DS Events at the Institute

2021

September 16, 12:00 noon: The Author's VoiceSasanian Iran: A Personal ViewMichael R. Jackson Bonner, Canadian writer, political adviser and independent historian of Iran. I will discuss how I came to write The Last Empire of Iran and why. My main motivation was to portray the Sasanian state as the great world power that it was, and to situate it properly between Rome and the nomad powers of Inner Asia. The talk will address the classicising and Perso-Arabic historiographical traditions, but special emphasis will be given to Armenian and Syriac sources also. Discussion will cover some of the key themes of the book, including: the origins of the Sasanian state; the wider context of Eurasian history; interactions between Iran and the world of the steppe; and, finally, historiographical problems and the use of sources. A recording of this event can be seen here.

Hosted by Sabine Schmidtke (School of Historical Studies, IAS) and George A. Kiraz (School of Historical Studies, IAS and Editor-in-Chief, Gorgias Press) in cooperation with Angelos Chaniotis (School of Historical Studies, IAS).

October 27, 12 noon: Where to Find Millions of Books and How to “Read” Them: HathiTrust and HTRC, Ryan Dubnicek, Digital Humanities Specialist, HathiTrust Research Center. This workshop will introduce attendees to the HathiTrust Research Center’s tools and services for utilizing the massive HathiTrust Digital Library for computational text analysis. The HTRC leverages the scope and scale of the HathiTrust corpus to allow researchers the opportunity to perform text data mining. A recording of this event can be seen here.

November 10, 12:00 noon, Near Eastern Studies and Digital Scholarship@IAS joint lecture. The Study of Pre-modern Hebrew Philosophical and Scientific Terminology as a new Chapter in the Intellectual History of Europe and the Islamicate World:  PESHAT in Context. Speakers: Giuseppe Veltri (University of Hamburg), Reimund Leicht (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), Michael Engel (University of Hamburg) and Florian Dunklau (University of Hamburg).

PESHAT in Context (www.peshat.org) is a long-term research project funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and located at the University of Hamburg and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It investigates the formation and development of pre-modern philosophical and scientific terminology in the Hebrew language in its multi-cultural and multi-linguistic context(s). From a historical point of view, Hebrew philosophical and scientific terminology evolved from various attempts to re-formulate the intellectual culture that had developed among Jews in the Arabic-speaking Islamicate world in a new linguistic form and to make it accessible to new audiences. The formation of the “philosophers’ Hebrew” is thus a border-transcending phenomenon with roots in the Arabic-speaking world and reaching out to the intellectual history of medieval Europe. It is one of the major aims of PESHAT in Context to document and analyze the migration of philosophical and scientific concepts and idea through the study of the development of Hebrew terminology within its multilinguistic background. For this purpose, PESHAT in Context has created a multilingual digital thesaurus of philosophical and scientific terms accessible online, which is technologically founded on a newly developed database program. As a project in modern digital humanities, it provides tools and a unique platform to access a wide range of digital resources relevant for the linguistic, terminological and conceptual study of philosophy and science in Europe and the Islamicate world. 

December 9, 12:00 noon: The Author's VoiceAsh‘arism Encounters Avicennism: Sayf Al-Dīn Al-Āmidī (d. 631/1233) on CreationLaura Hassan, Associate Faculty Member, Faulty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford.  Competing theories about the origins of the cosmos have always entailed distinctive and often antithetical conceptions of who, or what, caused it. Sayf al-Dīn al-Āmidī developed his doctrine of creation at a particularly poignant moment in Islamic intellectual history, in which the traditions of theology (kalām) and Hellenised philosophy (falsafa) were forced into an encounter which would permanently alter the theological landscape. In this talk, taking impetus from the case of al-Āmidī, I consider the options available for intellectuals who, like him, encounter a system of thought which is both rationally and theologically compelling, but which also threatens to undermine entrenched convictions. A recording of this event can be seen here.

Hosted by Sabine Schmidtke (School of Historical Studies, IAS) and George A. Kiraz (School of Historical Studies, IAS and Editor-in-Chief, Gorgias Press) in cooperation with Angelos Chaniotis (School of Historical Studies, IAS).

2022