Maribel Fierro (ILC) coordina, junto con Sabine Schmidtke y Sarah Stroumsa, el último volumen de la revista "Intellectual History of the Islamicate World"

Publicación del proyecto Practicing knowledge in Islamic societies and their neighbours, dirigido por M. Fierro (Anneliese Maier Award 2014, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation). Coordinación de Maribel Fierro (ILC, CCHS-CSIC) juno con Sabine Schmidtke y Sarah Stroumsa de la sección monográfica sobre Histories of books in the Islamicate world, publicada la primera parte en la revista Intellectual History of the Islamicate World 4 (2016)

What we know about the past depends largely on information gleaned from books, but for most periods of Islamic history we know little about the history of the books. Little is known about their diffusion, about how works dealing with different disciplines survived or disappeared through the centuries and to what extent there were similarities or variations according to their subjects, and about which factors led to certain works becoming more popular than others especially for teaching purposes. We are similarly ill-informed regarding the different ways to manage and to store scholarly information at any given time. We still do not possess enough comprehensive studies discussing theoretical and practical approaches on the part of scholars of the Islamicate world towards scholarship or their changing predilection for specific literary genres.

Recently, related practices of writing, copying, commenting, excerpting, citing or reading have become the object of much needed studies. Nevertheless, what we have so far are still mostly snapshots focusing on a limited perspective. They show that the process of transmission was a dynamic and highly variegated one and that on many relevant issues there is a wealth of data and sources that need to be analyzed carefully. Moreover, the results of examining one area can at times be complemented, at times contradicted by those gained by examining the same topic but in a different context. Seemingly contradictory observations can be made for one and the same region and period - when we look, for example, at different religious communities. The fact that Islamicate societies share meta-contextual characteristics of book culture and mechanisms for the transmission of knowledge renders comparisons a rewarding enterprise.

The contributions included in this and the forthcoming volume show the variety of possible approaches to the subject, add to the growing efforts in filling the existing gaps and intend to provide new perspectives while focusing on specific areas, periods and disciplines. Most of them originate in a conference, organized by the editors of the present volume with the financial support of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and held in Madrid in March 2015.


Intellectual History of the Islamicate World, Volume 4, Issue 1-2. Brill, 2016 - ISSN: 2212-9421 / E-ISSN: 2212-943X

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