Arabic Pasts: Histories and Historiographies

A workshop titled ‘Arabic Pasts: Histories and Historiographies‘, hosted by the Aga Khan University and SOAS, will take place in London on 6 October 2017. The Call for Papers was open until 15 May 2017. The Programme is now available.

The Call for Papers:

The Arabic Pasts: Histories and Historiographies Research workshop. co-hosted by the Aga Khan University, Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations and SOAS, University of London, will be held on 6 October 2017 in London.

This year’s exploratory and informal workshop will 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?

Contributions are invited that will consider the practical and conceptual challenges of working on history writing in the region, as well as offering examples of themes, methods, and case studies of recent research that might elucidate these questions. Contributions are invited from scholars at all career levels, addressing any period and any part of the Middle East and North Africa, broadly defined.

Arabic Pasts is co-organized by Hugh Kennedy (SOAS), James McDougall (Oxford), and Sarah Bowen Savant (AKU-ISMC).

Please send by 15 May an abstract of 300 words or less to There is a small budget to provide some travel assistance for scholars outside of London.

Source: Linda Jones