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ASPS Virtual Event Series II: Two-Panel Event

December 22, 2020 @ 7:00 am - 10:25 am EST

Virtual Virtual Event
Panel 1: Arguing the Place of the Prophet’s Family in the Persianate World

Organized by Ayako Ninomiya (Aoyama Gakuin University) and chaired by Louise Marlow (Wellesley College) with:
Ryo Mizukami (The University of Tokyo), “The Ḥillī Shiʻis Reacting to Imamophilia among Sunnis: A Study of Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Ḥammūyī’s (d. 1322) Farāʼid al-Simṭayn.”
Yayoi Kawahara (The University of Tokyo), “Nasab-namas of Sayyids in the Ferghana Valley during the Period of the Khanate of Khoqand.”
Ayako Ninomiya (Aoyama Gakuin University), “Discussing Sayyids in the Indian Regional Context.”
Julien Levesque (Centre de Sciences Humaines), “Conceptions of Social Hierarchy and Community Solidarity in Two South Asian “Sayyid Associations.”

Panel Abstract:
From the role appropriate to the Twelve Imams in the universal Muslim community to the standing proper for a sayyid family in a local society, the place of the family of the Prophet Muhammad, or his ʿAlid descendants, have been debated and negotiated at different levels, milieus, and contexts throughout the history of Islam. The study of such debates and negotiations contributes not only to the furthering of our understanding of the place of the Prophet’s family in Muslim societies. It also helps us elucidate the very milieus in which such negotiations were conducted, whether they be a local society, an arena of inter-confessional interactions, a community of Sufis or occult scientists, or a court propounding a sacral kingship for its monarch. The relevance of the subject to the study of Persianate societies requires no additional explanation: one needs only to remember so many influential sayyids to whom those societies have been home.
The panel “Arguing the Place of the Prophet’s Family in the Persianate World” gathers four presentations that invariably capture a specific moment in the history of the Persianate world in which a discourse concerning the place of the Prophet’s family was expounded. The panel brings together cases from Ilkhanid Iran‒Iraq, Ferghana in the 19th‒20th centuries, early-15th century Jawnpur, and Sindh and Uttar Pradesh today, and includes a paper on the interconfessional conversation over the place of the Twelve Imams in the Umma, in addition to three papers concerning the place of sayyids in their immediate social environments. Through this rich lineup of case studies, this panel displays the scope and potentiality of the nascent field of research on the place of the Prophet’s family in the Persianate world.

Panel 2: Medieval Persianate Culture and China: Chinese Inspirations in Persian Manuscripts, Paintings and Texts

Organized by Andrew Peacock (University of St. Andrews) and chaired by Zhang Zhan (New York University) with:
Andrew Peacock (University of St. Andrews), “China in Qarakhanid Persianate Culture and Literature.”
Manuel Giardino (University of Cambridge), “Conceptual Confluences between Iran and China: Medicine, Religion and Cosmology.”
Shutong Liu (University of Oxford), “Linking the Arts of Persia and China: Chinese Elements in Ilkhanid Paintings.”
Ilse Sturkenboom (University of St. Andrews), “Origin and Meaning of ‘Chinese’ Paper in Timurid, Turkmen and Safavid Manuscripts.”

Panel Abstract:
The medieval period witnessed intense cultural exchanges between the Persianate and Chinese worlds, and Chinese elements feature prominently in Persian manuscripts, both in terms of their intellectual content and their artistic output. While scholars such as Thomas Allsen, Yuka Kadoi and Ralph Kauz have drawn attention to some of these inspirations in the Mongol and Timurid periods, their range and depth remains insufficiently explored. This panel proposes to examine the exchange between Chinese and Persianate cultures over the eleventh to seventeenth centuries by bringing together art historical, codicological and textual studies, allowing the types of evidence to complement each other with particular attention to their interplay in manuscripts. The panel expands the chronological range beyond the Mongol period that has attracted the bulk of attention to date by contextualizing papers that deal with Chinese influences in Ilkhanid culture with studies that range across the Qarakhanid, Timurid and Safavid periods. Papers will consider not just how and why Chinese works were transmitted to the Persianate world, but also how they were adapted and altered there. They will examine Chinese influences in the Qarakhanid period, especially the representation of China in Qarakhanid texts; the Mongol period, studying Chinese influences in Ilkhanid intellectual and artistic life, looking at both the transmission of Chinese medical knowledge into Persian and Chinese influences on Ilkhanid painting; and the use of Chinese paper in Timurid, Turkmen and Safavid manuscripts, studying its materiality, production and import. Together, the panel will present new perspectives on the transmission and adaptation of Chinese artistic and intellectual knowledge in pre-modern Persianate culture.


December 22, 2020
7:00 am - 10:25 am EST
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