Tag Archives: al-andalus

Post-doc: 3 positions at the University of Louvain, ‘The origin and early development of philosophy in tenth-century al-Andalus: the impact of ill-defined materials and channels of transmission’

photoPost-doc: 3 position, 3-year contracts, ERC Advanced project 740618: The origin and early development of philosophy in tenth-century al-Andalus: the impact of ill-defined materials and channels of transmission (2017-2022), Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Deadline: 10 November 2017

PhilAnd is a five-year Advanced ERC project to start in October 2017 at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) under the supervision of Prof. Godefroid de Callataÿ. The objective of PhilAnd is to conduct a large-scale exploration of how, and under which form, philosophy appeared for the first time in al-Andalus. At the crossroads of several major lines of enquiries in modern scholarship and in line with recent discoveries having important chronological implications, PhilAnd focuses on the 10th century, a period usually disregarded by historians on the assumption that philosophy as such was not cultivated in the Iberian Peninsula before the 11th-12th centuries. Its originality is also to put emphasis on ‘ill-defined’ materials and channels of transmission, a field which remains largely unexplored. PhilAnd will be conducted in partnership with the Warburg Institute (University of London).
As part of this project, three post-doc positions of three years each (to start from 2 January 2018) are offered at the UCL in relation with the three following sub-projects (SP):
1) the Ikhwān al-afā’: This SP will aim at producing a comprehensive survey of all the elements which are likely to inform us about the chronology of redaction and – where applicable – of introduction into al-Andalus of the three works that have commonly been ascribed in sources to this most influential group of thinkers known as Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’ (‘The Brethren of Purity’), namely: a) the Rasā’il (‘the Epistles’); b) the Risāla Jāmi‘a (‘The Comprehensive Epistle’) and, c) the Risāla Jāmi‘at al-Jāmi‘a (‘The Super-Comprehensive Epistle’). This chronology is currently far from clear.
2) Ibn Washiyya and the Nabatean Corpus: This SP aims to evaluate the impact of the Filāḥa Nabaṭiyya (‘The Nabatean Agriculture’), a complex and enigmatic Arabic treatise on agriculture written in the Orient, on the development of both Islamic and Jewish Neoplatonism in al-Andalus from the 10th to the 12th century. The focus will be on the reception of the ‘philosophical’ and bāṭinī (rather than agronomical) aspects of the work, with the aim of understanding why this notoriously esoteric work remained so influential even to Jewish thinkers like Judah Halevi and Maimonides.
3) Ibn Masarra: This SP will lead to the first monograph entirely devoted to Ibn Masarra’s Kitāb khawāṣṣ al-ḥurūf (‘The Book of the Properties of Letters’), consisting of an extensively annotated translation of this mystical treatise, together with an in-depth exploration of its place in the history of ‘ilm al-ḥurūf, the Islamic science of letters – including its links with the Jewish Kabbala – up to the time of Ibn ‘Arabī. This will fill an important gap and provide a valuable resource for the study of Islamic mysticism in al-Andalus.

The qualifications required for any of these sub-projects are:

  1. a PhD in Islamic Studies, in Middle Eastern Studies, or related fields;
  2. an excellent command of Classical Arabic (the knowledge of additional languages such as ancient Greek, Latin and in particular Hebrew is considered an advantage);
  3. a first-rate track record and research experience;
  4. publications of articles in peer-reviewed international journals or monographs with recognized academic publishers;
  5. academic writing and presentation skills in English (the working language of the project);
  6. the ability to work both individually and as part of a team.

These three post-doc positions are full-time equivalent. They are offered for a period of 12 months, renewable twice (three years in total) upon good performance. The post-docs retained will be required to reside in Belgium for the whole period of their fellowship. They will be asked to contribute to the intellectual life of the ERC project and of the UCL.

How to apply?

Applications should be made via pdf files and contain the following:

(1) a cover letter setting out the candidate’s qualifications and motivation for applying for one of the three positions offered (maximum 2 pages);

(2) a curriculum vitae (maximum 3 pages);

(3) a list of publications;

(4) two samples of published work (articles, chapters) in pdf (preferably in English);

(5) a transcript of grades and/or copy of the PhD certificate;

(6) the name (with title, affiliation and email) of four people who have accepted to be contacted as potential referees.
Applications should be made electronically and sent to the following address:


The application deadline is 10 November 2017
Interviews will be arranged between 4 and 6 December 2017.

