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Nadja Danilenko (Alumna BGSMCS)


Picturing the Islamicate World in the Tenth Century. The Story of al-Iṣṭaḫrī’s "Book of Routes and Realms”

„Picturing the Islamicate World in the Tenth Century. The Story of al-Iṣṭaḫrī’s Book of Routes and Realms.”

In the 10th century, the so-called Balkhī school of geographers around al-Balkhī, al-Iṣṭakhrī, Ibn Ḥawqal, and al-Muqaddasī brought about the first preserved and coherent corpus of geographic material, each consisting of a textual description of the Islamicate World with a world map and 20 regional maps. Al-Iṣṭakhrī’s Kitāb al-Masālik wa-al-Mamālik is the oldest preserved work of this school and I intend to apply an interdisciplinary approach on it for the first time, using perspectives from Geographical Sciences and Art History. The objective of this approach is to acquire a new understanding of his central notions of space, its arrangement and concepts of its visualization in the discourse of (space) knowledge of his time. On the one hand, I will contextualize these elements of his work with geographic and cartographic discourse traditions and on the other hand, I will examine their reception in the school and further beyond. In doing so, I seek to analyze al-Iṣṭakhrī’s impact on the way to write, represent and arrange space.


First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Gudrun Krämer

Second Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Wendy Shaw

In her podcast "Tell me a history", Nadja Danilenko talks with scientists and experts all over Germany about the cultural history of the Islamic region, making it more accessible to people from outside of the field. The episodes deal with history, society, science, and much more, and pick up issues worth knowing but also narratives connected with many topics.

http://tellmeahistory.net/ (German)


"Getting the Picture: How al-Iṣṭakhrī’s Book of Routes and Realms Made It to the Nineteenth Century", during the international conference "Spatial Thought in Islamicate Societies, 1000–1600: The Politics of Genre, Image, and Text", 31 March 2017, Tübingen.