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July 2021

An Introduction to Arabic Manuscripts

July 13, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

This week-long workshop features leading authorities on the study of Arabic manuscripts. The workshop will equip emerging scholars with the basic tools to conduct research with original handwritten texts in Arabic script. Over the course of five days, participants will learn the basics of codicology, palaeography, and manuscript production and circulation, in the context of an expansive vision of current debates in Arabic manuscript research. Topics include: anatomy of the codex canonical and informal scripts colophons, audition notes, owners' notes,…

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January 2020

The Arabicization of Christian Egypt: Reframing the Debate

January 22, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
365 Kaplan Hall,

The linguistic evolution of Egypt has been studied at some length, and with the invaluable evidence offered by the papyrological sources it has been possible to make very fine and detailed observations on the chronology and distribution of linguistic change. The different linguistic balance established by the Egyptian language with the two imperial languages that entered the country by conquest and served for centuries as languages of power is very striking: while Egyptian was used alongside Greek for a millennium…

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November 2019

The Uyghur Crisis in China: Adversity, Advocacy, Activism

November 16, 2019
Royce Hall 306, UCLA Campus,

A panel of experts will discuss the ongoing human rights crisis in Xinjiang and the challenges faced by the Uyghur people through the lenses of history, international relations, and social justice advocacy. Jessica Batke is a Senior Editor for ChinaFile. She is an expert on China’s domestic political and social affairs, and served as the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research Analyst for nearly eight years prior to joining ChinaFile. In 2016, she was a Visiting Academic Fellow at…

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May 2019

Book Talk by Nile Green: The Persianate World

May 22, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Copies of the book will be available for sale from the ASUCLA Bookstore at this event. To RSVP, please click here.

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An Introduction to Islamic Manuscript Culture

May 20, 2019 @ 11:00 am - May 22, 2019 @ 5:00 pm

This free workshop will provide a hands-on introduction to Islamic manuscripts and manuscript culture, using the extensive holdings of the Special Collections at UCLA's Charles E. Young Research Library. It is intended for advanced students and scholars with backgrounds in Islamic studies and/or manuscript studies. Sessions will be devoted to such topics as parchment and paper, bindings and structures, quires and codices, scripts and hands (paleography), and historical and paratextual elements. Participants will learn to produce accurate basic descriptions of…

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Multilingualism in Early Islamic Egypt: The View from Papyri

May 16, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

After Arab armies conquered Egypt in the mid-seventh century, the country's linguistic landscape changed only gradually. Greek, preeminent for centuries as a language of high culture and governance, faded as Arabic advanced to fill these niches. Coptic, which until then had functioned largely as a vernacular, became in its turn a language of culture and administration. This talk traces the three languages’ variable coexistence in a time of political and social change through the papyri and literary sources. Sponsored By:…

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Using Documents in the Study of Early Islam: A Brief Introduction

May 14, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Come hear papyrologist Dr. Naïm Vanthieghem discuss the use of documents, particularly papyri, in the field of Islamic Studies. This informal talk is designed with graduate students in mind and will include ample time for discussion, Q & A, and even trying your hand at deciphering documentary sources. Dr Vantheighem brings experience working directly on papyrus fragments of the Quran, the earliest calendars used by Muslims, and notebooks compiled by students of the early hadith transmitters. Dr. Naïm Vanthieghem is…

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January 2019

John of Litharb (d. 738 CE), On the Soul: A Previously Unknown Syriac Treatise and the New Light it sheds on Islamic Kalām, on Byzantine Theology, and on Syriac Psychology

January 28, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

John of Litharb is a fairly well-known Syriac author from the turn of the seventh-and-eighth centuries, who participated in a robust circle of intellectual Christian theologians, historians and philosophers. Although he is known to have authored several important works, due to the accidents of manuscript transmission, only one very short letter of his was thought to have survived to this day. I have recently discovered a significant work of his On the Soul, completely overlooked in previous scholarship. I seek…

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November 2018

New Documentary Evidence for the Trade in Papers

November 13, 2018 @ 2:00 pm

Watermarked papers, which served as media for Islamic manuscripts (codices and documents), were imported from Europe at least since the 13th century. The study of trade in papers brings us, therefore, to Global history. This presentation will focus on recently published research on late production papers which were dispatched to the Yemeni and Ethiopian market at the end of 19th and the beginning of the 20th century through the networks of Bohra merchants, whose Companies were mainly based in Bombay…

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October 2018

Imagined Wahhabis: Disentangling British and Indian Representations of Wahhabism in Colonial India

October 23, 2018 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Throughout the nineteenth century, the British in India feared a vast conspiracy of "Wahhabi" Muslim fanatics that threatened their imperial interests. While the British discourse on so-called Indian Wahhabis has received significant attention from academics, the same is not true of an Indian Muslim discourse on Wahhabis. A closer analysis of the latter not only helps explain why the British used the specific term "Wahhabi" to refer to potential rebels, but also reveals that Indian Muslim concerns about Wahhabis were tied…

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