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The Archives of Islam in the Russian Empire (16th-early 20th Centuries)

Vienna, Austria
Organisation: Committee for the Study of Islam in Central Eurasia (ÖAW)
The summer school is designed to explore a range of scholarly approaches to the hermeneutics of records and the formation of archives on Islam in the territories of the former Russian Empire in the early modern and modern period. Here the term “archive” is used in a broad and all-encompassing sense, which includes all possible activities of record-keeping. The goal of this initiative is to draw attention on practices of information-gathering and knowledge production on the Muslim communities inhabiting the vast area encompassing Inner Asia, Siberia, Central Asia and the Caucasus from the fall of the Khanate of Kazan (1552) to the end of the Russian Empire. In addition, by bringing archival science into conversation with Russian and Islamic studies, the summer school promotes an extended reflection on the institutions and the individuals (archivists, historians, Orientalists, dragomans, and go-betweens of all walks of life) who played a significant role in the creation of the imperial repositories that today preserve records about Islam and Muslim communities in Central Eurasia.
By offering hands-on reading sessions and masterclasses, which are based on material in Russian, Church Slavonic, Eastern Turkic (Tatar and Chaghatay), and Ottoman Turkish, the summer school offers a wide range of activities to familiarize students with writing, documentary, and archival practices in Tsarist-ruled Central Eurasia. Reading sessions will offer ample room for practical exercises in the fields of palaeography and diplomatics. Special attention will be given to records crafted in Cyrillic handwriting (including skoropis) as well as in the Arabic script.
The ideal target of the summer school is a group of max. 10/12 graduate students.
The basic requirement is knowledge of Russian and one Turkic language and willingness to work with records in manuscript form.
Applicants are required to submit a CV, a motivation letter, and a letter of recommendation to paolo.sartori(at)
Venue: Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna