SOAS University of London

Department of History

Near & Middle East History Seminar

Mondays, 5:15 pm, B104 (Brunei Building)

Open to the public - all welcome!

Special Theme, Winter 2016: 

The History of Objects and the Objects of History in the Middle East

This seminar series opens a discussion that privileges the object as a key point of entry into understanding the histories of North African and Middle Eastern societies and cultures across time and space. Recently, historians have revived material phenomena as productive loci of historical enquiry, demonstrating that while objects do function in a discursive capacity, they can also facilitate real interactions between historical actors in physical space. While material historians, such as art historians and numismatists have long centred their work around objects, cultural and social historians, influenced by such thinkers as Bruno Latour, have begun looking to the primacy of the object in the assemblage of social networks, occasionally as agents in their own right, interacting with human actors as well as with other objects. As a consequence, emerging scholarship on object-centred histories has concentrated on questions concerning the formation of social networks, especially transregional and diaspora communities, as well as questions centred on the transmission of knowledge, memory, identity, and subjectivity. The presentations in this seminar explore these and other issues as they relate to the histories of the Near and Middle East.

Convenor: Derek Mancini-Lander (dm40@soas.ac.uk

To be added to the Near and Middle East History Seminar mailing list, email the seminar convenor.

Previous Events in this series

First-year Research Student Presentations

John Latham (SOAS), Matthias Freidank (SOAS), Louis Allday (SOAS)
John Latham, SOAS

'The Transformation of Political Authority in the North Caucasus:Christianisation and its Limits in the Alan Kingdom, 890-1030'

Matthias Freidank, SOAS

'British Colonialism and Urban Violence in Mandatory Palestine, 1922-48'

Louis Allday, SOAS

'Cultural Propaganda in Informal Empire:  The British Council in the Persian Gulf 1939-1971'

27 April 2015, Brunei Gallery, B104, 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM

First-year Research Student Presentations

Christopher Bahl (SOAS), Daisy Livingston (SOAS), Jeong Jin Han (SOAS)
Christopher Bahl, SOAS

'Arabic Manuscripts in the Royal Library of Bijapur: Early Modern Court Culture and Cultural Exchange in the Deccan'

Daisy Livingston, SOAS

'Archival Practices in Arabic Documents from Late Fāṭimid, Ayyūbid and Mamlūk Periods’

Jeong Jin Han, SOAS

'Asia East of China in the Medieval Arabic and Persian Sources, 900-1300'

20 April 2015, Brunei Gallery, B104, 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM

History, Memory and Identity: the Kurds in Post-Soviet Armenia

Christine Allison: University of Exeter

Please note: this lecture has been postponed until term 2 as it clashes with Ilan Pappe's Palestine lecture on the same evening (Room V111, the SOAS Vernon Square Campus (Penton Rise, near King’s Cross)

24 October 2011, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM

Diversity in Safavid Isfahan

Abtin Khanbaghi: Aga Khan University
19 October 2009, Russell Square: College Buildings, G3, 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM

Crisis of Authority: Crisis of Islam

Francis Robinson: Royal Holloway/ Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

Crisis of Authority: Crisis of Islam

26 January 2009, Brunei Gallery, B102, 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM

Commentary Culture in Medieval Islam

Lawrence Conrad (University of Hamburg, Asien-Afrika-Institut)

Commentary Culture in Medieval Islam

13 October 2008, Russell Square: College Buildings, G52, 5:15 PM - 7:15 PM

Title To Be Confirmed

Prof. Hugh Kennedy (SOAS)

Title to be confirmed.

26 November 2007, Russell Square: College Buildings, G52, 5:15 PM - 6:30 PM

Samson in the Qurʾān and Muslim Tradition

Prof. Andrew Rippin (University of Victoria, Canada)

Samson in the Qurʾān and Muslim Tradition

29 October 2007, Russell Square: College Buildings, G52, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Nationalism and Urban Elites in Iraqi Kurdistan

Dr Jordi Tejel (Research Fellow at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris)

Nationalism and Urban Elites in Iraqi Kurdistan

8 October 2007, Russell Square: College Buildings, G52, 5:15 PM - 6:30 PM