Announcement of an Intensive Seminar

Looking over al-Maqrīzī’s Shoulder:

The Working Method of a Medieval Egyptian Historian

I am happy to announce that a three-day intensive seminar will be held at the Naito Seminar House, Yamanaka Villa (Sportia Yamanaka) in Yamanashi Prefecture on the occasion of welcoming Professor Frédéric Bauden of the Université de Liège, Belgium.

Professor Bauden is a scholar of international renown who has made great contributions to the fields of Arabic philology and the social history of Islam. The area of Professor Bauden’s research that has attracted particular attention in recent years has been his work in socio-intellectual history. As part of this work, he has elucidated the intellectual practices of medieval Arab intellectuals by taking an “archeological” approach to the reading of manuscripts. The “Notebook” in the handwriting of the representative medieval Muslim historian al-Maqrīzī (1364-1442) in the possession of the university library of the Université de Liège, which Bauden first brought to the attention of the academic community, is a manuscript of extremely high historical value. Bauden succeeded in meticulously reconstructing the author’s writing process based on a painstaking analysis of the source material. Basedon Professor Bauden’s latest work, this intensive seminar will provide an opportunity to become familiar together with other participants about the intellectual practice of a medieval Egyptian historian and intellectual.

The source materials to be discussed are Arabic historiographical writings from medieval Egypt and I am convinced that the seminar will be of great benefit to all who seek to work on (or are already engaged in work on) written sources from the pre-modern Islamic world. The requirements for participation are outlined below.


This intensive seminar is organized jointly by the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the Uehiro Project for the Asian Research Library (U-PARL) as well as the Research & Information Center for Asian Studies. It also receives aid from the JSPS Program for Overseas Researchers (Short-term).

Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, The University of Tokyo

Morimoto Kazuo



Seminar Dates and Location

May 4 (Mon) to May 6 (Wed) 2015 (2 nights, 3 days)

Naito Seminar House, Yamanaka Villa (Sportia Yamanaka), Yamanashi Prefecture


Seminar Language

English (occasionally Japanese)


Seminar Structure

The seminar will consist of 1.) a pre-noon seminar session conducted by a Japanese scholar on reading hand-written manuscripts, 2.) an afternoon lecture by Professor Bauden, and 3.) an evening session of research presentations given by the participants. The details for each session are as follows.

1.) Seminar session taught by a Japanese scholar on reading hand-written manuscripts (9:00-12:00)

Under the instruction of a Japanese scholar, participants will familiarize themselves with the hand-written manuscript text to be discussed in the afternoon session.

2.) Lecture by Professor Frédéric Bauden (13:00-17:00)

Guided by Professor Bauden, participants will experience the different techniques and methodological stages of the writing process displayed in the work of the medieval Egyptian historian al-Maqrīzī.

3.) Research presentations by the seminar participants (scheduled for 17:30-18:30)

Presentations in English by the participating graduate students.

The seminar will start at 13:00 on the first day and is schedule to end at 16:00 on the last day.


Application process and requirements

1.) Application period

February 26 (Thu) 2015 to March 20 (Fri) 2015

2.) Number of participants


3.) Participation costs to be covered by participants

– Travel to the seminar facilities

– Accommodation for two nights (University of Tokyo faculty and graduate students: 5,000 Yen; graduates of the University of Tokyo: 6,000 Yen; others: 7,000 Yen)

– Meals during the duration of the intensive seminar (a total of 4,800 Yen)

However, accommodation and meals will be free of charge for those participants who have not yet received a JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists.

4.) Potential participants need to fulfill the requirements outlined below. Highly motivated participants are particularly welcome.

– Applicants need to be enrolled in an MA program or above. Those outside graduate school who are strongly interested in participating should consult with us individually. However, in case of a large number of applications, preference will be given to those at the beginning of their academic career (graduate students, post-docs, etc.).

– Applicants should have at least a beginner’s knowledge in Arabic grammar. In case of a large number of applicants, Arabic reading skills will be considered as part of the selection process.

