The Institute for Advanced Study and the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies have jointly organized the "Literary Genres and Their Changing Functions among Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages" workshop. Participants will include co-organizers Sabine Schmidtke, Professor in the School of Historical Studies, and Guy G. Stroumsa of the IIAS, along with ten other experts in the field. The conference will take place at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on the Edmond J. Safra Campus from May 14–15, 2018.
Within the field of Islamic Studies, much research has been done on the evolution and manifestations of distinct literary genres, such as commentaries in the different guises (sharḥ, taʿlīq, ḥāshiya, etc.), (auto)bio- and bibliographical literature, historical and exegetical works, or adab, as well as poetry. Literary genres not only reflect their authors' mindset in the larger context of intellectual history, their material manifestations are equally significant. Immediately relevant are fields such as codicology and scholarly practices of text transmission and their manifestation in the manuscript culture. Similar approaches have been made in neighboring fields, Judaeo-Arabic studies as well as scholarship on Eastern Christianity over the past years. The purpose of the 2018 Advanced School in the Humanities is to bring the relevant disciplines together—each contribution focuses from a different perspective on the above-mentioned aspects by looking at a minumum of two religio-cultural Middle Eastern or Mediterranean communities at the same time. The goal will be to observe and discuss any such parallel phenomena and to interpret them in the larger context of intellectual history and material culture.