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Conference | LUCIS Research Programme | Re-Presented Pasts

Re-Presented Pasts: Uses and Re-Uses of the Past in Pre-Modern Islam

Thursday 10 October 2019 - Friday 11 October 2019
Thursday 10 October: Eychof 1 | room 00.1A (10.00 AM - 17.00 PM) | Friday 11 October: Lipsius | room 3.07 (10.00 AM - 13.00 PM) | Registration required
P.N. van Eyckhof 1
P.N. van Eyckhof 1
2311BV Leiden
Mosque of Ibn Tulun, Cairo

This event has different locations and times on both days!

Thursday 10 October: Eychof 1, room 00.1A (10.00 AM - 17.00 PM)
Friday 11 October: Lipsius, room 3.07 (10.00 AM - 13.00 PM)

All cultures remember their past, but the ways in which cultures perform and sustain that recollection are distinctive and reflect how different cultural producers negotiate their present self-conceptions. The manifold strategies can include maintaining or inventing traditions, grappling with senses of dislocation and memory loss, privileging certain pasts over others, and creatively selecting new memories and legacies.

‘Cultural memory’ and ‘social memory’ are now common terms used to analyse the uses of the past in historical, literary, art historical and other fields, but much of the key theorising which emanates from critical studies of the nation, primarily Europe’s Westphalian nation-states, and whilst salient contributions bring Memory Studies to the ancient (Assmann) and medieval (Geary, Carruthers) worlds, many of the central issues which Memory Studies was articulated to
address focus upon European modernity, and, consequently, the ways in which Memory
Studies methods can be applied in other contexts invites questions.

In order to better understand how premodern Muslim cultures and societies related to their senses of the past and developed their social norms and institutions, we need to examine how they mobilised memory, and we consequently need to explore the extent to which modern theories honed on European examples can be applied to illuminate pre-modern Muslim-world cultural production. This workshop will examine Muslim memorial practices at different times and locales, and how effectively memories were marshaled in the construction of identities and senses of communal boundaries.

Re-presented Pasts: Workshop Timetable

Thursday AM – Memory and Historiography

Isabel Toral – Memory in Andalusian Historiography

Aurora Gonzalez Artiago – al-Sharqundī and remembering the Umayyads

Alison Vacca – Memories of Bactria in Armenia

Thursday PM – Memory and Oblivion; Lists and Resonances

Antoine Borrut – Remembering and Forgetting the Past in Early Islam

Sarah Savant – History Writing as an Art for Forgetting

Peter Webb – Bad Memories: recalling an outlaw

Julia Bray – Discussion

Friday AM – The Materiality of Memory

Stephennie Mulder – The Shrine of al-Husayn in Aleppo

Elena Paskaleva – Rewriting the Architectural History of the Timurid Dynastic Mausoleum of Gur-i Amir in Samarqand

Hans Theunissen – Connecting the Past to the Present: Architecture, Restoration and Memory

This workshop is organised in cooperation with and co-sponsored by the NWO-Vici project Turks, texts and territory: Imperial ideology and cultural production in Central Eurasia.

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