The Columbia University Seminar on Religion and Writing

Meetings 2020-2021

October 1, 2020 – Ute Falasch (Independent Scholar, Berlin, Germany): Creating a Sufi Hagiography in the Mughal World: ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Chishtī’s Mirʾāt-i Madārī (1654)

October 29, 2020 – Adday Hernández López (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, Spain): A Late Manuscript, an Old Debate: A Juridical Question of Abū Isḥāq al-Shāṭibī (d. 1388) about Economy, Society and Political Authority in the Premodern Islamic West

November 12, 2020 – Jill Ross (University of Toronto, Canada): Words of a Desperate Man: Poetics and Cultural Identity in a Late Medieval Hebrew Rhyming Dictionary from the Crown of Aragon  

December 9, 2020 – Judah Galinsky (Bar-Ilan University, Israel): Isaac of Corbeil’s Pillars of Exile: A Thirteenth-Century Plan of Public Education through Liturgy and Law

February 11, 2021 – Kathryn A. Smith (NYU): Found in Translation: The “Makers” and Making of the Welles-Ros Bible

March 17, 2021 – Umberto Bongianino (University of Oxford, UK): The Manuscript Tradition of the Islamic West: Maghribī Round Scripts and the Andalusī Identity

April 21, 2021 – Julie A. Harris (Independent Scholar, Glencoe, IL): The Bible and the Banker’s Box: Ornament and Meaning in the Carpet Pages of Sephardic Codices

Forthcoming meetings 2021-2022 – dates and titles TBA

Dagmara Budzioch (Hebrew University of Jerusalem/University of Wroclaw)

Eve Krakowski (Princeton University) 

Christopher Melchert (University of Oxford)

Brinkley Messick (Columbia University)

Suzanne Wijsman (University of Western Australia)

Because of Covid-19 the meetings of the Columbia University Seminar 751 are held on ZOOM.  Taking advantage of the digital medium, we are also inviting speakers from outside the tristate area.  To accommodate different time zones and schedules, time and day can change from meeting to meeting.  Moreover, arrangements may be subject to change because of the pandemic, and we apologize in advance for any inconvenience that this may cause.  If you wish to attend a meeting, please email our rapporteur Anya Wilkening (abw2163 [at] 

Columbia University encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities.  University Seminar participants with disabilities who anticipate needing accommodations may contact the Office of Disability Services at 212.854.2388 or  Disability accommodations, including sign-language interpreters, are available on request.  Requests for accommodations must be made two weeks in advance. 

The official page of the Columbia University Seminar 751 is available at  Please contact us, if you have any question about the seminar.  Information about its history is available at  The abstracts of all talks since January 2012 are archived at

Susan L. Boynton, co-chair
Columbia University, Department of Music
slb184 [at]

Dagmar A. Riedel, co-chair
Abdullah ibn Abdul Aziz Fellow, Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies/
Columbia University
dar2111 [at]

Anya B. Wilkening, rapporteur
Columbia University, Department of Music
abw2163 [at]

Last updated, 15 July 2021