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Coming this fall: Al-Babtain visiting professor Maribel Fierro

This fall, LUCIS will have the pleasure of welcoming Professor Maribel Fierro, Research Professor at the CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid), to Leiden. She is the third Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Cultural Foundation Visiting Professor in Arabic Culture at Leiden University.

Due to the pandemic, Professor Fierro will start her fellowship by teaching two Masterclasses online in November. Restrictions permitting, she will return in person in April 2021 to give an additional five Masterclasses, as well as a public lecture in the LUCIS What’s New lecture series. 


Professor Fierro’s Masterclasses will be part of Jelle Bruning’s course “From Inkwell to Internet: Text and Transmission in the Muslim World”. On 13 November she will teach on “The ‘Best-Sellers’ of al-Andalus,” and on 20 November on “Rulers as Authors in the Islamic West (8th-15th Centuries).” These classes are part of the regular curriculum, but if you are interested in attending, please send a short motivation to LUCIS.

About Maribel Fierro

Maribel Fierro (PhD, Madrid, 1985) is a Research Professor at the Instituto de Lenguas y Culturas del Mediterráneo y Oriente Próximo in Madrid, Spain. Her research focuses on the political, religious, and intellectual history of al-Andalus and the Islamic West. She has also worked on Islamic law, the construction of orthodoxy and the persecution of heresies, and violence and its representation in Medieval Arabic sources. 

Professor Fierro earned her PhD on Semitic Philology in 1985 at the Universidad Compultense, Madrid. She has taught at the University Compultense Madrid, the University of Stanford, the University of Chicago, the Freie Universität Berlin, and the Universidad Autónoma Madrid, and has been Directeur dʼétudes associé at the Centre de Recherches Historiques, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. She was a visiting scholar at Harvard Law School, the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, as part of the Research Group Law and State in Classical Islam. She was honoured with the R. Stephen Humphreys Distinguished Scholar from the University of California, Santa Barbara, the Anneliese Maier Award from the Humboldt Foundation, and most recently the Middle East Medievalists Lifetime Achievement Award.

Grave of King al-Muʽtamid ibn ʽAbbād of Seville (Aghmat, Morocco), photo by Rui Ornelas

Professor Fierro directed several research projects. Her present project (with Mayte Penelas) is called Local Contexts and Global Dynamics: Al-Andalus and the Maghrib in the Islamic East (FFI2016-78878-R AEI/FEDER, UE). She is a prolific author and among her latest publications are The Routledge Handbook of Muslim Iberia, ‘Abd Al-Rahman III: The First Cordoban Caliph, and The Almohad Revolution: Politics and Religion in the Islamic West during the Twelfth-Thirteenth Centuries.

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