Monday, September 13, 2021

New OA book: A Handbook and Reader of Ottoman Arabic

"Written forms of Arabic composed during the era of the Ottoman Empire present an immensely fruitful linguistic topic. Extant texts display a proximity to the vernacular that cannot be encountered in any other surviving historical Arabic material, and thus provide unprecedented access to Arabic language history.

This rich material remains very little explored. Traditionally, scholarship on Arabic has focussed overwhelmingly on the literature of the various Golden Ages between the 8th and 13th centuries, whereas texts from the 15th century onwards have often been viewed as corrupted and not worthy of study. The lack of interest in Ottoman Arabic culture and literacy left these sources almost completely neglected in university courses.

This volume is the first linguistic work to focus exclusively on varieties of Christian, Jewish and Muslim Arabic in the Ottoman Empire of the 15th to the 20th centuries, and present Ottoman Arabic material in a didactic and easily accessible way. Split into a Handbook and a Reader section, the book provides a historical introduction to Ottoman literacy, translation studies, vernacularisation processes, language policy and linguistic pluralism. The second part contains excerpts from more than forty sources, edited and translated by a diverse network of scholars.

The material presented includes a large number of yet unedited texts, such as Christian Arabic letters from the Prize Paper collections, mercantile correspondence and notebooks found in the Library of Gotha, and Garshuni texts from archives of Syriac patriarchs."

A Handbook and Reader of Ottoman Arabic
Esther-Miriam Wagner (ed.) | September 2021
488pp. | 4 B&W or colour illustration | 6.14" x 9.21" (234 x 156 mm)
Semitic Languages and Cultures | ISSN: 2632-6906 (Print); 2632-6914 (Online)ISBN Paperback: 9781783749416
ISBN Hardback: 9781783749423
ISBN Digital (PDF): 9781783749430

DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0208
Subject Codes: BIC: CFF (Historical and comparative linguistics), CFP (Translation and interpretation); BISAC: REL006020 (RELIGION / Biblical Biography / General), LAN009010 (LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Historical & Comparative)


Abbasid History Podcast

With 32 episodes made so far, the Abbasid History podcast is a great way to learn more about this specific period in history. The makers of the podcast formulate their intentions as follows: "An audio platform for the study of the pre-modern Islamic(ate) past and beyond. We interview academics, archivists and artists on their work for peers and junior students in the field. We aim to educate, inspire, perhaps infuriate, and on the way entertain a little too. Suitable also for general listeners with an interest in geographically diverse medieval history." 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Alpheios Tool explained for Arabists

Around ten years ago, our Peter posted the Alpheios Project here for the first time:

In the meantime, there are tools for morphological analyses of Arabic texts (classical and modern). You can implement these tools into your browser and learn from them. My friend Hakan Özkan in his insightful video-tutorial explains us how to make use of it.

The Alpheios Reading Tool ... enables you to get definitions (in a pop-up window) of Arabic words with one click directly into your web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari).  One major dictionary the tool uses is E.W. Lane's Arabic-English lexicon, which makes this tool especially useful for premodern texts. Alpheios also runs a morphological analysis of the selected Arabic word and thus makes it easier for you to see the underlying root or basic form. Watch the video for details.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Open Acces Book: The Good Christian Ruler in the First Millennium

The Good Christian Ruler in the First Millennium

Views from the Wider Mediterranean World in Conversation

Edited by: Philip Michael Forness, Alexandra Hasse-Ungeheuer and Hartmut Leppin

Volume 92 in the series Millennium-Studien / Millennium Studies

ISBN: 9783110725612

ISBN: 9783110724691

"The late antique and early medieval Mediterranean was characterized by wide-ranging cultural and linguistic diversity. Yet, under the influence of Christianity, communities in the Mediterranean world were bound together by common concepts of good rulership, which were also shaped by Greco-Roman, Persian, Caucasian, and other traditions. This collection of essays examines ideas of good Christian rulership and the debates surrounding them in diverse cultures and linguistic communities. It grants special attention to communities on the periphery, such as the Caucasus and Nubia, and some essays examine non-Christian concepts of good rulership to offer a comparative perspective. As a whole, the studies in this volume reveal not only the entanglement and affinity of communities around the Mediterranean but also areas of conflict among Christians and between Christians and other cultural traditions. By gathering various specialized studies on the overarching question of good rulership, this volume highlights the possibilities of placing research on classical antiquity and early medieval Europe into conversation with the study of eastern Christianity."

