Mamluk Studies Resources

The Middle East Documentation Center at The University of Chicago

Fifth Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies, Ghent, July 5-7, 2018

Themed Day Paper Proposal

Use the form below to submit a paper proposal. The deadline for paper proposals is October 31, 2017.

The first day of the conference, July 5, will be themed. The theme of this part of the conference will be Historiography/Adab.

Almost fifty years ago the late German scholar and pioneer of Mamluk studies Ulrich Haarmann (1942-99) formulated his ‘Literarisierung’ thesis. Haarmann’s Quellenstudien zur frühen Mamlukenzeit (1969) arguably led the way in a very slowly but steadily swelling wave of scholarship that, in the recent decade in particular, has started to radically change understandings of the meanings and value of ‘medieval’ historiographical texts. In this process, not just more of these texts have come to light or have become available, but also their very nature as texts, as objects, as actors, and as acts are increasingly being appreciated. As such, over the years ‘Literarisierung’ as a characteristic of ‘medieval’ historiography and its transformation may have proven a debatable conceptualization; at the same time its incentive to think of that historiography as a partner in a wider socio-cultural praxis that highly valued literary communication has certainly struck root. In recent years not just Thomas Bauer’s formulation of the notion of the adab-ization of elite communication has added important insights in this respect, but so has Konrad Hirschler’s identification of a ‘popularization’ of textual practices. In view of these and many related inspiring new insights, we invite contributions to the themed day that engage in any way with the relationship between ‘Mamluk’ historiography and adab, that tackle the issue of historiography as adab, or that wish to highlight any aspect of historiography’s adab-ization or ‘popularization’. Without attempting to offer an exhaustive presentation of possible approaches to this theme, nor wishing to forestall any discussions of definition and genre, papers may deal with individual authors and their corpus; particular texts, narratives, and stories; styles, vocabularies, and discourses; reading practices, textual performances, and any other related phenomena of textual production, reproduction, and consumption.

A maximum of 12 to 15 paper proposals will be selected. Should a greater number of proposals be received, the authors of those which are not selected for the conference may be offered the possibility to publish their contribution in the proceedings. Time allotted to each paper will be twenty minutes, plus ten minutes for discussion.

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