Join us for an exploratory and informal workshop to reflect on methodologies, research agendas, and case studies for investigating history writing in Arabic in the Middle East and North Africa in any period from the seventh century to the present. As in previous years, the emphasis will be on informal discussion and exchange of ideas.
Through what practices of writing or otherwise encoding the past and of remembering and forgetting, have different groups in the Middle East and North Africa viewed their pasts? At different times and places, how have the significant contours, events and actors in their histories been seen? Was the significant past the same for court historians as for literary historians; for bureaucrats as for the military; for Sufis as for Muslim lawyers and Traditionists? How did non-Muslims and Muslims, men and women, adherents of different sectarian or juristic traditions, or speakers of different languages within societies that became “Islamic” imagine the shape and meaning of their specific societies’ own pasts, and their relation to the universal history of the Islamic community? More recently, how have urban and rural people, workers and peasants, the religiously educated and the technocratic elite, developed different ways of writing, remembering, or commemorating particular events in, or the broad sweep of, local, national, or “Islamic” history?
Arabic Pasts is co-organised by Hugh Kennedy (SOAS), James McDougall (Oxford), and Sarah Bowen Savant (AKU-ISMC).
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View the schedule.
Read the abstracts.