Education and Networks of Learning in Islamic History (Online)

Date / time: 22 September - 24 September, 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

Education and Networks of Learning in Islamic History (Online)


This course will be held online, provided by Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations​, Aga Khan Centre, London.

This three-day course is an introduction to the study of pre-modern Islamicate education practices. The course will introduce historical sources and archival material on which our knowledge of pre-modern learning and knowledge transmission is based. In addition, participants will be introduced to innovative digital humanities approaches to the study of classical texts, such as social network analysis and the interpretation of text reuse data.

Over the course of three sessions, participants will engage with the following:

  • The basic historical trajectory of educational practices in the Islamic world: origins, developments, and processes of formalisation.
  • The role of knowledge networks and institutions of education in the formation of the Muslim world as we know it today.
  • The interpretation of primary sources (in English translation) related to practices of education and knowledge transmission.
  • How digital methods can complement our reading of narrative sources, with a particular focus on Muslim knowledge transmission.

Read and download course structure:


Aslisho Qurboniev is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at AKU-ISMC’s KITAB Project working on the Islamic West, including medieval Maghrib, al-Andalus, and Sicily. He has a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Cambridge (2020) and an MPhil in Islamic Studies and History from the University of Oxford (2014). His doctoral thesis “Traditions of Learning in Fāṭimid Ifrīqiya (296-362/909-973): Networks, Practices and Institutions” is a study of the formation of scholarly communities and learning traditions in early Fāṭimid Ifrīqiya. Aslisho is broadly interested in the social and intellectual history of the medieval Islamicate world, from Central Asia to Spain and Sicily.

Gowaart Van Den Bossche is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at AKU-ISMC’s KITAB Project. He studied History and Arabic and Islamic Studies at Ghent University and the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo. He obtained his PhD in history at Ghent University in January 2019 with a thesis entitled “The Past, Panegyric, and the Performance of Penmanship: Sultanic Biography and Social Practice in Late Medieval Egypt and Syria.” He has published articles on Mamluk historiography and narrative as well as on Islamic law.

Date and Time: 22-24 September 2021, 13:30 – 16:00 (London Time).

Tickets and Booking:

  • £75 professionals
  • £45 students, AKU alumni and staff.

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*The course will be delivered via Zoom. Readings and further details will be provided later upon registration.

Image Credit: Les Maqâmât d’Aboû Moḥammad al-Qâsim ibn ʿAlî al-Ḥarîrî. Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Arabe 3929.