Arabic Codicology: The Islamic Manuscript Heritage in The El Escorial Collection
The V edition of the Intensive Summer Course Arabic Codicology: the Islamic Manuscript Heritage in the El Escorial Collection, co-organised by the European Research Project SICLE and the Fundación General UCM, aims to provide the students with the basic codicological knowledge and the research procedures they will need when studying and analyzing Arabic manuscripts, as well as at providing them with a familiarity with the libraries of the Arabic Islamic world in Medieval and Modern times, more especially that which belonged to the Moroccan sultan Muley Zaydān. In order to make sure that the training is comprehensive and effective, the course programme has been designed in such a way that the students can apply step by step the knowledge they acquire and develop their analytical abilities with the manuscripts.
The Royal Library of the El Escorial monastery houses the most important collection of Arabic manuscripts in Spain, one of the most interesting ones in Europe. The location where the Complutense University summer courses take place is, thanks to its closeness to the library, particularly valuable as far as the aims of this course are concerned since practical training will be organized there, thanks to the collaboration which has been set up with the library.
The course will be taught by the specialists of Arabic manuscripts, the professors François Déroche(Collège de Frace) and Nuria Martínez de Castilla (École Pratique des Hautes Études), also director of the course. It provides a global overview of the field, thus proving a groundbreaking programme in the frame of Arabic codicological studies, mainly due to its practical approach and to the quality and diversity of the examples which will be examined during the course. It intends to answer the growing interest among scholars and professionals with the international stance required by Arabic codicological studies. It is sponsored by the European Research Project SICLE ("Saadian Intellectual and Cultural Life", ERC 670628) and is designed for historians, art historians, philologists, documentalist, antiquarians, curators, bibliophiles, conservation specialists, etc., preferably with a Master's degree.
The hands-on sessions imply that the number of students cannot exceed 16. For this reason, a short CV and a motivation letter explaining the interest in the course are required; they will be taken into account during the selection process. The course will be given in English in its entirety. Students have thus to be proficient in this language in order to successfully attend the course.
The course will grant a number of scholarships covering the accommodation and maintenance in the summer course venues. Grant-holder students will have to pay only the tuition fees.
François Déroche is a leading specialist in the History of the Qur'an and its written transmission. He has been a member of staff at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, then at the French Institute in Istanbul before joining the École Pratique des Hautes Études where he taught ‘History and codicology of the Arabic handwritten book’. Currently, he is a professor at the Collège de France, Paris, where he is chair of 'Histoire du Coran. Texte et transmission'. He has published on codicology (with other contributors, Islamic codicology. An introduction to the study of manuscripts in Arabic script, 2006) and early Qur’anic manuscripts (La transmission écrite du Coran dans les débuts de l’islam. Le codex Parisino-petropolitanus, 2009; Qur’ans of the Umayyads, 2014). He is the IP of the ERC project SICLE 670628 (Saadian Intellectual and Cultural Life).
José Luis del Valle Merino is the director of Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial since 1994. Among his publications, the Catálogo de incunables de la Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial (2013) ; Catálogo de impresos de los siglos XVI al XVIII de la Real Biblioteca del Monasterio de San Lorenzo (2012-2013). He is part of the Advisory Board of the ERC project SICLE 670628.
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