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Workshop: Jewish and Muslim Entangled Histories in Arabia, Yemen and the Indian Ocean (Islam Dayeh)

22.05.2019 | 16:00 s.t. - 20:00

The recent years have witnessed a shift in research on Yemen, the Indian Ocean and the entangled historiesof Muslims and Jews. This new scholarship focuses on the social and political history of Yemen, as well as on aspects of everyday life and the Islamic legal background of politics. The workshop follows the assumption that discussions related to Jews and Judaism in Islamic thought as well as discussions related to Muslims and Islam in Jewish literature, allow a deeper understanding not only of the relationship between both groups, but also of the self-understanding of the writers and their position towards others. Moreover, analysis drawing upon the framework of Indian Ocean Studies and awareness of the political and religious relationships of the early modern era will enable a better understanding of historical events, processes, and historiographical narratives.

As a result, the general theme of the workshop is Arabia and Yemen in the context of the Indian Ocean and the Ottoman empire, with a particular focus on Jewish and Muslim entangled histories. We wish to focus on the modern period and to rethink the relationship between Jews and Muslims across the Indian Ocean Rim.

Wednesday 22 May 2019

Venue: Freie Universität Berlin, Holzlaube, Fabeckstraße 23-25, room 1.2052.



Welcome and Introduction by Menashe Anzi and Islam Dayeh



Ophira Gamliel (University of Glasgow)

Māppiḷa Muslims and the Jews of Malabar 900s–1500s: Trade Allies or Religious Opponents?



Menashe Anzi (Ben Gurion University)

The Qasimids, the Mughals, the Indian Ocean and the Jews: A Re-Examination of the 1679 Events in Yemen


17:50-18:00 Coffee break



Islam Dayeh (Freie Universität Berlin)

The Messianic Challenge to Qāsimī Leadership: Shabbatai Zvi and the Fitna of al-Maḥṭūrī,the Magician 



Brinkley Messick (Columbia University)

Evidence of Murder: Just, False and Discrediting Witnesses


Thursday 23 May 2019

Venue: Freie Universität Berlin, Holzlaube, Fabeckstraße 23-25, room 2.2059


Brinkley Messick (Columbia University)

The Anthropologist as Reader

My recent book, Sharīʿa Scripts: A Historical Anthropology(Columbia. 2018), offers an interdisciplinary account of a locally situated “formation” of Islamic legal texts, including both doctrinal works, such as law books, and also archival writings, from court transcripts to routine documents, such as contracts. My talk will survey the book’s ethnographic foundations, foregrounding people and research relations in Yemen--the human backdrop for sources and insights. The further emphasis will be on appropriate methods for a new type of analytic reader: a humanistic social scientist. 

For further information, please contact Prof. Islam Dayeh (islam.dayeh@fu-berlin.de

Zeit & Ort

22.05.2019 | 16:00 s.t. - 20:00