Candidates selected for the interviews will be contacted by mid-November 2017, and asked to write a short research design on a topic to be announced at that moment.

Employment should become effective from 2 January 2018.


Conference: Al-Murābiṭūn: Noveno centenario del esplendor de un Imperio, Granada, October 19-22, 2016

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAConference: Al-Murābiṭūn: Noveno centenario del esplendor de un Imperio, Granada, October 19-22, 2016
Inscription deadline: October 17, 2016.

The Universidad Internacional de Andalucía and the Escuela de la Alhambra present “Al-Murābiṭūn: Noveno centenario del esplendor de un Imperio,” a colloquium/ course in honor of the memory of Prof. Henri Terrasse, to he held 19-22 October 2017 at the Palace of Carlos V in the Alhambra (Granada).

2016 is the 900th anniversary of the conquest of the Balearic islands by the Almoravids (1116), an event which corresponded to the greatest territorial expansion of their empire and started the moment of its maximum splendor. With the occupation of the Islands, the empire obtained a vast territory extending from Mauritania to Zaragoza, as since the end of the 11th century they had been gaining power over the taifas of Al-Andalus, becoming the most important empire of Western Islam during the first half of the 12th century. They were the first to unite the two sides of the Strait of Gibraltar under the same political and religious power. This fact enabled a lively social, commercial and cultural exchange between Al-Andalus and North Africa, centered around the great capitals of the Empire, especially the North African Marrakech, and the peninsular Granada.

Moreover, this year marks 45 years since the death of Professor Henri Terrasse, a great scholar of the art of Morocco and Al-Andalus. Among his works are several publications dedicated to the art and arquitecture of Al-Andalus, necessary starting points for anyone interested in pursuing research in these fields.
During this international seminar, several specialists of the Almoravides will commemorate the 900th centernary of the apogee of the greater Western Islamic empire, with a special attention to the legacy of Henri Terrasse.

1a JORNADA: miércoles 19 de octubre
10:00 a 10:15 – Presentación
10:15 a 11:15 – Conferencia inaugural.
“Henri Terrasse y su contribución historiográfi ca”
D. Rafael LÓPEZ GUZMÁN (Universidad de Granada). 11:15 a 11:30 – Pausa-café

Sesión de mañana:
MESA 1.- Origen, génesis y evolución del Imperio almorávide
11:30 a 12:30
“Camelleros saharianos: la caracterización de los almorávides en las fuentes”
D.a Helena DE FELIPE (Universidad de Alcalá).
12:30 a 13:30
“El primer urbanismo de Marrakech”
D. Abdellatif MAROU (Conservador de la Inspección de Monumentos y Sitios Históricos de Marrakech, Ministerio de Cultura del Reino de Marruecos).
13:30 a 14:30
“El nacimiento del Califato almohade y el  fin de los almorávides. Introducción de un nuevo arte” D.a Dolores VILLALBA SOLA (IEM – FCSH/UNL, Lisboa).
14:30 a 17:00- Almuerzo

Sesión de tarde:
MESA 2.- El Imperio almorávide: organización económica, política y jurisdicción
17:00 a 18:00
“La evolución de la organización política y administrativa del emirato almorávide al imperio almohade”
D. Pascal BURESI (CNRS, Lyon).
18:00 a 18:30- Pausa-café
[MESA 1.- Origen, génesis y evolución del Imperio almorávide]
18:30 a 19:30
“Historia de los almorávides a través de las fuentes textuales”
D.a Ma Jesús VIGUERA MOLINS (Universidad Complutense de Madrid).
19:30 a 20:00- Debate sesión de tarde

