Constructing the ‘Public Intellectual’ in the Premodern World: Conference Programme

A medieval Islamic illustration of Socrates. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Constructing the ‘Public Intellectual’ in the Premodern World

A two-day conference co-hosted by the Genealogies of Knowledge project, the Division of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology, and the Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, University of Manchester, UK

5th-6th September 2019 | Chancellors Hotel, Manchester

Call for papers Keynote speakers Important dates

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THURSDAY 5 SEPTEMBER 2019                         
Theme: Constructing the Premodern Public Intellectual via Categories of Knowledge
Time Event
08.30-09.00 Registration
09.00-09.15 Opening and Welcome
09.15-10.30 First keynote speaker:






Christopher Stray (Swansea University), “The Politics of the Classical: Language and Authority in the Nineteenth Century

10.30-11.00 Tea/coffee break
11.00-12.45 Session 1: Legal and Religious Knowledge
  Nilza Angmo (Ambedkar University, Delhi), “The Reciter and the Translator: Transmission of religious texts in Tibetan Buddhism”
  Youcef Soufi (University of British Columbia), “Some Precursors of the Modern Public Intellectual; Disputation and Critique Among Islamic Jurists in the 10th-13th Centuries”
  Zrinko Novosel (University of Zagreb), “Writing on the Topic of Law in the Periphery. The Case of Imbrih Domin and Konstantin Farkaš”
12.45-14.00 Lunch
14.00-16.15 Session 2: Scientific Knowledge
  Joanna Komorowska (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Warsaw), “Knowing the Future: the public face of an astrologer”
  Taro Mimura (Hiroshima University, Japan), “Arabic Translation Contests in the Abbasid Courts – The Process of Publicizing Greek Scientific Knowledge in the Abbasid Period”
  Emily Selove (University of Exeter), “The Sorcerer Scholar: al-Sakkākī (d. 1229) as grammarian and court magician”
  Hammood Obaid (University of Manchester), “Ǧābir Bin Ḥayyān and The Earl of Northumberland: Elizabethan conceptions of science, magic and their role in society”
16.15-16.45 Tea/coffee break
16.45-18.30 Session 3: Historical Knowledge
  John Taylor (University of Manchester), “English historians of ancient Greece from Mitford to Grote”
  Dino Piovan (University of Verona), “Reading Thucydides in Early 20th-Century Italy”
  Tim Cornell (University of Manchester), “Ancient and Modern Ideas of History and Historical Writing”
Theme: Premodern Public Intellectuals, Language and Power
Time Event
09.00-10.15 Second keynote speaker






Rebecca Gould (University of Birmingham), “Multillinguilism as a stimulus to Islamic literary theory”

10.15-10.45 Tea/coffee break
10.45-12.30 Session 4: Professionalization of the ‘intellectual’
  Laura Viidebaum (New York University), “Past Perfect: Isocrates and the Emergence of Public Intellectuals”
  Matthias Haake (University of Münster), “All over the Ancient Mediterranean world? The social figure of the intellectual in the Greek and Roman worlds from the Archaic period to Late Antiquity – a comparative approach”
  Koen Scholten (Utrecht University), “Scholarly Identity in Early Modern Europe: A Quantitative Approach to Early Modern Collective Vitae of Learned Men and Women”
12.30-13.45 Lunch
13.45-15.30 Session 5: Construction of knowledge via privileged learned language
  Matthew Payne (Leiden University), “Cicero and Aulus Gellius: the public intellectual as translator and mediator in the Roman world”
  Chiara Fontana (Sapienza University of Rome – Italian Institute of Oriental Studies), “A Farewell to the Beauty: Political, Aesthetical and Social Aspects of Ibn al-Muʽtazz’s (861 – 908) Legacy as a Pre-modern Public Intellectual. An In-Depth Inquiry in His Neglected Work Fuṣūl at-Tamāthīl fī Tabāshīr as-Surūr (Examples and Similes on the Pleasure of Sharing Joy)”
  Seán Morris (University of Exeter), “In Latin and French: a bilingual mathematician writing for two audiences”
15.30-16.00 Tea/coffee break
16.00-17.45 Session 6: Relationship to structures of power
  Hans Wietzke (University of Massachusetts, Amherst), “Wit to Power: Rethinking the Royal Addressee in Archimedes’ Sand-Reckoner
  Edoardo Crisafulli (Independent researcher), “The construction of Dante as a modern intellectual ahead of his time”
  Radha Chakravarty (Ambedkar University, Delhi), “The River of Knowledge: Rabindranath Tagore and Premodern Thinkers”