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The Teaching and Learning of Arabic in Early Modern Europe

International Symposium, 16 November 2013, at the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden

Organised by Jan Loop

On Saturday, 16 November, the conference on ‘The Learning and Teaching of Arabic in Early Modern Europe’ was held at the National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden. The conference was organised by Jan Loop, and it consisted of lectures by Arnoud Vrolijk, Asaph Ben-Tov, Alexander Bevilacqua, Aurélien Girard, Mercedes García Arenal, and Mordechai Feingold, with an introduction and conclusion by Jan Loop.

It covered the teaching of Arabic in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, and England. The event provided fascinating insights into technical aspects of early modern teaching of Arabic, but also into the institutional, political and religious contexts in which the study of Arabic took place from the 16th to the 17th century.

Preparations are being made for publishing the proceedings of the conference (with other invited papers) in the new Brill series The History of Oriental Studies.


10:30 Registration and Coffee

11:00 Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute, London), Opening Remarks

Panel 1: Chair: Martin Mulsow (University of Erfurt)

11:15 Arnoud Vrolijk (University Library, Leiden), ‘The usefulness of Arabic'. The impact of social relevance on the history of Arabic studies in the Netherlands


12:15 Asaph Ben Tov (University of Erfurt), Johann Zechendorff (1580-1662) and Arabic Studies at Zwickau’s Latin School.


13:00 Lunch

Panel 2: Chair: Outi Merisalo (University of Jyväskylä)
14:00 Alexander Bevilacqua (Princeton University), Arabic in the Classroom of Johann David Michaelis


14:45 Aurélien Girard (Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne), Is there a Franciscan Arabic? Teaching Arabic in the Order of saint Francis (Rome, 17th century)


15:30 Coffee Break

Panel 3: Chair: Gerard Wiegers (University of Amsterdam)

16:00 Mercedes García-Arenal (Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Madrid), Teaching and Learning Arabic in Early Modern Spain


16:45 Mordechai Feingold (California Institute of Technology), Learning Arabic in Early Modern England


17:45 Jan Loop (University of Kent), Concluding Remarks


18:00 Drinks Reception