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The most significant and by far largest collections of Zaydi manuscripts are housed by the many public and private libraries of Yemen, an endangered cultural heritage tradition, currently at risk due to the conflict and warfare in Yemen. The contributions brought together in this volume address a wide spectrum of aspects concerning Yemeni manuscript cultures, with some focusing on their history and present state within Yemen and others discussing the collections of manuscripts of Yemeni provenance in Europe and elsewhere.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-4202-2
  • *
Publication Status: Forthcoming
Publication Date: Apr 30,2022
Interior Color: Color
Trim Size: 7 x 10
Page Count: 541
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4202-2
$48.00

Zaydism, a branch of Shiʿi Islam dating to the eighth century CE, has historic roots in the Northern Highlands of Yemen and the Caspian regions of Northern Iran, and its literary tradition is among the richest within Islamic civilization. The most significant and by far largest collections of Zaydi manuscripts are housed by the many public and private libraries of Yemen, an endangered cultural heritage tradition, currently at risk due to the conflict and warfare in Yemen. Of great importance are also holdings of Yemeni manuscripts that are kept elsewhere. In view of the poor state of scholarship in the area of Zaydi studies, the challenges that result from the significant dispersal of the material are manifold. Yemeni Manuscript Cultures in Peril contributes to the history of books and libraries and their role in the scholastic culture in Yemen, past and present. The contributions brought together in this volume address a wide spectrum of aspects concerning Yemeni manuscript cultures, with some focusing on their history and present state within Yemen and others discussing the collections of manuscripts of Yemeni provenance in Europe and elsewhere. Contributions from Hassan Ansari, Stefanie Brinkmann, Gabriele vom Bruck, Bernard Haykel, Brinkley Messick, Christoph Rauch, Anne Regourd, Valentina Sagaria Rossi, Karin Scheper, Sabine Schmidtke, Jan Thiele, Daniel Martin Varisco, Arnoud Vrolijk, and Zayd al-Wazir.

Zaydism, a branch of Shiʿi Islam dating to the eighth century CE, has historic roots in the Northern Highlands of Yemen and the Caspian regions of Northern Iran, and its literary tradition is among the richest within Islamic civilization. The most significant and by far largest collections of Zaydi manuscripts are housed by the many public and private libraries of Yemen, an endangered cultural heritage tradition, currently at risk due to the conflict and warfare in Yemen. Of great importance are also holdings of Yemeni manuscripts that are kept elsewhere. In view of the poor state of scholarship in the area of Zaydi studies, the challenges that result from the significant dispersal of the material are manifold. Yemeni Manuscript Cultures in Peril contributes to the history of books and libraries and their role in the scholastic culture in Yemen, past and present. The contributions brought together in this volume address a wide spectrum of aspects concerning Yemeni manuscript cultures, with some focusing on their history and present state within Yemen and others discussing the collections of manuscripts of Yemeni provenance in Europe and elsewhere. Contributions from Hassan Ansari, Stefanie Brinkmann, Gabriele vom Bruck, Bernard Haykel, Brinkley Messick, Christoph Rauch, Anne Regourd, Valentina Sagaria Rossi, Karin Scheper, Sabine Schmidtke, Jan Thiele, Daniel Martin Varisco, Arnoud Vrolijk, and Zayd al-Wazir.

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ContributorBiography

Stefanie Brinkmann

Stefanie Brinkmann is a research fellow at the Bibliotheca Arabica Project at the Saxon Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Leipzig. She holds a PhD in Arabic and Islamic studies from the University of Göttingen and has held acting professorships at Freiburg and Hamburg Universities. Her main research interests are manuscript studies, hadith, material culture (especially the history of food and drink), and classical Arabic poetry.

Gabriele vom Bruck

Gabriele vom Bruck is a reader in anthropology with reference to the Middle East (emerita) and a research fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She earned her PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics & Political Science, and held teaching posts at the LSE and the University of Edinburgh. She has conducted extensive field research in Yemen and published on elites, religious movements, gender, consumption, memory and history, and photography. Her major publications are Islam, Memory and Morality in Yemen: Ruling Families in Transition (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005) and Mirrored Loss: A Yemeni Woman’s Life Story (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018).

Bernard Haykel

Bernard Haykel is a historian of the Arabian Peninsula and a scholar of politics, Islamic law, and Islamist movements. He is professor of Near Eastern studies at Princeton University, where he is also the director of the Institute for the Transregional Study of the Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. He earned his DPhil in Oriental studies from the University of Oxford.

