Session Title

Islamic Magic: Texts and/as Objects

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Research Group on Manuscript Evidence; Societas Magica

Organizer Name

Liana Saif

Organizer Affiliation

Univ. catholique de Louvain

Presider Name

Liana Saif

Paper Title 1

Books as Robots: Authorship and Agency in Islamicate Alchemical Manuscripts

Presenter 1 Name

Nicholas G. Harris

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Univ. of Pennsylvania

Paper Title 2

Approaching Shams al-maʿārif al-kubrá through Early Manuscripts: MSS Arabe 2650-51 in the Bibliothèque nationale de France

Presenter 2 Name

Edgar Francis, IV

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Univ. of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Paper Title 3

Legible Signs? Cyphers, Talismans, and the Theologies of Early Islamic Sacred Writing

Presenter 3 Name

Travis Zadeh

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Yale Univ.

Paper Title 4

Respondent

Presenter 4 Name

Noah D. Gardiner

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Univ. of South Carolina-Columbia

Start Date

14-5-2017 8:30 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1275

Description

Despite the recent burgeoning of the field of Islamic occultism, the vast inheritance of manuscripts dealing with magic, lettrism, astrology, divination, and ecstatic practices remains greatly underutilized. They are a binding core for both intellectual history and material culture, and their interrelationship to each other. They can be drawn upon as historical sources for purposes beyond edition-making, particularly for the recovery of discourses resistant to the main categories of Islamic cultural and intellectual history constituted by modern scholarship. In addition to introducing newly recovered manuscripts, the proposed panel aims to highlight the special status of manuscripts as texts and evocative objects, and the manifestation of this uniqueness in occult works which often contain images, diagrams, and symbols as well as other visual elements. Furthermore, it offers a useful platform for re-evaluating codicological and historiographic practices and methods in the field.

Matthew Melvin-Koushki

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May 14th, 8:30 AM

Islamic Magic: Texts and/as Objects

Schneider 1275

Despite the recent burgeoning of the field of Islamic occultism, the vast inheritance of manuscripts dealing with magic, lettrism, astrology, divination, and ecstatic practices remains greatly underutilized. They are a binding core for both intellectual history and material culture, and their interrelationship to each other. They can be drawn upon as historical sources for purposes beyond edition-making, particularly for the recovery of discourses resistant to the main categories of Islamic cultural and intellectual history constituted by modern scholarship. In addition to introducing newly recovered manuscripts, the proposed panel aims to highlight the special status of manuscripts as texts and evocative objects, and the manifestation of this uniqueness in occult works which often contain images, diagrams, and symbols as well as other visual elements. Furthermore, it offers a useful platform for re-evaluating codicological and historiographic practices and methods in the field.

Matthew Melvin-Koushki