“Modern Arabic Historical Scholarship on the Ancient and Medieval Periods”

Carolin Retzlaff's picture
November 21, 2017 to November 23, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Arabic History / Studies, Assyriology, Classical Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies

The development of the historical profession in the Arab World since 1945 has received scant attention from Western scholars of the region. This is particularly the case regarding modern Arabic studies on Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Even in the field of medieval Islamic history, there is generally little awareness on the part of scholars based in the West, about the research and publications of their colleagues in the Arabic-speaking countries. As a consequence, Arabic secondary sources are rarely utilized and reviewed by Western historians of the medieval Islamic period.

Our conference aims to address this serious bibliographical gap. We will bring together an international group of specialists in a variety of pre-modern historical disciplines ranging from Assyriology to Mamluk Studies who will discuss contemporary Arabic-language scholarship in their respective fields. Some presentations will give an overview of a particular discipline across the entire Arabic-speaking World while others will focus on an historiographical “school” or a single major scholar as a case study. The conference will be a stepping-stone in the production of a multi-author handbook which will consist of studies and bibliographies of Arabic scholarship on Ancient and Medieval history.

Preliminary Program

Day 1, Tuesday, November 21

9:15 Welcoming Addresses by Prof. Michael Jäckel (President of Trier University), Prof. Lutz Raphael (Trier University), and Dr. Amar Baadj (Trier and Bonn Universities)

Panel 1 “The Ancient World” Chair: Prof. Fayza Haikal (American University in Cairo), Discussant: Prof. Christoph Schäfer (Trier University)

10:00-11:00 “Assyriology in Iraq” Prof. Laith Hussein (Baghdad and Jena Universities, in German)

11:15-12:15 “When Egyptology Speaks Arabic: History of Egyptian Egyptology” Dr. Amr Omar (Cairo University, in English)

12:15-13:15 “Historiography of pre-Islamic Arabia: Modern Arab Scholars and their Contributions to the Writing of the History of Ancient Yemen” Dr. Mohamed Maraqten (Heidelberg University, in English)

14:45-15:45 “Classical Studies in the Arab World” Dr. Usama Gad (‘Ain Shams University, Cairo, in English)

15:45-16:00 Final Discussion for Panel 1

Panel 2 “Late Antique and Early Islamic History” Chair: Prof. Mohamed Gad (King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia, to be confirmed), Discussant: Prof. Albrecht Fuess (Marburg University)

16:15-17:15 “The Study of Byzantine History in Egypt” Prof. Abdelaziz Ramadan (‘Ain Shams University, Cairo, in English)

17:15-18:15 “The Approach of Hichem Djait and the Tunisian School to the study of early Islamic History” Prof. Khaled Kchir (University of Tunis, in French)

Day 2, Wednesday, November 22

9:00-10:00 “Umayyad Studies in the Arab World” Prof. Abdulhadi Alajmi (Kuwait University, English)

10:00-10:15 Final Discussion for Panel 2

Panel 3 “The Maghrib and Al-Andalus”

Chair: to be announced, Discussant: Prof. Maribel Fierro (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid)

10:30-11:30 “Ifrīqīya from 600 to 1500 in Modern Arabic Historical Scholarship” Prof. Mounira Chapoutot-Remadi (University of Tunis, in French)

11:30-12:30 “The Social and Economic History of the Medieval Maghrib in Modern Arabic Scholarship“ Prof. Azeddine Guessous (Chouaib Doukkali University, El Jadida, Morocco, in Arabic)

14:00-15:00 “Modern Arabic Scholarship on Relations between the Maghrib and Mashriq in the Middle Ages” Prof. Lotfi Ben Miled (Kairouan University, in French)

Day 3 Thursday, November 23

9:00-10:00 “Egyptian Scholars and their studies on al-Andalus: a study mainly based on their production kept in Madrid (Spain)” Dr. Soha Abboud-Hagar (Complutense University, Madrid, in English)

10:00-10:15 Final Discussion for Panel 3

Panel 4 “The Crusades and the Mamluk Period” Chair: to be announced, Discussant: Prof. Stephan Conermann (Bonn University)

10:30 “Mamluk Studies in the Arab World” Prof. Emad Abou-Ghazi (Cairo University, in Arabic)

11:30-12:30 “Modern Egyptian Arabic Scholarship on Mamluk Arts and Architecture (1250-1517)” Dr. Hani Hamza (Independent Scholar, Cairo, in English)

14:00-15:00 “Medieval Western Europe in Modern Arabic Historical Scholarship” Prof. Al-Amin Abouseada (King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia, in English, to be confirmed)

15:00-15:15 Final Discussion for Panel 4


The conference takes place in Trier, Germany, at the Hotel Deutscher Hof. All those interested are welcome, please register by sending an email to fze@uni-trier.de.

Contact Info: 

Dr. Amar S. Baadj, DFG-Leibniz Research Group "The Contemporary History of Historiography" (Director: Prof. Dr. Lutz Raphael, Trier University)

Dr. Carolin Retzlaff, DFG-Leibniz Research Group "The Contemporary History of Historiography"/Research Center Europe (FZE)/Trier University
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