Brinkley Messick

Brinkley Messick is professor of anthropology and of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies at Columbia University, and director of the Middle East Institute. In 2009, he received the Outstanding Senior Scholar Award from the Middle East section of the American Anthropological Association. His Calligraphic State (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993) was awarded the Albert Hourani Prize of the Middle Eastern Studies Association; he coedited Islamic Legal Interpretation: Muftis and Their Fatwas (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996), and his Sharīʿa Scripts: A Historical Anthropology was published by Columbia University Press in 2018.

Christoph Rauch

Christophe Rauch studied Arabic and Islamic studies and religion at Leipzig University (MA) and also holds an MA in information and library science from the Humboldt Universität Berlin. Since 2010 he is head of the Oriental department at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. He is particularly interested in and publishes from time to time on Arabic manuscripts and the history of Oriental studies and collections.

Anne Regourd

Anna Regourd reached Yemen for the first time in 1992. Her initial fieldwork was on divination and magic, a theme at the intersection of textual studies and anthropology, “texts in practices and practices in text.” This was her first contact with manuscripts in Yemen. In 2001 she became the scientific director of the Program for Safeguarding Manuscripts of Private Libraries in Zabid, a cooperative program based on the training of a Zabidi team. She directed the compilation of four catalogs of Yemeni manuscripts, one of them on digitized watermarked papers (2008). When the war between the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Houthis started in 2015, she organized and took part in numerous events to draw attention to the endangered heritage of Yemen. She has published extensively on Yemeni manuscripts and codicology, including The Trade in Papers with Non-Latin Characters (Leiden: Brill, 2018). She has been the director of the online journal Nouvelles Chroniques du manuscrit au Yémen, originally the Chroniques du manuscrit au Yémen, since 2006.

Valentina Sagaria Rossi

Valentina Segaria Rossi is (since 1990) the curator of the Oriental Manuscript Collection of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome. She dedicates her research and publications to the study of the transmission of classical Arabic texts (works on amthāl, dictionaries, lexicographies) and the Arabic manuscript tradition, with particular reference to the Yemeni heritage. She has coordinated research projects on Italian collections of Arabic manuscripts, and since 2018 she has been collaborating with Sabine Schmidtke to integrate Italian collections into the ZMT (Zaydi Manuscript Tradition) project.

Karin Scheper

Karin Scheper was trained as a book and paper conservator in Amsterdam, and she heads the Leiden University Library’s conservation studio. She completed her PhD in 2014 with a dissertation entitled “The Islamic Bookbinding Tradition: A Book Archaeological Study.” For her research into the development of Islamic book structures she received the schol- arly honor of the De la Court Prize awarded by the KNAW (the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) in 2017. She was a Bahari Fellow and studied the Persian collections at Oxford, and she teaches courses on the materiality of books and book history.

Jan Thiele

Jan Thiele is a scholar of Islamic intellectual history based at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid. He is the author of Kausalität in der muʿtazilitischen Kosmologie (Leiden: Brill, 2011) and Theologie in der jemenitischen Zaydiyya (Leiden: Brill, 2013) and the coeditor of Philosophical Theology in Islam: Later Ashʿarism East and West (with Ayman Shihadeh; Leiden: Brill, 2020), Jewish-Muslim Intellectual History Entangled (with Camilla Adang, Bruno Chiesa, Omar Hamdan, Wilferd Madelung, and Sabine Schmidtke; Cam- bridge: Open Book, 2020), and the journal Intellectual History of the Islamicate World.

Daniel Martin Varisco

Daniel Martin Varisco is an anthropologist and historian who conducted ethnographic fieldwork on traditional water resource use in central Yemen in 1978–1979 and historical research on Yemeni manuscripts in Cairo in 1983, Sanaa in 1985, and Istanbul in 1989. He has written about the history of Yemeni agriculture since the tenth century. He is currently writing a history of Rasulid-era agriculture with a translation of the agricultural treatise of al-Malik al-Ashraf ʿUmar (d. 696/1296).

Arnoud Vrolijk

Arnoud Vrolijk (PhD Leiden, 1998), is Interpres Legati Warneriani and curator of Oriental manuscripts and rare books at Leiden University Libraries. He has published extensively on the Leiden collections and the history of Arabic scholarship in the Netherlands.

