Conference: "Early Islamic Balkh: History, Landscape and Material Culture"

Arezou Azad's picture

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the conference on: "Early Islamic Balkh: History, Landscape and Material Culture," to be held on Friday, the 16th of January and Saturday, the 17th of January 2015 at Wolfson College in Oxford. To register in advance, kindly write to

Many thanks and we look forward to seeing you there.

With best wishes,
Arezou Azad




16TH-17TH JANUARY 2015,



Friday, 16th January 2015

14:00-14:15 Welcome and introduction

14:15 I. Reconstructing the city

Discussant: Jeremy Johns, Director, Khalili Research Centre, Oxford

Edmund Herzig – “Balkh and the ‘Islamic City’ Debate”

Rachel Mairs – “Alfred Foucher and DAFA Excavations at Balkh (1924-25)”

Stefan Heidemann – “Coin Finds in Relation to Local and Economic History,

and Spatial Organization”

16:00 Tea

16.30 II. Balkh in a regional context

Discussant: Tim Williams, Director, Ancient Merv Project, University College London

Philippe Marquis – “The City of Balkh in the Context of the Oasis”

Paul Wordsworth – “Balkh as a Central Asian ‘Oasis City’

18:00 Drinks reception, Wolfson College

19.30 Conference Dinner for speakers and discussants


Saturday, 17th January 2015

9:15 III. The changing city from religious perspectives

Discussant: Etienne de la Vaissière, Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris

Arezou Azad – “Where the Good Men Go to Die: Saints and the City”

Charles Ramble – “Tibetan Mythical Cities and Central Asia”

[3rd Speaker - T.B.C.]

11:00 Coffee

11:30 IV. Narrating Balkh

Discussant: Sarah Savant, Aga Khan University, London

Robert Hoyland – “Balkh in the Umayyad Period”

Hugh Kennedy – “Balkh as a Capital of the Ghaznevids”

Robert McChesney - "Some Reflections on Textual Narratives of Post-

Mongol Balkh"

13:15 Lunch

14:15 IV. Narrating Balkh (cont.)

Discussant: Dominic Brookshaw, Oriental Institute, University of Oxford

Domenico Ingenito – “Mahmud’s New Garden in Balkh: a Literary Approach

to Ephemeral Architecture”

Ali Mir-Ansari – “Memoir Writing (tadhkira-nawīsī) in Greater Khurāsān

during the 6th/12th Century”

Tasha Vorderstrasse – “Chinese Sources on Balkh”

16:00 – 16:30 General Discussion and Concluding Remarks

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