– Applicants from all disciplines are welcome. However, in case of a large number of applicants, preference will be given to applicants who specialize in the study of the history and thought of pre-modern Middle Eastern Islam.


How to apply

1.)Applicants should first fill in the application form.

2.) Applicants will be asked to submit a translation sample from Arabic into Japanese.

Please download the text to be translated from the application form webpage.

Please enter your translation in the appropriate section of the application form.

3.) Please specify if you wish to give a presentation in English when filling in the application form or contact the office by e-mail. (In case of a large number of applicants, preference may be given to those wishing to present in English.)

A confirmation message will be sent by the office to applicants after submission of the application form.

In case of any other inquiries or issues, please contact the office by e-mail.


Office contact details (we also answer questions about the content of the seminar)

kumakurawakako[at] (Please change [at] to @)

Person in charge: KUMAKURA Wakako (Uehiro Project for the Asian Research Library)


Seminar website

For further information and notifications, please check the following URL.



A brief introduction to Professor Bauden’s work and bibliography

Professor Bauden’s work centers on hand-written manuscripts. The results of this research are being published as part of a serialized essay under the title “Maqriziana,” whose completion is eagerly awaited by many scholars. Alongside elucidating the reuse of old administrative documents circulating in Mamluk society based on an analysis of written mediums such as manuscripts including al-Maqrīzī’s “Notebook,” Professor Bauden also conducts palaeographical research on actually issued Iqta‘ rulings and other orders. Professor Bauden has further expanded his field of inquiry into the history of international relations by analyzing diplomatic documents exchanged between the Mamluk court and surrounding countries.


1) Muḥibb al-Dīn Aḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh al-Ṭabarī al-Makkī. Les Trésors de la postérité ou les fastes des proches parents du Prophète (Kitāb Ḏaḫā’ir al-‘Uqbā fī Manāqib Ḏawī al-Qurbā). Ed. by Frédéric Bauden, Cairo, Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, 2004.

2) “Maqriziana II. Discovery of an Autograph MS of al-Maqrīzī: Towards a Better Understanding of his Working Method: Analysis”, Mamlūk Studies Review 12/1 (2008).

3) “The Sons of al-Nāṣir Muḥammad and the Politics of Puppets: Where It All Started?” Mamlūk Studies Review 13/1 (2009).

4) “Vers une archéologie du savoir en Islam: la méthode de travail d’al-Maqrīzī, historien du XVe siècle”, in Comptes rendus de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (2009).

5) “D’Alexandrie à Damas et retour: la poste privée à l’époque mamlouke à la lumière d’une commission accomplie pour le compte d’un Vénitien (821 A.H./1418 È.C.)”, in Urbain Vermeulen and Kristoff d’Hulster (eds.), Egypt and Syria in the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk Eras 6, Leuven: Peeters, 2010.

6) “Maqriziana IX. Should al-Maqrīzī be thrown out with the bathwater? The question of his plagiarism of al-Awḥadī’s Khiṭaṭ and the documentary evidence”, Mamlūk Studies Review 14 (2010).

7) “Maqriziana XI. Al-Maqrīzī et al-Ṣafadī: Analyse de la (re)construction d’un récit biographique”, Les méthodes de travail des historiens en Islam. Roma: Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, 2010.

8) “Maqriziana XII. Evaluating the Sources for the Fatimid Period: Ibn al-Maʾmūn al-Baṭāʾiḥī’s History and Its Use by al-Maqrīzī,” in Bruce D. Craig (ed.), Ismaili and Fatimid studies in honor of Paul E. Walker, Chicago: Middle East Documentation Center, 2010.

9) Les méthodes de travail des historiens en Islam. Coordinated by Frédéric Bauden, Rome: Istituto per l’Oriente C.A. Nallino, 2010.

10) Al-Maqrīzī’s Collection of Opuscules. An Introduction. («Bibliotheca Maqriziana. Opera Minora», 1) Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2015.