News from the Faculty of Oriental Studies 2010-2011

Coercion or Empowerment?
Official Anti-Veiling Campaigns in the Middle East and Central Asia

Dahrendorf Room, St. Antony's College, Oxford.
Friday, Sept 23, 2011

Convened by Dr Stephanie Cronin, Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford
(supported by the Iran Heritage Foundation and the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Oxford)


Korean Treasures: Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Artefacts in the Bodleian Libraries
26 August to 26 September 2011
Proscholium, Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Libraries are home to many historically significant and valuable manuscripts, rare books, and artefacts related to Korean history and culture. Despite their importance, many of these items have been overlooked within the libraries’ collections and largely neglected by scholars. Korean Treasures seeks to change this by highlighting the many noteworthy and unusual items in the collections. Notable items include the court painting scroll of the funeral procession of King Yŏngjo (1694-1776); a presentation edition of a book given by King Yŏngjo to his son-in-law; a group of documents issued by Emperor Kojong (1852-1919) between 1885-1886 to confer various titles to his civil and military officials; a ceramic dish made and signed by Princess Yi Pangja (1901-1989) as well as rare books, some of which are included on the 100 Han’gŭl Heritage list and others only one or two copies are known to have survived in the world.

An illustrated text, entitled Korean Treasures: Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Artefacts in the Bodleian Libraries and Museums of Oxford University, will be available from December in the Bodleian Bookshop.


Dr Judith Pfeiffer awarded a 1.3M Euro ERC Grant

The Faculty of Oriental Studies congratulates Dr Judith Pfeiffer, University Lecturer in Arabic, on her award of a European Research Council Starting Grant for the project ‘IMPAcT - From Late Medieval to Early Modern: 13th to 16th Century Islamic Philosophy And Theology’. ERC grants in frontier research are awarded to the ‘next generation of independent top research leaders in Europe’ to ‘support the best of the best scientific efforts in Europe across all fields of science, engineering and scholarship’. Only 3% of applicants across Europe were successful in this round. For more information, see here.

Memorandum of Understanding with Beijing University

The Faculty is pleased to announce that an agreement has recently been signed between the University of Oxford and Beijing University to support the year abroad for students of Chinese.

Li & Fung Scholarships

The University of Oxford has recently been made the recipient of an extremely generous donation from the Victor & William Fung Foundation, which will support travel and study in mainland China. The objective of the Foundation is to promote leadership development principally through student exchange programmes in universities. The donation from the Victor & William Fung Foundation will enable Oxford to offer fully-funded scholarships for the year abroad in China (consisting of both fees and a bursary), and it will also provide awards for students to travel to China at the end of the third year to engage in language learning, pursue internships, or carry out charity work.

Professor John Baines elected to the American Philosophical Society

The Faculty of Oriental Studies is delighted to congratulate Professor John Baines, Professor of Egyptology, on his election to the American Philosophical Society as an International member in Class 4: Humanities.  Election to this society 'honours extraordinary accomplishments in all fields' and is testament to the international standing of Professor Baines's research and teaching in Egyptology at Oxford.

The American Philosophical Society was in 1743 and Benjamin Franklin was one of those chiefly involved in its creation.  For further information about the society, please visit their website at: and for the list of new members please see

Other Oxford members include:

  • Sir John Boardman Click, Lincoln Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology and Art
  • Professor Raymond Allen Dwek, Institute of Biology; Director, Glycobiology Institute, Professor of Glycobiology
  • Sir John Elliott, Regius Professor Emeritus of Modern History
  • Sir Anthony Kenny, Emeritus Fellow, St. John's College
  • Sir John Richard Krebs, Royal Society Research Professor, Principal, Jesus College; Former Chairman, UK Food Standards Agency
  • Sir Colin Lucas Click, Former Warden, Rhodes House
  • Dr. Anna Morpurgo, Diebold Professor Emeritus of Comparative Philology
  • Sir Peter J. Morris, Chairman, British Heart Foundation; Nuffield Professor of Surgery Emeritus
  • Dr. Joan Thirsk, Reader Emerita in Economic History
  • Professor Sir David J. Weatherall, Regius Professor of Medicine Emeritus, Honorary Director, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine
  • Dr. Martin Litchfield West, Emeritus Fellow, All Souls College

Memoranda of Understanding with Kobe University 

The Faculty is pleased to announce that two agreements have recently been signed, one between the University of Oxford and the University of Kobe in Japan for international collaboration; the other between the Faculty of Oriental Studies and the Faculty of Letters at Kobe for the Kobe-Oxford Japanese Studies Programme. 

The Idea of Iran: Turks and Persians and the spread of the Persianate world

A Symposium - Saturday 21st May 2011

Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre
School of Oriental and African Studies
Russell Square
London WC1H 0XG

Organised by The Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS and The Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford
Supported by The Soudavar Memorial Foundation

Further information and programme

Ieoh Ming Pei Professorship of Islamic Art and Architecture

Oliver J. Watson, BA Durh, PhD Lond, Director, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, State of Qatar, has been appointed to the Ieoh Ming Pei Professorship of Islamic Art and Architecture in the Faculty of Oriental Studies with effect from 1 May 2011.

Professor Watson will be a fellow of Wolfson College.

CTCFL featured in the Scout Report

The website for the Centre for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language has been featured in the most recent issue of the Scout Report, a weekly review of excellent websites. Read the review here.

Professor Fergus Millar knighted in Queen’s Birthday Honours

The Faculty of Oriental Studies is delighted to congratulate Fergus Millar, Emeritus Camden Professor of Ancient History in the University of Oxford, who has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to scholarship. Professor Millar is a member of the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Unit in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, and has worked in the Oriental Institute since he retired from his University post in 2002.

Please see the BBC website for further details: