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Institute for the Study of the Ancient World



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04/27/2018 09:30 AM ISAW Lecture Hall

Text and Image: Transmedial Inquiries into Ancient Near Eastern Cultures

Conference organized by Beate Pongratz-Leisten (ISAW)

NOTE: We are now fully booked for this event and are no longer accepting RSVPs. In the ancient Near East many monuments and artifacts incorporated both pictorial and written compositions. “Text and Image” has long been a trope in philological and art historical studies inquiring into the mixture or conjoining of the verbal and the visual. Image and language, and discourse and icon, are disjunctive symbolic systems, and there are sense-making operations that do not necessarily take a narrative form. Moreover, when it comes to narrative, it has been long recognized that the migration of a story or message from one medium to another presents cognitive consequences, and that the narrative potential will necessarily be differently actualized. Rather than perceiving of narrative as a linguistic object, this workshop examines narrative in cognitive terms, understanding it in the first place as a mental image realizable in various media.
04/30/2018 01:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

An Appetite for the Past

Conference organized by Yitzchak Jaffe (ISAW Visiting Assistant Professor) and Kelila Jaffe (NYU Food Studies)

NOTE: We are now fully booked for this event and are no longer accepting RSVPs. This endeavor will bring scholars of the ancient world and food specialists together to create and serve the fruits of their collaborative efforts to the NYU community. Teams composed of chefs and scholars are cooperating on research projects focusing on food to study and create a consumable final product.
05/03/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

Plato's advice to Alexander:

Amir Khusraw's 'Mirror of Alexander' (1299)

Richard Stoneman

"Plato's advice to Alexander: Amir Khusraw's 'Mirror of Alexander' (1299)" introduces the poet Amir Khusraw and sets his poem in the context of the mirror-for-princes literature of the Arab and Persian Middle Ages. It considers the links of this tradition with the actual work of Plato, and also of Aristotle, and finds little direct connection. In the poem, Alexander visits the hermit Plato in his cave to obtain advice on rulership. Alexander is thus presented as a kind of philosopher-king, as much a Sufi and a sage as he is a monarch.
05/10/2018 06:00 PM ISAW Lecture Hall

The Migrations of Islamic Science in Renaissance Europe

Robert Morrison

The Renaissance is often seen as the result of Europeans’ re-engagement with the heritage of Classical Antiquity, which Islamic societies preserved during the Dark Ages. Recent research has shown, though, that the science of Islamic societies from the twelfth through sixteenth centuries was crucial for Renaissance science. This lecture will describe this late medieval Islamic scientific culture and the fascinating stories of how it reached Renaissance Europe, often as a by-product of economic activity and as a result of a quest for social capital. In fact, European scholars in the later sixteenth century and the seventeenth century continued to value the science of Islamic societies, even after European science had blossomed. Renaissance science turns out to have more diverse foundations than previously thought.
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