Professorial Research Associate
- Professor Stefan Sperl
- Email address:
- +44(0) 20 7898 4338
- SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
- Russell Square: College Buildings
- Office No:
- Academic Support Hours:
- On Sabbatical until September 2018
Stefan Sperl was born in Stuttgart and brought up in Luxembourg. He studied Arabic at Oxford and the American University in Cairo and did his postgraduate research at SOAS. In 1978 he joined UNHCR and held several assignments in the Middle East and Geneva. He returned to SOAS 1988. His publications include Mannerism in Arabic Poetry (1989), Qasida Poetry in Islamic Asia & Africa (1996, with Christopher Shackle), as well as numerous articles on Arabic, Islamic and Refugee Studies. In 2005 he embarked on a research project with Ahmed Moustafa which resulted in their joint publication The Cosmic Script: Sacred Geometry and the Science of Arabic Penmanship (2014). It won the Iran World Award for the Book of the Year in 2016.
Arabic Literature Classical and Modern; Comparative Literature; Qur’an and Hadith Studies; Islamic Art; Sufism and Neoplatonism; Refugee and Exile Studies
Moustafa, Ahmed and Sperl, Stefan (2014) The Cosmic Script: Sacred Geometry and the Science of Arabic Penmanship, Volume 1, Sources and Principles of the Geometry of Letters, Volume 2, From Geometric Pattern to Living Form. London and Rochester, VT: Thames & Hudson and Inner Traditions.
Sperl, Stefan (1989) Mannerism in Arabic Poetry, A Structural Analysis of Selected Texts (9th - 11th Centuries AD). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sperl, Stefan (2020) 'İnsanın "Boş Özü": Hadis Literatüründe ve Klasik Arap Edebinde Etik ve Estetik [translated by Suat Koca]'. Hitit Üniversitesi İlahiyat Fakültesi Dergisi / Journal of Divinity Faculty of Hitit University, (19) 1, pp 506-546.
Sperl, Stefan (2008) 'Scripture and Modernity: Editorial Preface'. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (71) 2, pp 179-187.
Sperl, Stefan (2007) 'Man's "Hollow Core": Ethics and Aesthetics in Hadith Literature and Classical Arabic adab'. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (70) 3, pp 459-486.
Sperl, Stefan (2006) ''The Lunar Eclipse': History, Myth and Magic in Ibrahim al-Kawni's First Novel'. Middle Eastern Literatures, (9) 3, pp 237-55.
Sperl, Stefan (2006) 'Crossing Enemy Boundaries: Al-Buhturi's Ode on the Ruins of Ctesiphon Re-Read in the Light of Virgil and Wilfred Owen'. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (69) 3, pp 365-79.
Sperl, Stefan (2006) 'Epic and Exile: Comparative Reflections on the Biography of the Prophet Muhammad, Virgil's Aeneid, and Valmiki's Ramayana'. Comparative Studies of South Asia Africa and the Middle East, (26) 1, pp 96-104.
Sperl, Stefan (2002) 'International refugee aid and social change in northern Mali'. Refugee Survey Quarterly, (21) 1&2, pp 147-159.
Sperl, Stefan (2000) 'Stabat Mater - Reflections on a Theme in German-Jewish and Palestinian-Arab Poetry'. Comparative Criticism, (vol. 2), pp 105-129.
Sperl, Stefan (1994) 'The Literary Form of Prayer: Qur’an Sura One, the Lord’s Prayer and a Babylonian Prayer to the Moon God'. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, (57) 1, pp 213-237.
Sperl, Stefan (1977) 'Islamic Kingship and Arabic Panegyric Poetry in the Early Ninth Century'. Journal of Arabic Literature, (8), pp 20-35.
Sperl, Stefan and Shackle, C., (eds.), (1996) Qasida Poetry in Islamic Africa and Asia (2 volumes). Leiden: Brill. (Studies in Arabic literature, v. 20).
Kreyenbroek, Philip G and Sperl, Stefan, (eds.), (1991) The Kurds, A Contemporary Overview. London: Routledge.
