Call for Papers–Islamic and Jewish Studies around the Turn of the Twentieth Century: Ignaz Goldziher and his Correspondents

November 12-13, 2021

Kinga Dévényi (Corvinus University of Budapest, and The Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

Sebastian Günther (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

Sabine Schmidtke (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton NJ)

Topic: When Ignaz Goldziher passed away on November 13, 1921, he left behind a corpus of scientific correspondence of over 13,000 letters from about 1,650 persons, in ten languages. His Nachlass, including the letters as well as his hand-written notes and works, was bequeathed to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The corpus, which is freely accessible in its entirety in digital form ( and constitutes the single most important source informing about the history of Arabic, Jewish, and Islamic studies and cognate fields during Goldziher‘s time. Selected portions of the Goldziher correspondence are available in critical editions, while other portions have been consulted for studies on the history of the field, but the bulk of the material has as yet remained untapped.

The conference aims to focus on the correspondence between Ignaz Goldziher and colleagues from different countries preserved in the Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, addressing aspects of the history of the discipline as seen through the letters. Papers examining specific aspects of Goldziher’s contributions to Islamic and Jewish studies from a wider history of science point of view are also welcome.

This international conference takes place within the framework of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Research Prize.

Submission of abstracts:
The convenors invite the submission of abstracts for consideration to be sent to Uta Nitschke ( by January 31, 2021.

Conference location:
Depending on the situation in fall 2021, the conference will either be held virtually, in person or hybrid in Göttingen.

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