Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture | Book presentation

Intellectual Networks in Timurid Iran

  • İlker Evrim Binbaş
Wednesday 25 May 2016
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

The author Dr. İlker Evrim Binbaş (Royal Holloway, University of London) will present his new book that focuses on the works and intellectual network of the Timurid historian Sharaf al Dīn 'Alī Yazdī (d.1454). The book outlines a holistic view of intellectual life in fifteenth century Iran. It is published by Cambridge University Press.

In Intellectual Networks in Timurid Iran İlker Evrim Binbaş argues that the intellectuals in this period formed informal networks which transcended political and linguistic boundaries, and spanned an area from the western fringes of the Ottoman State to bustling late medieval metropolises such as Cairo, Shiraz, and Samarkand. The network included an Ottoman revolutionary, a Mamluk prophet, and a Timurid occultist, as well as physicians, astronomers, devotees of the secret sciences, and those political figures who believed that the network was a force to be taken seriously. Also discussing the formation of an early modern Islamicate republic of letters, this book offers fresh insights on the study of intellectual history beyond the limitations imposed by nationalist methodologies, established genres, and recognized literary traditions.

Dr. İlker Evrim Binbaş studied political science at the Middle East Technical University and received his MA degree in history from Hacettepe University in Ankara. He continued his postgraduate studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago and has taught at Royal Holloway since 2009.  

His research interests broadly embrace the historiography, political thought, and intellectual networks of the fifteenth and sixteenth century Islamic world. He is particularly interested in Timurid and Ottoman historiography, the political use of mythical narratives, epistolography and other modalities of intellectual communication, and the informal intellectual networks which, unlike the emerging Sufi orders, did not enter the process of institutionalization in the early modern period. In the course of his studies, he also developed an interest in various “secret sciences,” such as alchemy, the science of letters, and logogriphic poetry in order to understand the rhetorical devices that early modern intellectuals deployed. 

Intellectual Networks in Timurid Iran at Cambridge University Press

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