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Rashīd al-Dīn in the Eye of the Beholder: Proposing a Holistic Approach to Reception History

Oct 16, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
10383 Bunche Hall, 315 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
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Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Wolfgang Hemmann

Central Asia in Transition Lecture by Judith Pfeiffer (University of Bonn)

Recent scholarship has painted a rather dim picture of the Mongol-Ilkhanid vizier and historian Rashīd al-Dīn’s (d. 718/1318) historiographical impact in the Muslim world. This lecture proposes a holistic approach to Rashīd al-Dīn’s oeuvre that includes both his historiographical and theoretical works, and adduces evidence to revise the above statement by reviewing the reception of Rashīd al-Dīn in the Islamic world with a special focus on Central Asia and here in particular Bukhara in its connection to Herat.

About the Speaker

Judith Pfeiffer’s research focuses on the social, political, and intellectual history of the Nile to Oxus region with a particular emphasis on Iran, Central Asia, and Anatolia during the Later Middle and Early Modern Periods of Islamic history. She has a special interest in the ways in which political and confessional boundaries were re-negotiated and re-defined during the post-Mongol period, and has worked on Islamization processes, historiography, and political thought during the 13th to 17th centuries.

Her publications include History and Historiography of Post-Mongol Central Asia and the Middle East (2006, co-edited with Sholeh Quinn); Theoretical Approaches to the Transmission and Edition of Oriental Manuscripts (co-edited with Manfred Kropp, 2007); and Politics, Patronage and the Transmission of Knowledge in 13th-15th Century Tabriz (2013).

Judith received her Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies/History from the University of Chicago in 2003. In the same year she joined the Faculty of Oriental Studies in Oxford as a University Lecturer and then Associate Professor, where she taught courses on Islamic History and Culture; Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish historical texts and palaeography; and special options on Seljuq, Mongol, Mamluk, Timurid, Ottoman, and Safavid history and historiography. In 2016 she was appointed Alexander von Humboldt Professor in Islamic Studies at the University of Bonn, where she currently directs the Alexander von Humboldt Kolleg on 13th to 16th century Islamicate intellectual history.


This event is co-sponsored by The UCLA Asia Pacific Center.

NOTE: This lecture was rescheduled from spring 2017.


Oct 16, 2017
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


10383 Bunche Hall
315 Portola Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095 United States
+ Google Map