Call for Papers: Arabic Chancellery Documents through the Prism of Historicity: Writing, Vocabulary, Syntax, and Intertextuality
from ʿAbd al-Ḥamīd al-Kātib (d. 750) to al-Qalqashandī (d. 1418)- Lyon October 17-18, 2013
This conference (Lyon-France, October 17-18, 2013) will address the evolution of chancellery styles, their regional diversity, and the history of this language of authority that was supposed to obey rules definitively fixed by the Prophet or the first secretaries of the Islamic Empire. What were the technical modalities for innovation? On what semantic, lexical, syntactical, and/or graphic levels did it manifest? Rather than on norms, codes, and rules, studies will focus on writing styles, orthographic variants, atypical handwriting, deletion, the transgression of norms, semantic revitalization, neologisms, and the variety of styles for citing the Quran or referencing ḥadīth. We are seeking to renew study of a corpus considered not as a fixed and ossified text, technical and off-putting, but as a living, evolving, and diverse ensemble. For this, a transdisciplinary approach is necessary, and grammarians, linguists, historians, and literary specialists are invited to reflect together on these chancellery texts. The chronological limits determined are the first texts attached specifically to inshā’, the creation of the chancellery, or the middle of the second/eighth century, and al-Qalqashandī’s essential compilation, Ṣubḥ al-aʿshā’, at the end of the eighth/fourteenth century. Contributions may diachronically address the evolution of chancellery language in a single region, synchronically examine the differences between contemporary polities, present in detail the manuscript of a chancellery text –manual or formulary, preferably an original document, but possibly also one already published– or describe the type of modifications brought to a chancellery text when, considered as a model or masterpiece, it is cited by many successive authors in their own respective works.
Proposals (title, summary of approximately 2 500 characters) should be sent to Pascal Buresi (email@example.com) before June 1st, 2013.
The ERC StG 263361 will cover travel and lodging costs for presenters not funded by their home institutions.
Presentations will be in French, English, and Spanish.
Senior Researcher CNRS
Histoire Archéologie Littératures des mondes chrétiens et musulmans médiévaux
ISH-14 avenue Berthelot
F-69363 Lyon Cedex 07 - FRANCE
Projet StG ERC IGAMWI n° 263361
Imperial Government and Authority in Medieval Western Islam (2010 - 2015)
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