Mamluk Studies Resources

The Middle East Documentation Center at The University of Chicago

Fourth Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies
American University of Beirut
May 11-13, 2017

The Fourth Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies will be conducted in two parts and will be preceded by a three-day intensive course on Mamluk architecture from May 8-10, 2017.


Registration is now open! Please visit


The first day of the conference, May 11, will be themed. In consideration of the quincentennial of the fall of the Mamluk sultanate of Cairo in 1517, the theme of this part of the conference will be “Time.”

The following two days, May 12-13, will be structured in panels that focus on many aspects of the intellectual, political, social, economic, and artistic life of the Mamluk period.


A preliminary schedule follows. If you wish to be notified of updates to the schedule, please complete the form on this page. A circular with informationa about the conference, accommodations in Beirut, transportation, and other practical aspects of your visit is available HERE.

Preliminary Schedule


Panel: New Perspectives on Late Medieval Arabic Historiography: History, Order, and Truth in/of the Cairo Sultanate.
Chair: Konrad Hirschler (Freie Universität Berlin).

Panel: Declining or Rejuvenate? Some Glimpses of Reassessment on Late Mamluk Metalwork.
Chair: Carine Juvin (Louvre Museum).


Documents and Archives in the Mamlūk Period.
Chair: Konrad Hirschler.

Negotiating and Performing Communal Identities: New Texts on Christian and Muslim Clerical Élites and in Relation to the Mamluk State.
Chair: Jo Van Steenbergen (Ghent University).

The Uncovering of Mamluk Beirut.
Chair: May Farhat

Women in Mamluk and Early Ottoman Documentary Sources.
Chair: Daisuke Igarashi


Ibn Taymiyya’s Impact on Mamlūk Religion and Society.
Chair: Caterina Bori

Aṣ-Ṣafadī as Critic and Commentator.
Chair: Matthew Keegan

The Oral and the Written: Cultures of Transmission across the ʿulūm.
Chair: Anthony T. Quickel

Medicine in Mamluk Times: From Professionals to Daily Life
Chair: Thomas Thiemann



The official language of the conference will be English.



The conference registration fee will be $50 for participants and attendees.
A farewell dinner will take place on the last day (May 13) at a cost to be determined. Payment for the dinner will be separate from registration.
Payment of the fees (registration and farewell dinner) must be received by April 30, 2017 (information on the method of payment to be used will be provided in the first circular, which will be sent soon).
Participants must make their own travel arrangements; information and suggestions for accommodations will be provided in the first circular.



a) Themed day: the papers will be published in a volume of proceedings.
b) Panels: selected papers will be published in Mamlūk Studies Review.


Intensive course: Mamluk Architecture

A three-day intensive course in Mamluk architecture intended for advanced graduate students and other qualified participants will be offered by Professor Howayda al-Harithy (American University of Beirut) and will be held immediately before the conference at the American University of Beirut (May 8-10, 2017). The course will be demanding and hands-on in its format, but no previous training is required. The course will cover topics such as building typology, stylistic evolution, patronage of architecture, construction techniques, and decorative styles.
Since the number of participants will be limited (a maximum of 10), those who desire to take part in the course are requested to submit a CV, a statement of purpose, and a letter of recommendation by someone familiar with your work to the following email address: by the end of January, 2017. Those who are selected for the course will be notified by the end of February, 2017, at which time information about the method of payment for the course fees will be provided.
The course fee is $300.00, which also includes the registration fee for the subsequent conference (May 11-13). The fees must be paid by April 30, 2017. Registration and participation will not be confirmed until payment is received. Participants must make their own travel arrangements. The local organizer will provide suggestions for lodging at an affordable price.


We look forward to meeting you in Beirut.


John Meloy, American University of Beirut (local organizer)

Frédéric Bauden, Université de Liège
Antonella Ghersetti, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice
Marlis Saleh, University of Chicago

To view the schedules of previous conferences, see Past SMS Conferences.

© Middle East Documentation Center. The SMS logo is based on the lion emblem used by Sultan Baybars.