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School of Mamluk Studies

The School of Mamlūk Studies

First Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies, Venice, June 23-June 25, 2014
Call for Papers

We are pleased to announce the First Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies, which will be held at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, from June 23 to June 25, 2014.

The conference will be divided into two parts and will be followed by a two-and-a-half day intensive course on Mamluk poetry (June 26–28):

1) The first day of the conference (June 23) will be themed. The theme of this first part of the conference will be al-Suyuti (d. 911/1505). This Egyptian polymath has been chosen as representative of a period in which encyclopaedism was extensively practised. The wide gamut of the disciplines with which he dealt will allow specialists in different fields, from historiography to science, from grammar to Quranic exegesis, from law to literature, to throw new light on the intellectual profile of this author and to enhance the assessment of his contribution to the intellectual life of the Mamluk period. A maximum of 12 paper proposals will be selected. Time allotted to each paper will be twenty minutes, plus ten minutes for discussion.

2) The following two days of the conference (June 24–25) will be structured in panels, which may focus on any aspect of the intellectual, political, social, and economic life of the Mamluk period. The panels will be organized into presentations of three to four papers of twenty minutes each. Panel proposals must be made by a representative, who will be responsible for its organization.

Language: The official language of the conference will be English.

Fees: The conference registration fee will be 40€ for participants and attendees. A farewell dinner will take place on the last day (June 25) at a cost of 50€. Participants must make their own travel arrangements. A list of hotels and residences offering a wide range of prices will be sent together with the first circular.

Proposals: Paper proposals on al-Suyuti and panel proposals must be sent to the address of the conference (smsvenice2014@unive.it) by December 15, 2013. The paper proposals should provide the name and a one-page CV of the speaker, a provisional title, and an abstract of a maximum of 300 words per paper. Panel proposals must be submitted as such, including the relevant information for each component paper as well as the name of the panel’s chair.

Acceptance: Paper and panel proposals will be peer-reviewed. A first circular will be sent by January 2014 to those whose proposals have been accepted, and to those who have expressed interest in attending the conference as listeners.

Publication: Selected papers will be published in Mamluk Studies Review or in other venues to be determined.

Intensive course: A two-and-a-half day intensive course intended for advanced graduate students will be held immediately following the conference (June 26 to June 28). The course, given by Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauer (Muenster University), will be focused on Mamluk poetry. A very good level of Arabic is required (minimum four years of Arabic at the university level). Since the number of the participants will be limited, those who desire to take part in the course are requested to send a CV, a statement of purpose, and a letter of recommendation by the end of January 2014. Course fees will amount to 250€, including attendance at the conference. Participants must make their own travel arrangements. The local organizer will provide suggestions for lodging at an affordable price. A certificate of attendance will be awarded. Those who are selected for the course will be notified by the end of February 2014.

We look forward to meeting you in Venice.

Antonella Ghersetti, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice (local organizer)
Frédéric Bauden, Université de Liège
Marlis Saleh, University of Chicago


The School of Mamlūk Studies (SMS) is administered by the Universities of Chicago (Ill., USA), Liège (Belgium), and Ca' Foscari of Venice (Italy), respectively represented by Marlis Saleh, Frédéric Bauden, and Antonella Ghersetti. It is currently based at the University of Chicago, where Mamluk-related projects such as Mamlūk Studies Review, the Chicago Online Bibliography of Mamluk Studies, and the Chicago Online Encyclopedia of Mamluk Studies are managed. The mission of SMS is to provide a scholarly forum for a holistic approach to Mamluk studies, and to foster and promote a greater awareness of the Mamluk sultanate (1250–1517). Drawing upon the format of the School of 'Abbasid Studies (SAS) as a model, SMS aims to offer a forum for interdisciplinary debate focused on the Mamluk period in all its historical and cultural dimensions in order to increase, address, investigate, and exchange information and knowledge relevant to Mamluk studies in the broadest meaning of the term. Conceived as a meeting for scholars and graduate students working on any of the many aspects of the Mamluk empire, without neglecting its contacts with other regions, SMS offers to everyone working in the field of Mamluk studies the opportunity to attend annual conferences organized in turn by each of the three collaborating institutions.

The annual conferences will be organized around a general or a more specific theme which scholars will be invited to address. In addition, proposals for panels on other relevant subjects may be submitted by individuals, research teams, or institutions. Accepted panels will be held at the end of the thematic conference. On an irregular basis, SMS will also organize seminars in various fields (such as diplomatics, paleography, codicology, numismatics, epigraphy, etc.) which will be aimed at graduate students. These seminars will be planned to take place prior to or following the annual conference in the institution where the conference is held.

Papers presented at each conference on the selected theme will be published as a monograph, while papers presented at the panels will be considered for publication in Mamlūk Studies Review.

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Marlis Saleh, Bibliographer
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