2a JORNADA: jueves 20 de octubre
Sesión de mañana

MESA 2 (b).- El Imperio almorávide: organización económica, política y jurisdicción 10:00 a 11:00
“Cadíes y cadiazgo andalusí en época almorávide”
D. Rachid EL HOUR (Universidad de Salamanca).
11:00 a 12:00
“La economía de los almorávides saharianos en el Sur de al-Andalus según sus indicios” D. Eduardo ESCARTÍN GONZÁLEZ (Universidad de Sevilla).
12:00 a 12:30 – Pausa-café
MESA 3.- Trabajos arqueológicos, conservación y difusión de la cultura material almorávide
12:30 a 13:30
“El registro arqueológico almorávide en Šarq al-Andalus: arquitectura y producciones cerámicas”
D. Pedro JIMÉNEZ CASTILLO (Escuela de Estudios Árabes – CSIC, Granada) y Manuel PÉREZ ASENSIO (Arqueólogo).
13:30 a 14:00 Debate sesión de mañana 14:00 a 17:00 – Almuerzo

Sesión de tarde
17:00 a 17:30
“La colección almorávide del Museo de la Alhambra: inventario y catálogo”
D.a Paula SÁNCHEZ GÓMEZ (Arqueóloga – Arquemus Medievalia S. L.) y Eva MORENO LEÓN (Arqueóloga – Arquemus Medievalia S. L.).
17:30 a 18:30
Visita a la colección del Museo de la Alhambra
D.a Paula SÁNCHEZ GÓMEZ (Arqueóloga – Arquemus Medievalia S. L.) y Eva MORENO LEÓN (Arqueóloga – Arquemus Medievalia S. L.).
18:30 a 19:00- Pausa-café
19:00 a 20:00
“Otra forma de enseñar la Historia”
D. Juan CASTILLA BRAZALES (Escuela de Estudios Árabes – CSIC, Granada).

3a JORNADA: viernes 21 de octubre
Sesión de mañana

MESA 4.- El arte y la cultura en la época almorávide: arquitectura, artes suntuarias y pensamiento estético
10:00 a 11:00
“La estética andalusí en el siglo XII”
D. José Miguel PUERTA VÍLCHEZ (Universidad de Granada).
11:00 a 12:00
“¿Existe un arte almorávide? Contribuciones y nuevas perspectivas”
D.a María MARCOS COBALEDA (Instituto de Estudos Medievais – FCSH/UNL, Lisboa).
12:00 a 12:30 – Pausa-café
12:30 a 13:30
“El Panteón Real del monasterio cisterciense de las Huelgas de Burgos. Historiografía, arqueología artística y modelo de conservación”
D.a Concha HERRERO CARRETERO (Patrimonio Nacional).
13:30 a 14:00 Debate sesión de mañana
14:00 a 17:00 – Almuerzo

Sesión de tarde
MESA 5.- Las civilizaciones coetáneas a los almorávides
17:00 a 18:00
“Toledo en el siglo XII: de la casa al barrio”
D. Jean PASSINI (LaDéHiS – CRH – EHESS, Paris).
18:00 a 18:30 – Pausa-café
18:30 a 19:30
“Relaciones entre musulmanes, judíos y cristianos en el Mediterráneo del siglo XII”
D. Brian A. CATLOS (University of Colorado, Boulder (EEUU) / The Mediterranean Seminar). 19:30 a 20:00 Debate sesión de tarde y conclusiones  nales

4a JORNADA: sábado 22 de octubre (opcional)
10:00 a 14:00
Visita al Palacio de Dar al-Horra, las murallas de la Alhacaba y el Bañuelo (personal de Huerto Alegre).

Time and place
El Seminario se celebrará en el Conjunto Monumental de la Alhambra y Generalife, en el Palacio de Carlos V, Granada.
Las clases tendrán lugar los días 19 al 22 de octubre de 2016, en horario de mañana y tarde (excepto el sábado 22 que será sólo de mañana).

How to apply:
Número de plazas y condiciones de admisión
El número de plazas es limitado, por lo que las solicitudes se atenderán por riguroso orden de matriculación.
La Universidad comunicará expresamente la matriculación del solicitante.
El seminario va dirigido fundamentalmente a alumnado universitario de los grados de Filología Árabe y Hebrea, Historia del Arte e Historia; medievalistas, arabistas y otros investigadores; guías e intérpretes; profesores de Instituto.

