The Center for French and Francophone Studies

A New FDH project: Emily Picherot & An Early Arabic Library

October 18th, 2016 | Posted by in Uncategorized

The week of Oct. 24th, the Center is primed to welcome our colleague, Emilie Picherot who teaches Comparative Literature [Arabic, Spanish, French], at the Université de Lille 3. We are, in fact, welcoming her back to Duke since she taught in Romance Studies a number of years ago.

Prof. Picherot is the lead investigator in the new project of our Francophone Digital Humanities Initiative, one extending our work into Arabic and Romance Languages.

“It is impossible to understand the particular relationship of France to the Arabo-Muslim world”, Picherot writes, “without returning again to the earliest tradition of studying Islam in the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries. The evidence of this practice is given concrete form by collections of Arabic manuscripts put together carefully by several scholars of the Arab world – and this long before Antoine Galland, and his contemporary Pétis de la Crois, the French scholars of the Arab world usually identified as the first.”

The goal of the FDH project, “An Early Arabic Library,” is to begin giving access to these manuscripts in digital form. Picherot chooses, first, the only aljamiado manuscript in the French National Library, BNF, Arabic 774. It’s a miscellany that demonstrates the specific writing practices of the crypto-Muslims of Spain during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries who had to hide their identities for their safekeeping.

During her visit, Emilie Picherot will launch the new project, presenting it and discussing the importance of this particular manuscript for research into Franco-Arabo-Muslim relations.

Wednesday, Oct. 26, noon-1:30, the Studio, The Edge, Bostock Library. Join us for a lunchtime discussion.




She will also combine forces with Helen Solterer to present a seminar on a related topic.

“A True to Life Muslim? Knowledge of Islam & the Muslim World – The Case of Honorat Bovet in Pre-modern France.”

An opportunity to delve into the debate – who knew what when? And to consider early chapters in this long, rich, conflicted encounter between cultures.

Tuesday, Oct. 25, 4:45, Rubenstein Library 350.

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