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Social Codicology in Action: Observing an Indian Ismaili Library at work

  • Olly Akkerman
Thursday 9 November 2017
Free to visit, drinks after
WHAT's NEW?! Fall Lecture Series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Secret texts and their social lives

Olly Akkerman: "The Alawi Bohras, a small but vibrant Muslim Shia community in India that is almost entirely closed to outsiders, hold a secret Arabic manuscript culture, which is enshrined and preserved in royal archives. Having had unique access to one of these archives, my presentation unravels the as yet unstudied physical and social aspects of the Alawi Bohra philological tradition. Through the lens of what I call Social Codicology, i.e. the conducting of philological fieldwork and participant observation in the community in Baroda, Gujarat, I intend to discuss the social role of this archive as a repository of secret texts, and further examine the social lives of its manuscripts."

About Olly Akkerman

Dr. Olly Akkerman is a University Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin. Her forthcoming monograph, titled The Alawi Bohras and the Making of a Neo-Fatimid Library: A Study in Social Codicology, focusses on the material culture of Bohra archives, and the archival and codicological practices that surround it. She studied Arabic and Islamic Studies at Leiden and Utrecht University and subsequently obtained a PhD at the Berlin Graduate School for Muslim Cultures and Societies.

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