Universiteit Leiden

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Arabic Studies


The center invites internationally renowned scholars to spend time at Leiden to teach graduate students in the BA and MA programmes and in custom made seminars, and to give public lectures. Specialisations vary covering so far manuscript studies, history, anthropology, literature, art history and religious studies.

Dr. Christian Junge

In October we will welcome Dr Christian Junge to Leiden as the 2023 Fellow. He will give a public lecture and teach several classes on modern Arabic literature.

Dr Junge is a senior lecturer at Philipps-University Marburg. His main research areas are Affect and emotion in postmodern Egyptian literature, Literature and philology in the long nineteenth century Nahda, and Postcolonial Language Criticism and Academic Arabic. 

Past fellows in the programme

Three fellows gave talks in a lecture series on Oriental Manuscripts, entitled Worlds to Discover. Manuscripts from the Muslim World.

Asma Hilali (Professor of Islamic Studies at University of Lille) spoke on the Kairouan Manuscripts Project

Lâle Uluç (Professor of Islamic Art, Persianate Culture and Islamic Manuscripts, Boğaziçi University) presented 16th-century manuscripts from Shiraz

Darya Ogorodnikova (Researcher Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, Hamburg University) spoke about Ajami, Arabic script, manuscripts from Islamic West-Africa.

Salwa El-Awa (Senior Lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Swansea University) presented two lectures on Quranic translation.

Franziska Fay (Junior Professor of ethnology, Gutenberg University, Mainz), a specialist of youth culture in North Africa, taught a class and gave a public lecture entitled ‘“Kuishi Ughaibuni”: Thinking with diaspora and dialogue, belonging and absence about the Swahili-speaking gulf.’

Hugh Kennedy, Professor of Arabic, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London 

In his seminar for graduate students at Leiden University, Professor Kennedy explored the idea of a “Greater Mesopotamia” and its fundamental importance in understanding the economy and geopolitics of the early Islamic world, from 650 to 1050 CE.

Maribel Fierro, Professor at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain. Member of the research group Cultural history of the Mediterranean.

Professor Fierro taught a series of seminars on the literary production in Umayyad al-Andalus on “The ‘Best-Sellers’ of al-Andalus,” and “Rulers as Authors in the Islamic West (8th-15th Centuries).”

Geert Jan van Gelder, Professor of Arabic emiritus

With Leiden students Professor van Gelder read and commented on stories about robbers, thieves, and outlaws in Arabic literature from the famous book al-Faraj baʿd al-shiddah by al-Tanūkhī (d. 994) and from Asmāʾ al-mughtālīn by Muḥammad ibn Ḥabīb (d. 860).

Wadad al-Kadi, the Avalon Foundation Distinguished Service Professor emirita, Chicago University

Professor al-Kadi taught a seminar entitled ‘From letters to literature, ’ providing an in-depth study of the letters of the foremost epistolographer of the Umayyad period (41-132 AH/661-750 CE), ʿAbd al-Hamid al-Katib (d. 132 AH/750 CE), as a means to understanding Arabic letters and epistolary prose in the founding stage of Arabic epistolography.

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