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Leiden Lectures on Arabic Language and Culture (2018)

Feelings Matter: Emotions in Medieval Arabic

  • Julia Bray
Thursday 15 February 2018
Leiden Lectures on Arabic Language and Culture
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden
Klein Auditorium

On 15 February 2018, LUCIS organizes the sixth Leiden Lecture on Arabic Language and Culture. Julia Bray, the Abdulaziz Saud AlBabtain Laudian Professor of Arabic at the University of Oxford will present this edition. The lecture will take place in the Small Auditorium of the Academy Building. Free drinks after the lecture.  Registration and inquiries at: lucis@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

Feelings matter: Emotions in medieval Arabic

The history of emotions is an established field in European studies. It covers all periods and many disciplines. Its premise is that emotions are shaped by culture, and that their expression and effects should be contextualised in time and place. More than this, the history of emotions argues that emotion and intellect are interconnected, and that understanding emotion is central to understanding the past. This talk argues that we need an Arabic history of emotions, for which the written materials are both abundant and challenging. The difficulty of identifying and interpreting emotions in medieval Arabic writing—those it depicts, and those in which it engages the reader—makes us ask what purposes they serve, reveals connections between different modes of thinking, and enriches our literary, historical and human understanding.

About the speaker

After a BA at the university of Oxford, Julia Bray worked as an archivist at the India Office Library & Records while writing her doctoral thesis on medieval Arabic poetic criticism. She has taught Arabic and Arabic literature at several universities in the UK (Manchester, Edinburgh, Oxford, St Andrews) and at Paris 8—Vincennes Saint-Denis in France. Bray has been professor of Classical Arabic at Oxford since 2012. She is a contributing member of the editorial board of the Library of Arabic Literature, which aims to bring readable translations of Arabic classics to a wide audience, and she is co-editor of the monograph series Edinburgh Studies in Classical Arabic Literature, which contextualises medieval Arabic literature for comparatists, Middle East and European medievalists and readers interested in theories and practices of literature. She has just completed the first instalment of a translation of al-Tanūkhī’s Deliverance follows adversity for the Library of Arabic Literature. Other projects include working with fellow medievalists to establish the history of emotions as a field of Arabic studies.


Curious? Can't wait until 15 February 2018? Check out this podcast series featuring Julia Bray by the University of Oxford!

Oxford University | Podcast series | Julia Bray

23 January 2017 Julia Bray Tombstone of a Muslim Girl
07 July 2016 Julia Bray The Role of Religion in Identity
29 May 2015 Julia Bray, Wen-Chin Ouyang, Chip Rossetti, Philip Kennedy Reading the corpus
29 May 2015 Julia Bray, Michael Cooperson, Joseph Lawry, Devin Steward Editing the corpus
29 May 2015 Julia Bray, James Montgomery, Beatrice Gründler, Shawkat Toorawa Remembering the corpus Part 2
12 June 2014 Julia Bray Human Chain

Attendance and registration

The lecture will take place in the Small Auditorium of the Academy Building. The lecture will start at 16.15 hours sharp. You are requested to be seated at 16:00 hours. Attendance is free, and the lecture will be followed by drinks at the Faculty Club.

Registration is required, and you can do so by sending an e-mail to lucis@hum.leidenuniv.nl

Leiden Lectures on Arabic Language and Culture

The Leiden Lectures on Arabic Language and Culture are organized through generous support of Aramco. They were initiated in 2013 on the occasion of the 400-year anniversary of the founding of the Chair of Arabic at Leiden University. Each year, we invite outstanding scholars in the field to present a lecture on the rich and enjoyable variety of classical Arabic texts and their significance and relevance for today’s world.

Previous lectures in this series

Petra Sijpesteijn | The Wisdom of the Arabs. Four Hundred Years of Cross-Cultural Engagement |2013

James Montgomery | On Hedgehogs, Foxes and Magpies, and Why the World Should Read Classical Arabic Poetry | 2015

Geert Jan van Gelder | Antidotes and Anecdotes: A Literary History of Medicine from 13th-Century Syria | 2015

Beatrice Gründler | Modernity in the Ninth Century: the Controversy around Abū Tammām  | 2016

Thomas Bauer | A Forgotten Heyday of Arabic Culture: Literary Life in Mamluk Syria & Egypt | 2017

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