Sperl, Stefan (2020) 'Islamic Spirituality and the Visual Arts'. In: Lawrence, Bruce and Cornell, Vincent, (eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Islamic Spirituality. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc. [Forthcoming]
Sperl, Stefan (2020) 'The Qurʾan and Arabic Poetry'. In: Shah, Mustafa and Abdel-Haleem, Muhammad, (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Qur'anic Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sperl, Stefan (2013) '"O City Set Up Thy Lament" - Poetic Responses to the Trauma of War'. In: Kennedy, Hugh, (ed.), War and Poetry in the Middle East. London: I.B. Taurus, pp 1-37.
Dedes, Yorgos and Sperl, Stefan (2013) ''In the Rosebower every Leaf is a Page of Delicate Meaning': An Arabic Perspective on Three Ottoman Kasides'. In: Aynur, Hatice and Çakır, Müjgan and Koncu, Hanife and Kuru, Selim S. and Özyıldırım, Ali Emre, (eds.), Kasîdeye Medhiye: Biçime, İşleve ve Muhtavaya Dair Tespitler. Istanbul: Klasik, pp 188-314.
Sperl, Stefan (2010) 'Man's "hollow core": ethics and aesthetics in hadith literature and classical Arabic adab'. In: Shah, Mustafa, (ed.), The Hadith - Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies, Volume IV, Narrative, Context and Content. London: Routledge, pp 98-118.
Sperl, Stefan (2009) 'Islamic Kingship and Arabic Panegyric Poetry in the Early Ninth Century'. In: Stetkevych, Suzanne P., (ed.), Early Islamic Poetry and Poetics. Farnham: Ashgate Publishing, pp 79-94.
Sperl, Stefan (2009) 'Darkness Transformed into Light: Ibn al-Mu'tazz on the Pen'. In: Allison, Christine and Joisten-Pruschke, Anke and Wendtland, Antje, (eds.), From Daēna to Dîn : Religion, Kultur und Sprache in der iranischen Welt ; Festschrift für Philip Kreyenbroek zum 60. Geburtstag. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, pp 457-464.
Sperl, Stefan (2005) 'Empire and Magic in a Tuareg Novel: Ibrahim al-Kawni’s al-Khusuf (The Lunar Eclipse)'. In: Ouyang, W. and Hart, S., (eds.), A Companion to Magical Realism. Woodbridge: Tamesis, pp 237-246.
Sperl, Stefan (2004) 'Epic and Exile: Reflections on the Biography of the Prophet Muhammad'. In: Yousof, G. S., (ed.), Reflections on Asian-European Epics. Kuala Lumpur: Asia-Europe Foundation.
Sperl, Stefan (2004) 'Reflections on the Biography of the Prophet Muhammad'. In: Sarwar-Youof, G, (ed.), Reflections on Asian-European Epics. Singapore: Asia Europe Foundation, pp 100-121.
Sperl, Stefan (2000) 'In Celebration of Spring: A Poem by al-Sanawbari'. In: Hawting, R. and Mojaddedi, J.A. and Samely, A., (eds.), Studies in Islamic and Middle Eastern texts and traditions in memory of Norman Calder. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 287-296.
Sperl, Stefan (1996) 'Qasida Form and Mystic Path in 13th Century Egypt'. In: Sperl, Stefan and Shackle, C., (eds.), Qasida poetry in Islamic Asia and Africa. Leiden: Brill, pp 65-82.
Sperl, Stefan and De Vriese, Machtelt (2005) From Emergency Evacuation to Community Empowerment: Review of the Repatriation and Reintegration Programme in Sierra Leona. Geneva: Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Sperl, Stefan and Brădişteanu, I (2004) Refugee Resettlement in Developing Countries: The Experience of Benin and Burkina Faso, 1997-2003: an Independent Evaluation. Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Sperl, Stefan (2001) Evaluation of UNHCR’s policy on refugees in urban areas: A case study review of Cairo. Geneva: Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit, UNHCR.
Sperl, Stefan (1998) Assistance to Older Refugees: Review and Case Studies from Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit. Geneva: UNHCR.
Sperl, Stefan (1998) Review of the Mali / Niger Repatriation and Reintegration Programme. Geneva: Evaluation Service, UNHCR.
Sperl, Stefan (1996) Lessons Learnt from the Rwanda and Burundi Emergencies 1993-94. Geneva: Evaluation Service, UNHCR.
Sperl, Stefan (2008) 'Crown versus Muhammad Asha: Expert Report on Arabic poetry exhibits ADG/36 and ADG/67'.
This list was last generated on Wednesday, 26th January 2022, 10:34 Europe/London.