Die Manuskript-Kultur in Timbuktu-La Culture des Manuscrits à Tombouctou

6 November 2015

The Gerda Henkel Foundation has produced a series of episodes about the Tombouctou Manuscripts Project. The whole documentary has been translated into French, titled La Culture des Manuscrits à Tombouctou and is now available for online viewing.

La Fondation Gerda Henkel a produit une série d’épisodes sur le Projet Manuscrits de Tombouctou. L’ensemble documentaire a été traduit en français, intitulé La Culture des Manuscrits à Tombouctou et est maintenant disponible pour la visualisation en ligne.

The Struggle for Mali

30 November 2015

When fighters linked to al-Qaida swept into Timbuktu on 1 April 2012, Dr Ibrahim Maiga found himself living a nightmare. The new rulers of west Africa’s most famous centre of Islamic scholarship immediately set about destroying its history. Over the following months they set fire to thousands of ancient manuscripts, destroyed the mausoleums of local holy men and forced musicians into exile. For the invaders, many of whom were from Algeria and other parts of the region, “saint worship” and music were un-Islamic. The new sharia court wasted no time issuing death sentences to anyone who violated its creed.

Symposium in honor of John O. Hunwick, April 2016

17 November 2015

This meeting is the first in a series of collaborative programs on Islam in Africa organized under the auspices of the newly established Illinois-Northwestern Consortium for African Studies (funded by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant). It is being planned in anticipation of the ISITA-led workshops, projected for summer 2017 in Evanston and Africa, on aspects of the codicology of West African Arabic manuscripts, and also in preparation for PAS and CAS’s collaboration with the University of Birmingham on its 2016 Thirteenth Cadbury Workshop on “Bodies of Text: Learning to be Muslim in West Africa.”

CFP: SHARP 2016 – Deadline, 30 November 2015

17 November 2015

The 24th annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing (SHARP) will be held in Paris, France from Monday 18 July to Thursday 21 July 2016 (Friday 22: excursion). The keynote lectures, panels, and most events will take place at the Bibliothèque nationale de France. The conference will also feature excursions to sites in and around Paris of interest to book historians. Anatole France once described the Babel of books as a library in which “the books all speak at once and in all tongues.” The conference theme, “Languages of the Book,” is to be understood in the broadest possible sense. One of its goals is to examine manuscript, print and digital cultures in relation to what Pascale Casanova has called the World Republic of Letters. Suitable topics include multilingual books, majority and minority languages, and the circulation of texts across national borders, as well as the presence, within a particular country, of foreign works in their original language or in translation.

Exhibition – West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song

5 November 2015

An exhibition of literature and music – from the great African empires of the Middle Ages to the cultural dynamism of West Africa today.

Beautiful manuscripts, historic film and sound recordings, books, photographs, and woven and printed textiles offer a unique insight into a profound and engaging literary culture with centuries-old written heritage existing alongside ancient oral traditions.