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Intensive Summer Course: The Scholars of al-Andalus: the Politics of Knowledge

From July 23, 2018 until July 28, 2018The course will take place from the 23rd to the 28th of July, Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 to 19:00 (37 hours).
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9). The course will take place from the 23rd to the 28th of July, Monday to Saturday, from 9:00 to 19:00 (37 hours). Prior registration required.
In English.

Applications opened till the 1st of April. Specialists from different Spanish academic institutions will guide a select group of students into the fascinating history of al-Andalus in a series of seminar-style intensive classes in English.

Taught in English, the third edition of this Intensive Summer Course, organized by Casa Árabe and the CSIC, under the scientific direction of Maribel Fierro (ILC-CCHS, CSIC) and Luis Molina (EEA - CSIC), and with the collaboration of the European Research Council, the Kohepocu research project and the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba, will take place from Monday 23rd to Saturday 28th of July in Casa Árabe Córdoba. On Saturday morning, class will be held in the Umayyad palatine town of Madinat al-Zahra’. The course will be completed by two archeological workshops on Tuesday and Thursday morning, and a visit to the Archaeological Museum in Córdoba on Wednesday.

The course – this year – focuses on the scholars of al-Andalus, most especially the religious scholars (‘ulama’) but also those involved in the ‘sciences of the ancients’.  Both continuities and changes will be explored from the Umayyad to the Nasrid period, dealing also with the specific features of the Mudejar and Morisco scholarly context. Special attention will be paid to the scholarly and social practices that allowed them to relate different groups in society, from the ruling elites to the common people. The main aim of the course is to assess the state of the art and to identify which areas need to be studied or to be further explored.

The objective of the course is to introduce English speakers to this fascinating history of al-Andalus. Specialists from different academic institutions will guide a select group of students in a series of seminar-style intensive classes and workshops throughout a week-long course.
The choice of the Casa Árabe in Córdoba as the venue for the course hardly needs any explanation. It is housed in the beautiful Casa Mudejar, a 14-16th century building whose restoration received the World Heritage City Award 2011 from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. 

The Casa is located at a three-minute walk from the Mosque-Cathedral. The Great Mosque of Córdoba, it is not only an extraordinary example of medieval Arab architecture and a popular tourist destination, it is at the same time the embodiment of the civilization of al-Andalus, of the power and cultural hegemony it exercised over centuries, of its fall and of its persisting appeal and legacy in our days.

More information and program

Further information: Casa Árabe (at Calle Samuel de los Santos Gener, 9) from Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 14:00 p.m. (
Intensive Summer Course: The Scholars of al-Andalus: the Politics of Knowledge
Photo: Imaginary conversation between Ibn Rushd (12th century) and the Neoplatonic philosopher Porphyrius (3rd-4th century). (CC) Monfredo de Monte Imperiali “Liber de herbis”, 14th century a.d. Reproduction in “Inventions et decouvertes au Moyen-Age”, Samuel Sadaune.
Esperanza ALFONSO, ILC-CSIC, Madrid
María Luisa ÁVILA, EEA-CSIC, Granada
Xavier BALLESTÍN, University of Barcelona
José BELLVER, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Munich
Rafael BLANCO, University of Córdoba
Maribel FIERRO, ILC-CSIC, Madrid
Miquel FORCADA, University of Barcelona
Alejandro GARCÍA-SANJUÁN, University of Huelva
Luis MOLINA, EEA-CSIC, Granada
Juan Pedro MONFERRER, University of Córdoba
Mayte PENELAS, EEA-CSIC, Granada
Teresa SOTO, University of Salamanca
Antonio VALLEJO, Fine Arts Museum, Córdoba
Those interested are requested to send an e-mail message to, indicating in the message subject line: Intensive Summer Course Al-Andalus. They need to provide a brief introduction about the candidate’s profile, including first and last names (maximum 300 words), and a letter expressing their interest in the course. The deadline is April 1th 2018. Those 30 selected will be contacted by April 30th 2018.

Once confirmation of admittance is received, registration must be completed using the application form that will be sent. The fee for the course is 300 euros.
The course is directed at university students and scholars who – regardless of their specialization - want to become familiar with the most relevant issues related to the history of al-Andalus. It aims at guiding the participants to the wide range of scholarly research on al-Andalus. 30 students will be selected from among the applicants (for the application procedure see below). 

Students are not required to have knowledge of Arabic or any other language except English; for those who are proficient in Arabic, guidance in the Arabic sources will be provided as a complement.

A basic bibliography of studies in English will be provided once the selection of students has been made and registration has been finalized. The students selected are expected to become familiar with that bibliography before the beginning of the course. A more comprehensive bibliography, including the most relevant studies in a variety of languages, will be provided during the course.

As the course is intensive and text-oriented, students are required to be present at each class. An attendance certificate will correspondingly be provided. For those interested in producing a research paper, assignments will be given and upon submission (within six months) an examination certificate can be obtained.

Casa Árabe
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Instituto de Lenguas y Culturas del Mediterráneo y Oriente Próximo (ILC)
Escuela de Estudios Árabes (EEA)

European Research Council (ERC)
Kohepocu (Knowledge, Heresy and Political Culture in the Islamic West)
Archaeological Museum of Córdoba
Delegación Territorial de Cultura, turismo y Deporte, Junta de Andalucía 
Redes de ulemas andalusíes: Estructuras de transmisión del saber y relaciones interpersonales, IP: L. Molina (EEACSIC) FFI2016-75295-P
Contextos locales y dinámicas globales: al-Andalus y el Magreb en el Oriente islámico, IPs: M. Fierro y M. Penelas (ILC y EEA-CSIC) FFI2016-78878-R