News and Events from the Faculty of Oriental Studies 2012-2013

Geza Vermes

Geza Vermes, who died on 8 May, was an expert in the history of Judaism in the early Roman empire. His prolific writings, particularly on the Jewish background of early Christianity and on the Dead Sea scrolls, have had a profound effect both among scholars and in the wider public.


New Perspectives on Writing the History of the Kurds

Ertegun House
Friday 17th May 2013

The University of Oxford will be holding a one day conference entitled ‘New Perspectives on Writing the History of the Kurds’. The conference will include keynote addresses from two of Europe’s leading authorities on the Kurds, Prof. Jordi Tejel (Geneva) and Dr. Michiel Leezenberg (Amsterdam) as well as a number of other papers from scholars working on issues relating to the Kurds and their history.

All those with an interest in the Kurds and their history are invited to attend. For those planning to attend but not presenting there is a small registration fee of £5.00 payable on the day of the conference. Refreshments will be served throughout the day. Although not mandatory, we would request that those planning to attend contact the conference organisers at:

The Conference will be hosted at Ertegun House and has been made possible with generous support from the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, Statecraft and the St. Antony’s College Annual Fund.



Language, caste and the secretarial class in Mughal India
Dr Najaf Haider, Associate Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and Shamma Fellow in Islamic Numismatics and Epigraphy at St Cross College, April–June 2013
Ertegun House, 37a St Giles’ at 4.30 pm Tuesday May 28th


The Sudanese Programme conference on

“The Future of Religious Minorities in the Middle East, North Africa and the Two Sudans”

Friday 7th June and Saturday 8th June 2013
The Nissan Lecture Theatre, St. Antony’s College


Oxford Early Modern South Asia Workshop

‘Discipline, Sect, Lineage and Community:
Scholar Intellectuals in India, c. 1500-1800’

St Antony’s College and Radcliffe Humanities Building, Oxford
Friday 31 May-Saturday 1 June 2013


AHRC Josephus Project
Workshop on the ‘Jewish Reception of Josephus in the 18th and 19th Centuries in Western Europe’

Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies in Yarnton Manor
June 17-18, 2013


Juxtapose: A Workshop on the challenges of comparative research on contemporary China and India

Wolfson College
26 April 2013
9am - 6:30 pm

The conference is already fully booked. But it will be filmed and made available through a live broadcast which will be viewable here on the day.
Afterwards it will be uploaded on YouTube.

For more information, see


Dr Adam Mestyan, St Antony's, will speak on the topic 'Arabic Theatre in Khedivial Culture, 1868-1872: James Sanua Revisited' at the Oriental Institute, Lecture Room 2, on Friday, 3 May 2013, at 4 p.m. This talk is sponsored by the Islamic World Studies Group.



British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship Workshop
April 16, 10-12, Lecture Theatre, Radcliffe Humanities



Ertegun House, 37A St. Giles’, Oxford
University of Oxford
1-2 March 2013


Bodleian Libraries - Lecture to accompany the exhibition
Love and devotion: from Persia and beyond
Hilary Term 2013


Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship

Express your interest in this prestigious opportunity for early career academics

Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships are supported by the generosity of the Leverhulme Trust and Oxford University’s John Fell Fund.  These three year fellowships are awarded, through a competitive process, to those at a relatively early stage in their academic careers but with a proven record of research.  This Faculty can support up to two applications for research projects in any field related to Oriental Studies.

The Faculty of Oriental Studies is inviting expressions of interest in the fellowships.  If you are interested in applying for a Fellowship to be hosted by the Faculty of Oriental Studies, please contact the Faculty Administrator ( at the earliest opportunity.  Applications will need to be submitted to us by 18 January at the latest.  Please note that applicants should not approach the Leverhulme Trust directly.


Methodology Seminars for Graduate Students

Fridays 15:00 – 16:30 in Michaelmas Term 2012
Oriental Institute Lecture Room 1
All graduate students in the Faculty of Oriental Studies are welcome.


Prof Clive Holes and Dr Said Salman Abu Athera, a Research Associate of the Faculty, have won the runners-up prize in the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies Book Prize Competition for 2011. Their book, entitled The Nabati Poetry of the United Arab Emirates, is a study of the colloquial Bedouin poetry of south-eastern Arabia over the course of the last century, and contains the original Arabic texts of fifty-one poems with English verse-translations, together with an introductory essay on the history and practice of this kind of poetry. The award was made at Barclay's Capital (the prize sponsors), Canary Wharf, on Wednesday, 31st October.


Russian Orientalism to Soviet Iranology:
   The Persian-speaking world and its history through Russian eyes

St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
30 November – 1 December 2012

 With the support of:
The Roshan Cultural Heritage Foundation
The Iran Heritage Foundation
The Soudavar Memorial Foundation



Dr Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau, University of Groningen, will lecture at the Oriental Institute, Lecture Room 1, Thursday, 1 November 2012, at 5 p.m.
Her topic is 'Self-referentiality in the Qur'an'.



Tuesday October 16th, 2012 in the Oriental Institute, from 2 to 6.30pm

2.00 - 4.00 p.m. Dr John Ma (Corpus Christi): Presentation of the documents.
4.00 - 4.30 p.m. Tea
4.30 - 5.00 p.m. John Ma: 'A proposal for the interpretation of the documents: the status of the Jews before the Maccabees, the foundation of Antiocheia, "persecution" and the end of "persecution".'
5.00 - 5.45 p.m. Professor Robert Doran (Amherst): 'A response to John Ma's proposals and a discussion of their implications.'
5.45 - 6.30 p.m. Discussion
6.30 - 7.00 p.m. Drinks

All welcome.

If you need further information, please contact Martin Goodman at the Oriental Institute (

Documents about the Maccabees