Zaid bin Ali al-Wazir

Zaid bin Ali al-Wazir is a scholar, poet, politician, historian, former diplomat, and editor who from a young age was tutored by leading Yemeni men of literature and Islamic sciences (ʿulamāʾ). He has published many books, including Autocracy: Political Jurisprudence Crisis among Muslims (al-Fardiyya: Baḥth fī azmat al-fiqh al-siyāsī ʿindā l-Muslimīn), An Attempt to Correct the Path (Muḥāwala li-taṣḥīḥ al-masār), and An Attempt to Comprehend the Yemeni Problem (Muḥāwala li-fahm al-mushkila al-yamaniyya), as well as numerous scholarly articles. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he was a founding member of the so-called Third Force and the Union of Popular Forces party (Ittiḥād al-Quwā al-Shaʿbiyya). He was one of the founders and main contributors to al-Shoura newspaper. In 1999 he established the Yemen Heritage and Research Center (Markaz al-Turāth wa-l-Buḥūth al-Yamanī), which publishes the journal al-Masār, focusing on Yemeni issues.

Sabine Schmidtke

Sabine Schmidtke is Professor of Islamic Intellectual History at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She has published extensively on Islamic and Jewish intellectual history, as well as the Muslim reception of the Bible and its early translation history into Arabic. Her works include Theologie, Philosophie und Mystik im zwölferschiitischen Islam des 9./15. Jahrhunderts: Die Gedankenwelten des Ibn Abī Ǧumhūr al-Aḥsāʾī (um 838/1434-35–nach 906/1501) (Brill, 2000), The Oxford Handbook of Islamic Theology (OUP, 2016), and, together with Hassan Ansari, Studies in Medieval Islamic Intellectual Traditions (Lockwood Press, 2017). She is also the executive editor of Intellectual History of the Islamicate World (Brill) and, with Hassan Ansari, of Shii Studies Review (Brill).

Hassan Ansari

Hassan Ansari is a visiting professor at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ). He received his PhD from EPHE (Sorbonne-Paris) in Islamic studies. Prior to EPHE, he studied Arabic literature, Qurʾanic exegesis and hadith, Islamic theology, philosophy, mysticism, and law in Qom and Tehran. He has published various books and many articles in Persian, Arabic, French, and English, including L’imamat et l’occultation selon l’imamisme: Étudebibliographique et histoire des textes (Leiden: Brill, 2017); Studies in Medieval Islamic Intellectual Traditions (with Sabine Schmidtke; Atlanta: Lockwood Press, 2017); Al-Šarīf al-Murtaḍā’s Oeuvre and Thought in Context: An Archaeological Inquiry into Texts and Their Transmission (with Sabine Schmidtke; Cordoba: UCOPress, 2022); and Caliphate and Imamate: Selected Political Works from the Islamic Tradition (with Nebil Husayn; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming).

The Fate of Yemeni Manuscripts, Late Nineteenth to Early Twenty-First Centuries: An Introduction (1)
Hassan Ansari and Sabine Schmidtke

PART ONE. MANUSCRIPT LIBRARIES IN YEMEN (123)

‘Touching a Piece of History’: The Life-Cycles and Destinies of Private Yemeni Libraries in an Era of Turmoil (125)
Gabriele vom Bruck

al-Khizāna al-Mutawakkiliyya: The Imam’s New Library (153)
Brinkley Messick

The Historic Journey of Banī al-Wazīr’s Library (175)
Zaid bin Ali al-Wazir

Yemeni Cultural Patrimony in Manuscript Form: Several Decades of Public Policy (193)
Anne Regourd

Nūr al-Maʿārif: The Late 13th-Century Rasulid Administrative Archive of al-Malik al-Muzaffar Yusuf (217)
Daniel Martin Varisco

PART TWO. YEMENI MANUSCRIPTS IN THE WORLD (239)

Toward a Reconstruction of ʿAbd Allāh b. Zayd al-ʿAnsī’s Oeuvre and Thought (241)
Hassan Ansari and Sabine Schmidtke

From Iran to Kawkabān: The Transfer of Sunnī Ḥadīth to Zaydī Yemen : A Case Study of Ms. Vienna, Cod. Glaser 30 (349)
Stefanie Brinkmann

Yemeni Manuscripts of Diverse Provenance at the Berlin State Library (387)
Christoph Rauch

Eduard Glaser’s Personal Nachlass in Archives of the Czech Republic (419)
Jan Thiele

Opening Yemen Up to Italy: Coffee, Textiles, and Arabic Manuscripts (441)
Valentina Sagaria Rossi

From the Eyries of Yemen to the Pastures of Holland: The Acquisition and Preservation of Yemeni Manuscripts at Leiden University Library (487)
Karin Scheper and Arnoud Vrolijk

Al-Sayyid Muḥammad b. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-ʿUbaykān (1899–1993): A Saudi Official and His Yemeni Manuscript Collection (519)
Bernard Haykel

Contributors (535)