Mamluk history and culture (1250-1517)
Embedded in the rich traditions of the Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies, Islamic history research at UGent specialises in the history and culture of Egypt and Syria in the Mamluk period (ca. 1250-1517 CE).
In general, our research aims to look at Mamluk history and culture through a new lens, questioning standard accounts of Mamluk singularity and reconnecting it with the wider late medieval and early modern world. All Mamluk research at UGent, therefore, is being pursued within the overarching remit of developing and qualifying a new research paradigm for this regime’s history, of gradual transformation from a predominantly patriarchal to a fully patrimonial social system (‘From the Regime of the Turks to the Sultanate of the Mamluks’). This has emerged out of the research pathway followed by the group’s Principal Investigator, Jo Van Steenbergen, and is currently being pursued in various projects on Mamluk politics and society, that all share a common methodological approach through prosopography. The following three work packages are currently being developed:
- MP3 [Mamluk Political Prosopography Project]: development of a complex relational prosopographical & sociographical database for the political elites of the Mamluk period [with collaboration of software developer Clickworks] - this is an open database, that will continue to grow as more data continue to be added to it; at the same time, it can be used by the wider scholarly community, since a relevant selection of prosopographical and institutional data are accessible (for registered guests) and fully searchable (under construction !). See PROSOPOGRAPHY
- MPC [Mamluk Political Culture): study of the Mamluk sultanate’s politics, defined very basically as who got what, when and how in Mamluk Egypt and Syria (1250-1517), or more precisely as the body of practices, discourses and institutions that determined the control over and redistribution of Mamluk society’s resources
- MCM [Mamluk Cultural Matrix]: study of the interaction between dynamic relationships of power, values, and cultural modes of expression in the Mamluk social environment, developing and applying the holistic, semiotic concept of a Mamluk 'cultural matrix’ to a variety of subjects.
We also organise CHESFAME: International Colloquium on the History of Egypt and Syria in the Fatimid, Ayyubid and Mamluk Eras (10th-15th centuries).
NEWS & ACTIVITIES
* 15 - 17 May 2013: Chesfame 22
* 29 March 2013: research meeting - discussing M. Dekkiche 'Mamluk Patronage in the Hijaz' paper
* 22 February 2013: research meeting discussing J. Van Steenbergen 'Mamluk's Succession' paper
* 24 January 2013: lecture - J. Van Steenbergen: 'The Flux and Reflux of Mamluk State Formation: social theory, social agency and prosopography in late medieval Egypt', NWO Eurasian Empires Programme (www.hum.leiden.edu/history/eurasia)
* 7 - 11 January 2013: research trip - to NVIC, Cairo, Jo Van Steenbergen
* 21 December 2012 research meeting - discussing S. Van Niewenhuyse 'Qurqumas' paper
* 14 December: workshop - J. Van Steenbergen participates in a workshop on ''Islamic' cities in the Middle Ages' (Antwerp University, Center for Urban History)
* 11 December 2012: seminar - Linda Northrup (Toronto), 'Culture and Politics in early Mamluk Egypt' (Henri Pirenne Institute for Medieval Studies, Medieval Seminar Series)
* 6-8 December 2012: conference - V. Adriaenssens, Y. Daoudi, M. Dekkiche and J. Van Steenbergen participate in the international conference 'Everything is on the Move: the 'Mamluk Empire' as a Node in (Trans-Regional) Networks, Annemarie-Schimmel-Kolleg, University of Bonn
* 29 November 2012: workshop - Bonn-Gent Workshop at UGent (fellows of the Annemarie-Schimmel-Kolleg present their research)
* 24 November 2012: workshop - J. Van Steenbergen participates in SSMLL (Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literatures) workshop ' the Mediterranean city: space', University of St. Andrews (UK)
* 23 November 2012: research meeting - discussing Bresc, "Les Entrées Royales des Mamlûks. Essai d'Approche Comparative"
* 16 November 2012: research meeting - discussing Arjomand, "The Law, Agency, and Policy in Medieval Islamic Society"
* 9 November 2012: research meeting - discussing Loiseau, 'Refondation de l'état, redistribution du pouvoir: vers un nouvel ordre mamelouk'
* 26 October 2012: research meeting - discussing Levanoni, "the Mamluk Conception of the Sultanate"
* 15-16 October 2012: Workshop - Gent-Bonn Workshop at Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg, Bonn
* 12 October 2012: research meeting
* 5 October 2012: research meeting - discussing Mamluk State Formation Paper (Wing/D'hulster/Van Steenbergen)
* 28 September 2012: research meeting