Events

Past Event

Wisdom Encoded: The Digital Kalīla wa-Dimna

July 6, 2020 - July 27, 2020
7:00 PM
Zoom

An Online Series [every Monday in July]
July 6, 13, 20, & 27

Kalīla wa-Dimna is a text that is central to both Arabic and world literature. A collection of tales teaching political wisdom, it transcended languages, cultures, and religions. Throughout the centuries, the book travelled from India via the Middle East to Europe. In its course, it was translated from Sanskrit via Middle Persian and Arabic to Hebrew, Latin (under the title Directorium vitae humanae) and most European vernaculars, as well as Near Eastern, South Asian, and South-East Asian languages. Its religious and social context changed from Hinduism via Zoroastrianism to Islam, and from there to Christianity.
 
The work’s multilingual history involving circa forty languages has never been systematically studied. The absence of available research has made world literature ignore it, while scholars of Arabic avoided it because of its widely diverging manuscripts. AnonymClassic, an ERC-funded project at the Freie Universität Berlin, has been hard at work creating a digital edition of this complicated text with a massive manuscript tradition. In partnership with Columbia Global Centers | Amman, this series introduces the project to a broader audience through a keynote conversation and three consecutive academic workshops open to the public. All sessions will be recorded for publication via digital media.


 

Logos
ERC

The AnonymClassic project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grand agreement No 742 635.

 


Keynote Conversation: Editing an Unruly Classic
Monday, July 6 (6:00 pm Berlin, 7:00 pm Amman, 12:00 pm New York)

Welcome by Hanya Salah, Deputy Director, Columbia Global Centers | Amman

Introduction by Matthew L. Keegan, Moinian Assistant Professor in Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, Columbia University

Beatrice Gruendler, Chair of Arabic Language and Literature, Freie Universität Berlin

Bilal Orfali, Sheikh Zayed Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies, American University of Beirut

Rima Redwan, Research Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin

This discussion will introduce Kalīla wa-Dimna, a classic of world literature. The different versions of this story in Arabic manuscripts and in dozens of other languages has made producing a definitive edition impossible. Beatrice Gruendler's ERC project is using digital tools to tackle the first comprehensive study of these divergent versions.

This conversation will be followed by Q&A.

Register here for the Keynote Conversation: https://bit.ly/KWDKeynote


 

Workshop 1: Digital Humanities and Digital Editions
Monday, July 13 (4:00 pm Berlin, 5:00 pm Amman, 10:00 am New York)

Moderated by Matthew L. Keegan

The AnonymClassic Software and Digital Humanities
Mahmoud Kozae, Research Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin

On Small-Scale Digital Projects for Humanities Research
Theodore S. Beers, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin

Discussants:

Sarah Bowen Savant, Aga Khan University, Principal Investigator at the KITAB Project

Maxim Romanov, University of Vienna and Senior Research Fellow at the KITAB Project

This workshop will be followed by Q&A.

Register here for Workshop 1: https://bit.ly/KWDWorkshop1


 

Workshop 2: The Adaptations and Translations of Kalīla wa-Dimna
Monday, July 20 (4:00 pm Berlin, 5:00 pm Amman, 10:00 am New York)

Moderated by Matthew L. Keegan

What Makes a Good Friend? Analysis of the Two Syriac Translations of "The Cat and the Mouse"
Jan J. van Ginkel, Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin

Naṣr Allāh Munshī’s preface to a Persian Kalīla wa-Dimna
Theodore S. Beers, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin

"The Book of the Panther and the Fox" and other siblings of Kalīla wa-Dimna
Isabel Toral, Senior PostDoc Researcher, Deputy Head of the ERC project, Freie Universität Berlin

Discussant: Lara Harb, Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University

This workshop will be followed by Q&A.

Register here for Workshop 2: https://bit.ly/KWDWorkshop2 


 

Workshop 3: The Arabic Versions of Kalīla wa-Dimna
Monday, July 27 (4:00 pm Berlin, 5:00 pm Amman, 10:00 am New York)

Moderated by Matthew L. Keegan

Manuscripts of Kalīla wa-Dimna: Their Relation and Redaction
Beatrice Gruendler, German Arabist and Professor of Arabic Language and Literature, Freie Universität Berlin

An Overview of the Variety of Versions of Kalīla wa-Dimna
Khouloud Khalfallah, Research Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin

Poetic Moments. The Literary Significance of Middle Arabic in Kalīla wa-Dimna Manuscripts from the Early Modern Period
Johannes Stephan, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin

Discussant: Devin Stewart, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies and MESAS Chair, Emory College of Arts and Scienes, Emory University

This workshop will be followed by Q&A.

Register here for Workshop 3: https://bit.ly/KWDWorkshop3