SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Faces of the Infinite: Neoplatonism and Poetics at the Confluence of Africa, Asia and Europe

Faces of the Infinite: Neoplatonism and Poetics at the Confluence

Date: 11 November 2017Time: 9:30 AM

Finishes: 11 November 2017Time: 6:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Type of Event: Conference

This is the third day of a three-day conference convened by the British Academy and SOAS. It is intended to generate the first comparative overview of the extent to which Neoplatonist philosophy has permeated poetic forms, styles, themes and figurative language as well as poetic theory in seven principal languages of the greater Mediterranean region, from late antiquity to the modern period. Listed in alphabetical order, they are Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Persian, Spanish and Turkish. The findings are intended to result in a major publication which will shed light on the significance of Neoplatonism as a cross-cultural phenomenon which links the literary traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Days one and two of the conference will be held at the premises of the British Academy on 9 and 10 November 2017.  For details visit the British Academy page.

Speakers and Participants:

  • Prof. Walter Andrews (University of Washington)
  • Prof. Leili Anvar (INALCO, Paris)
  • Prof. James Binns (University of York)
  • Dr. Abigail Brundin (University of Cambridge)
  • Dr. Alessandro Cancian (Institute of Ismaili Studies)
  • Prof. Cristina D’Ancona (University of Pisa)
  • Prof. Trevor Dadson (Queen Mary, London)
  • Dr. Yorgos Dedes (SOAS, London)
  • Dr. Neslihan Demirkol (Ankara Social Sciences University)
  • Prof. Ziad Elmarsafy (Kings College, London)
  • Prof. Carl W. Ernst (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Prof. Ferial J. Ghazoul (The American University in Cairo)
  • Dr. Didem Havlio─člu (Duke University)
  • Dr. David Hernández de la Fuente (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Madrid)
  • Prof. Mehmet Kalpakl─▒ (Bilkent University, Ankara)
  • Prof. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak (University of Maryland)
  • Dr. Alexander Matthew Key (Stanford University)
  • Dr. Kazuyo Murata (King’s College, London)
  • Prof. Johannes Niehoff-Panagiotidis (Freie Universität, Berlin)
  • Prof. Terence O’Reilly (University College, Cork)
  • Prof. David Ricks (King’s College, London)
  • Prof. Peter Robinson (University of Reading)
  • Prof.  Claudio Rodríguez Fer (University of Santiago de Compostela)
  • Prof. John Roe (University of York)
  • Prof. Stefan Sperl (SOAS, London)
  • Professor Suzanne Stern-Gillet (University of Bolton)
  • Dr. Adena Tanenbaum (Ohio State University)
  • Prof. Richard Taylor (Marquette University)
  • Prof. Colin Thompson (University of Oxford)
  • Prof. Julian Weiss (King’s College, London)
  • Dr. Joachim Yeshaya (University of Leuven)

Day 3 Registration (11 November)

Registration is required of all participants. ONLINE REGISTRATION

Registration fee includes attendance at the conference on 11 November 2017*, tea/coffee/water breaks and light lunch.


  • £20 standard
  • £10 (full time) students (valid student ID card will be checked on the day)

*Please note that days one and two of the conference will be held at the premises of the British Academy on 9 and 10 November 2017 and participants must register directly with the British Academy

Online registration closes at noon, 8 November.

Cancellation and refund policy
Cancellations must be reported in writing to the Conference Manager. Cancellations must be received by 11 October 2017 in which case registration fees will be refunded, less a £10 processing fee. No refund will be given to cancellations received after 11 October 2017.

Note: In association with the conference there will be a musical rendering of poetry in Castilian, Hebrew and Persian based on the Biblical Song of Songs, The Odes on Mystical Love by Jalal al-Din Rumi and The Spiritual Canticles of St. John of the Cross. Time and venue: Friday 10 November at 19:30 at the SOAS Brunei Gallery. Register with Eventbrite.

Organiser: SOAS University of London

Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4893