El plazo de matrícula  finaliza el 17 de octubre de 2016.
El importe es de 8 € de apertura de expediente.
Número de horas: 25.
El pago de la apertura de expediente deberá efectuarse por transferencia bancaria libre de gastos o por ingreso a la cuenta de La Caixa, O cina Isla de la Cartuja (Sevilla) IBAN: ES78 21009166752200074348

Formalización de la matrícula
Deberá aportarse la siguiente documentación:
1- Solicitud en el impreso que facilita la Universidad Internacional de Andalucía.
2- Fotocopia del DNI.
3- Justificante de haber abonado los derechos correspondientes.

Conference: Fatimids and Umayyads: Competing Caliphates, The Institute of Ismaili Studies, London, 23-25 September 2016

Relations between the Fatimid caliphate and its neighbour and opponent, the Umayyad caliphate of al-Andalus constitute a field of study that merits careful and extensive consideration. Scholarship has tended to study both dynasties separately and the existing entanglements between the two caliphates have been noted, albeit briefly, in a number of academic publications.

The project Fatimids and Umayyads: Competing Caliphates endeavours to place both dynasties in context by creating an academic forum in which to reflect upon and illustrate the processes and mechanisms of interaction, and also to explore and problematise the existence of crosspollination. Various scenarios (historical, social, intellectual, economic, legal, theological, religious, cultural, technical, visual, and artistic) are considered in order to assess affinities, as well as discrepancies, connections and contrasts with regard to how these shaped the Fatimid impact on Umayyad dominions and vice versa.

Contact Info:

For more information, you may email Ms Naushin Shariff (assistant of Dr Omar Ali-de-Unzaga, Deputy Head, Dept. of Academic Research and Publications, IIS

Contact Email:

Lecture: The Arts & Science in Early Islamic Spain (15 June, Courtauld Institute of Art)


Wednesday 15 June 20163:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Research Forum Seminar Room, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN

There is a symbiotic relationship between design, art and visual culture, and the exact sciences, which is attested in early scientific objects from al-Andalus and in medieval Arabic texts. In this talk I explore the objects, spaces, and figures that illuminate this relationship, focusing on ‘Abbas Ibn Firnas (d. ca. 887), the celebrated polymath of the Cordoban Umayyad court, and on al-Andalus and its contemporaries between the 9th-11th centuries.

Glaire D. Anderson is a historian of Islamic art of the caliphal period, with a focus on the art and court culture of Umayyad Cordoba. She is the author of The Villa in Early Islamic Iberia (Ashgate, 2013), co-editor with Mariam Rosser-Owen of Revisiting al-Andalus (Brill, 2007), and recent articles on the Islamic west in architectural history, women and the arts of Cordoba, and material culture and caliphal sovereignty.


CFP: Artistic Dialogue during the Middle Ages. Islamic Art – Mudéjar Art


Call for Papers: Artistic Dialogue during the Middle Ages. Islamic Art – Mudéjar Art, Córdoba, Casa Arabe, November 18 – 20, 2016
Deadline: Apr 30, 2016

The research about Spain’s medieval cultural heritage has experienced a
great development in the last centuries. With the reassessment of the
legacy of al-Andalus and of the Reign of Castile and Aragon during the
nineteenth century, the historiography focusing especially on cultural
connections and disconnections has grown extensively. Concepts like
Reconquista, Convivencia and Mudéjar Art, are being interpreted as the
result of Spain’s nineteenth century’s particular socio-political
interests, related to the debate about national identity, religious
intolerance and to an evolutionist conception of history. The special
political and cultural reality of the Peninsula and its Middle Ages as

a geographical and temporal frame of cultural coexistence, pluralism
and heterogeneity has been controversially debated since that time.
At present, we assist to a critical revision and to an intense debate
on those inherited concepts. While the traditional historiography had
delineated several political, religious and artistic frontiers, new
conceptions of the medieval reality arise that interpret those
frontiers as being permeable and dynamic. This perspective leads to the
consideration of an artistic dialogue as the basis of shared
vocabularies. Such a dialogue will be the common thread of the present
conference: we intend to analyze, share and spread recent results and
new research projects on the Islamic and Mudéjar past of the Peninsula.
The conference will constitute a platform for novel lines of
investigation contributing to the debate on the artistic dialogue of

medieval Iberian Peninsula.

