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Last Updated: Jan 28, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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School of Mamluk Studies

The School of Mamlūk Studies

Second Conference of the School of Mamluk Studies, Liège, June 25-June 28, 2015

Call for papers

We are pleased to announce the Second Conference of the School of Mamlūk Studies, which will be held at the University of Liège (Belgium), from June 25 to June 28, 2014.

The conference will be divided into two parts and will be preceded by a three-day intensive course on manuscripts (June 22–24):

1) The first day of the conference (June 25) will be themed. The theme of this part of the conference will be: "The Mamlūk Sultanate and Its Periphery". If our knowledge of the capital (and the provincial capital of Damascus) is rather comprehensive, the periphery of the sultanate has received less attention. The aim of this themed day is thus to focus on those areas located far from the capitals and close to borders (either natural, like the sea or mountains, or political). This will allow specialists in a wide gamut of fields, from history to architecture, from economy to administration, from diplomacy to politics, to address various issues linked with, e.g., the concept of periphery, the control of the borders, the intellectual, economic, and artistic life in border cities, etc.
A maximum of 12 to 15 paper proposals will be selected. Should a greater amount of proposals be received, the authors of those which are not selected for the conference could be offered the possibility to publish their contribution in the proceedings. Time allotted to each paper will be twenty minutes, plus ten minutes for discussion.

2) The following two days of the conference (June 26–27) will be structured in panels, which may focus on any aspect of the intellectual, political, social, economic, and artistic life of the Mamlūk 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. Please note that in case of cancellation of two papers out of the three (or three out of the four) composing the panel, the panel will have to be withdrawn from the programme. Time allotted to each paper will be twenty minutes. The discussion will take place at the end of each panel.

The official language of the conference will be English.

The conference registration fees will be 40 € for participants and attendees. A farewell dinner will take place on the last day (June 27) at a cost of 50 €. Payment of the fees (registration and farewell dinner) must be received by April 30 (information on the method of payment to be used will be provided in the first circular, which will be sent in January 2015). 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.

Paper proposals for the themed day must be sent to the address of the conference ( by October 31, 2014. Panel proposals must be sent to the same address by November 30, 2014. 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 (the chair can be one of the panelists).

Paper and panel proposals will be peer-reviewed. A first circular will be sent by January 2015 to those whose proposals have been accepted, and to those who have expressed interest in attending the conference as listeners.

a) Themed day: the papers will be published in a volume of proceedings.
b) Panels: selected papers will be published in Mamlūk Studies Review.

Intensive course: A Holistic Approach to Manuscript Studies

A three-day intensive course intended for advanced graduate students, given by Prof. Dr. Frédéric Bauden (University of Liège), will be held immediately before the conference (June 22 to June 24). The course will be focused on manuscript studies. The course, intended to help students who need to work on manuscripts for their research, will provide them with the most important tools and methods to achieve their goal. Codicology is essential to describe a manuscript and to analyze its support, but it needs to be used with other disciplines in order to apprehend a manuscript (i.e., also its text) in all its complexity. It is important to note that this course is not just about codicology: theoretical issues will be addressed in the morning sessions while afternoon sessions will be devoted to practice. To this end, they will be held at the manuscript room, where the students will have the opportunity to work on a selection of manuscripts. 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 (a maximum of 15), 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 January 31, 2015. Course fees will amount to 300€, including attendance at the conference and the social dinner. The fees must be paid by April 30, 2015 (information on the method of payment to be used will be provided by the end of February together with the announcement of the selection of participants). 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 2015.

We look forward to meeting you in Liège.

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