Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow
Mariam Saeed El Ali, was the recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for the Arts and Humanities at the American University of Beirut (2020-2021). She holds a doctorate in Arabic language and literature from the same university (2017). She received the Abdul Hadi Al-Debs Award for academic excellence, for her PhD dissertation that was supervised by Professor Tarif Khalidi. She transformed it into a book published by OIB in Beiruter Texte Und Studien series (volume 139) entitled Akhbar Khadija Bt. Khuwaylid in the Islamic Sources: Frames of Narration, Memory, and History (December, 2020). Mariam has several other publications in Arabic and Islamic studies and has taught Arabic and History at American University of Beirut and Université St Joseph.
Memory at Work in Medieval Islamic Scholarship
Shaping Knowledge, Tradition, and Identities
This project examines some of the explicit expressions on memory and of memory in Islamic tradition, and how those expressions shaped its Scriptural, historical, literal, and architectural legacies.
The project is concerned with outlining the concept of memory in the nascent Islamic milieu, by chasing its textual expressions primarily in the Qurʾān. It investigates to what extent the Qurʾānic recurrent references to memory and related notions triggered interest of medieval Muslim scholars in this key concept. A comparison between memory and inimitability (iʿjāz) is sought. On the socio-historical level, the project considers the role of memory in the intellectual and cultural lives of these scholars and what values they attached to it. It looks closely at different attitudes to memory across the Muslim geographies, and communities. The project progresses along broad epistemological lines of enquiries around who, exactly, was responsible for the preservation of knowledge about the Islamic past, and what individuals, events, books, and monument pop up in the Islamic collective memory(ies) and why.
أخبار خديجة بنت خويلد في المصادر الإسلاميّة: أبنية السرد والذاكرة والتاريخ. نصوص ودراسات بيروتيّة 141. بيروت: المعهد الألمانيّ للدراسات الشرقيّة، كانون الأول 2020.
Edited and Translated Books
محمّد روحي الخالدي المقدسيّ (1864-1913):كُتُبه ومقالاته ومُنتخبات من مخطوطاته. طبعة أكاديميّة جديدة محقّقة. بيروت والقدس: مؤسّسة الدراسات الفلسطينيّة والمكتبة الخالديّة، تمّوز 2021.
السحر الحلال: الصاحب بن عبّاد (ت. 385/995) ورسائله. بيروت: دار المشرق، 2022. (قيد الطباعة) ترجمة لـ:
Maurice Pomerantz, Licit Magic: The Life and Letters of al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād (d. 385/995). Islamic History and Civilization Studies and Texts 146. Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2018. (Iran’s World Award for Book of the Year, 2019)
Omid Ghaemmaghami, Encounters with the Hidden Imam in Early and Pre-Modern Twelver Shīʿī Islam, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2020 in al-Abhath 70 (2022): 256-258.
Allegra Iafrate. The Wandering Throne of Solomon: Objects and Tales of Kingship in the Medieval Mediterranean, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016 in al-Abhath 62-63 (2015-2016): 267-271.
“Revisiting al-Ṭabarī on Maqtal ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib: An Early Report (Khabar) from Historical Learning to Practical Prescription,” Journal of Arabic Literature special issue in honor of Tarif Khalidi, 53 (2022): 265–289.
’’أتدرون ما يقول هذا الطائر؟: المعرفة الغيبيّة عبر ترجمة لغة الحيوان،‘‘ ألف 38 (2018): 46- 67.