The following sections and themes are planned:

– Nineteenth century’s historiography: the reassessment of the Islamic
and Mudéjar past
– Islamic and Mudéjar urbanism
– Architectural reuse
– The twelfth century: dialogue or confrontation?
– The Iberian Peninsula and Europe: cultural connections
– Al-Andalus and the three cultures

Organized by: Prof. Dr. Alberto León (Universidad de Córdoba), Prof.
Dr. Francine Giese (Universität Zürich), Casa Arabe

Submission: Each presentation will be of 20 minutes, and may be given in Spanish or

English. Please submit a proposal of maximum 300 words and a brief
curriculum vitae by the 15th of April to the following e-mail address:

Event: Puerta Vilchez lecture at the V&A (London, 19 June 2014)

Puerta Vilchez lecture at the V&A:
Evening Lecture and Reception

José Miguel Puerta Vílchez
Qurtuba/Córdoba: Monumentality and artistic sensibility in al-Andalus

Thursday 19 June 2014, 7pm
Seminar Room Three, Learning Centre, Victoria and Albert Museum, London


The patronage of the Umayyad caliphs of al-Andalus (Muslim-ruled Spain) created one of the highpoints of classical Islam. The splendour of their court culture outshone the rest of Europe in the 10th century. Exceptional objects and buildings survive as bearers of a deep artisanal wisdom, profoundly significant on a conceptual and iconographic level. This lecture will focus on the high level of aesthetic self-awareness in the contemporary Arabic sources and among the masters, patrons and craftsmen of these works of art.

José Miguel Puerta Vílchez is Professor of the Theory and History of Islamic Art and Architecture at the University of Granada. The lecture will be introduced by Eduardo López Busquets, Director General of Casa Árabe. Please note this lecture will be in Spanish with simultaneous translation.

Admission is free but booking is required. To reserve a place please email

Doors open at 18.30 and the lecture is followed by a reception.

Please enter the Museum by the Secretariat Gate. You will be escorted through the building to the Seminar Room.

Wheelchair access: please contact 020 7942 2324 in advance
Enquiries: 020 7942 2324

This lecture is organised in collaboration with Casa Árabe.

Upcoming events: Research Seminars in Islamic Art, SOAS, London

indexThursday 22nd May 2014, 5.30pm in Room B104 (Brunei Building):

Eduardo Manzano Moreno (CSIC, Madrid) Delivering the Caliphate. The circulation of wealth and valuables in Umayyad ​Cordoba at the 10th/4th century

Broad views of “convivencia” as the main feature that pervades Umayyad Cordoba in the 10th/4th century have usually fostered a number of myths and misconceptions regarding its sudden “magnificence” and “splendor”. This has entailed that the material foundations of the Caliphate have usually been overlooked. The aim of this lecture is to show the role played by wealth and valuables in the social and political articulation of the Umayyad Caliphate, and how a proper assessment of these elements can render new insights for the knowledge of objects and material remains.

Thursday 5th June 2014, 5.30pm in Room B104 (Brunei Building):

Antonio Vallejo Triano (​former director of the Madinat Al-Zahara Architectural Complex, 1985 to 2013) The Cordoba Caliphate through Madinat Al-Zahra: from its proclamation to its consolidation

Madinat al-Zahra was the great urban creation of the Umayyad Caliphate of al-Andalus. It was built in the middle of the tenth century as part of the ideological-structural programme launched by Abd al-Rahman III after his self-proclamation as Amir al-muminin (Prince of Believers) and within the context of his rivalry with other Caliphates, especially the Fatimid Caliphate. Since Madinat al-Zahra was one of the Caliphate’s main means of propaganda and legitimisation, the lecture seeks to explain how city planning and architecture not only reflect the structure of the Caliphate State but also its most pressing concerns and issues. This direct relationship, guaranteed by the sovereign’s involvement in all decision-making processes regarding construction, is one of the aspects that the lecture aims to bring to light. Moreover, the changes in palace architecture also clearly reflect the changes made to the configuration of the State. Madinat al-Zahra was not a static city but underwent very important transformation processes that can be read and interpreted in an historical context as a reflection of the evolution of the Caliphate State from its proclamation to its consolidation. The analysis of the decoratives materials of Madinat al-Zahra in the Victoria and Albert Museum, which were uncovered in the first excavations, will help corroborate these hypotheses.