This book includes articles on the early Medieval Islamic world as well.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Open Access Manuscripts Collection: AMBULO - Arabic Manuscripts in the Bologna University Library Online


AMBULO - Arabic Manuscripts in the Bologna University Library Online
Project of the King 'Abdulaziz Chair for Islamic Studies - University of Bologna (Italy)

"The Bologna University Library hosts 450 Arabic manuscripts *, now digitalized, belonging to the collection of Luigi Ferdinando Marsili (1658-1730). The codices are in Arabic, rarely including Turkish texts, and date between the 13th and the second half of 17th century (a.D.). Their focuses are: astronomy, religion, law, grammar, lexicography, metrics, geography, medicine, biographical dictionaries and Korans, while numerous works are miscellaneous. The manuscripts were collected during Marsili’s travels in Turkey, between 1679 and 1692, and during the First Siege of Buda in 1684."

* - Although the site claims 450 digitalized manuscripts only 29 are available. The remaining manuscripts will be added to the site next year. 

See: Alphabetical list of Open Access Islamic Manuscripts Collections 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

OA Book: Imaging and Imagining Palestine: Photography, Modernity and the Biblical Lens, 1918–1948

Imaging and Imagining Palestine

Photography, Modernity and the Biblical Lens, 1918–1948

Series: Open Jerusalem, Volume: 3
Editors: Karène Sanchez Summerer and Sary Zananiri

Imaging and Imagining Palestine is the first comprehensive study of photography during the British Mandate period (1918–1948). It addresses well-known archives, photos from private collections never available before and archives that have until recently remained closed. This interdisciplinary volume argues that photography is central to a different understanding of the social and political complexities of Palestine in this period.

While Biblical and Orientalist images abound, the chapters in this book go further by questioning the impact of photography on the social histories of British Mandate Palestine. This book considers the specific archives, the work of individual photographers, methods for reading historical photography from the present and how we might begin the process of decolonising photography.

"Imaging and Imagining Palestine presents a timely and much-needed critical evaluation of the role of photography in Palestine. Drawing together leading interdisciplinary specialists and engaging a range of innovative methodologies, the volume makes clear the ways in which photography reflects the shifting political, cultural and economic landscape of the British Mandate period, and experiences of modernity in Palestine. Actively problematising conventional understandings of production, circulation and the in/stability of the photographic document, Imaging and Imagining Palestineprovides essential reading for decolonial studies of photography and visual culture studies of Palestine." - Chrisoula Lionis, author of Laughter in Occupied Palestine: Comedy and Identity in Art and Film

"Imaging and Imagining Palestine is the first and much needed overview of photography during the British Mandate period. From well-known and accessible photographic archives to private family albums, it deals with the cultural and political relations of the period thinking about both the Western perceptions of Palestine as well as its modern social life. This book brings together an impressive array of material and analyses to form an interdisciplinary perspective that considers just how photography shapes our understanding of the past as well as the ways in which the past might be reclaimed." - Jack Persekian, Founding Director of Al Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem

"Imaging and Imagining Palestine draws together a plethora of fresh approaches to the field of photography in Palestine. It considers Palestine as a central node in global photographic production and the ways in which photography shaped the modern imaging and imagining from within a fresh regional theoretical perspective." - Salwa Mikdadi, Director al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art, New York University Abu Dhabi 

Copyright Year: 2021

E-Book (PDF)

Availability: Published ISBN: 978-90-04-43794-4Publication Date: 05 Jul 2021

Imaging and Imagining Palestine: 

Friday, July 2, 2021

OAJournal: Medieval Worlds

Medieval Worlds

ISSN: 2412-3196

"Medieval worlds provides a forum for comparative, interdisciplinary and transcultural studies of the Middle Ages. Its aim is to overcome disciplinary boundaries, regional limits and national research traditions in Medieval Studies, to open up new spaces for discussion, and to help developing global perspectives.  We focus on the period from c. 400 to 1500 CE but do not stick to rigid periodization. medieval worlds is open to submissions of broadly comparative studies and matters of global interest, whether in single articles, companion papers, smaller clusters, or special issues on a subject of global/comparative history. We particularly invite studies of wide-ranging connectivity or comparison between different world regions. Apart from research articles, medieval worlds publishes ongoing debates and project and conference reports on comparative medieval research.

Building upon studies of transcultural relations and processes of cultural hybridization between cultures, both of which have seen dynamic developments in recent years, the main approach chosen by medieval worlds is comparative. Taking such a comparative approach will not only allow researchers to highlight the global interaction within, or hybrid nature of particular cultural spheres, but also shed new light on more specific fields of interest. Moreover, medieval worlds will encourage a critical debate between the disciplines concerning approaches and methods, and thus will help to enrich the methodological frameworks of comparative history."

medieval worlds is indexed by Crossref, DOAJ, ERIH-PLUS and EZB.