Skip over navigation

Intensive Courses

Future course:
    Date: June 9–13, 2014
    Topic: Arabic Manuscripts and Early Qur’ans
    Instructor: François Déroche (École pratique des hautes études)
Intensive Course on Arabic Manuscripts and Early Qur’ans 
Princeton, New Jersey (USA) June 9–13, 2014
Thanks to a number of generous grants from the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Project, over the last few years the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University has organized a series of short, intensive courses for graduate students on a variety of subjects in the broad field of Islamic studies not normally covered in the Princeton curriculum. In each case, an internationally-recognized expert has been brought in to teach the course over a period of five weekdays.
This year, we plan to offer such a course on Arabic Manuscripts and early Qur’ans.
The course will take place in June, starting on Monday June 9, and ending on Friday, June 13, 2014. The course is intended primarily for graduate students, both from Princeton and from other universities; applicants should have some knowledge medieval Middle Eastern history.
The instructor will be François Déroche of the École pratique des hautes études in Paris, a distinguished expert on Arabic manuscripts and the history of the text of the Qur’an who has published widely on these topics. The first part of the course (4 days) will offer an introduction to the material aspects of the Arabic manuscript tradition, alternating between illustrated presentations of the various componentswriting surfaces, quires, bindings, etc.and sessions with actual manuscripts from the holdings of Princeton University Librarythe idea being that the participants should be able to produce a codicological description of a manuscript at the end of the course. Although some knowledge of Arabic may be useful, it is open to non-specialists of Oriental languages. The second part (1 day) will be devoted to the early handwritten transmission of the Qur’anic text (7th to early 10th century AD), emphasis being given to its beginnings until the end of the Umayyad period: it will cover the historical, textual, codicological and art historical aspects of the subject.
Application process and deadlines
Applications must be emailed to Judy Schedneck ( at the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University by February 21, 2014. The subject line of the email should read, “Application for Arabic Manuscripts Workshop.” Applications should comprise the following:
·          Letter of application with statement of interest
·          CV
·          Names, positions, and email addresses of two referees
All items should be included in a single attachment, which may be a pdf.
Successful applicants will be notified in mid-to-late March 2014 and students accepted for the course but coming from outside of Princeton will receive partial scholarships to help defray travel and accommodation costs. 
Previous courses:
(8) 2012 (March 19–23):
Islamic numismatics  
    Instructor: Professor
Stefan Heidemann (University of Hamburg)
(7) 2011 (June 6–24)
    Topic: Arabic dialectology
    Instructors: Professors Dr. Werner Arnold (Heidelberg) and Dr. Otto Jastrow (Tallinn)
(6) 2010 (March 15–19):
    Topic: Sayyids/sharifs: the kinsfolk of the Prophet in Muslim
    Instructor: Professor Kazuo Morimoto (Tokyo)
 (5) 2009 (March 16–20):
    Topic: Arabic dialectology
    Instructor: Professor Dr Otto Jastrow (Tallinn)
 (4) 2008 (March 17–21):
    Topic: Middle Iranian philology
    Instructor: Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams (SOAS, University of
 (3) 2007 (March 19–23):
    Topic: Arabic papyri
    Instructor: Professor Geoffrey Khan (Cambridge)
(2) 2006 (March 20–24):
    Topic: Islamic coins
    Instructor: Dr Lutz Ilisch (Tübingen)
 (1) 2004 (October 25–29):
    Topic: Arabic manuscripts
    Instructor: Dr Adam Gacek (McGill)