th November, 2017
    Arabian Tribalisms in Late Antiquity: Re-evaluating the Poetic Evidence
    Dr Nathaniel Miller, University of Cambridge

For further information, contact:

Dr Charis Olszok
Lecturer in Modern Arabic Literature and Culture
Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies
University of Cambridge

Telephone: +44(0)1223 765038