The historicity of books -Their role as a force in history - has been addressed in post-war literary studies from different perspectives and across various disciplines. Nevertheless, the scholarship on the history of the book in medieval Islam is still relatively sparse, even though this society underwent a thorough process of textualization. But even authors who do consider the social and cultural role of books in medieval Islam look only at the production and consumption of Arabic books within the boundaries of Muslim society, relying on Islamic sources which reflect mainly the courtly milieu of scribes and secretariats. None discuss books produced and consumed by the religious minorities that were an indispensable part of this society, and none have made use of the abundant Genizah documents as source material. In the present programmatic article, I call attention to the many book lists found in the Cairo Genizah and to their potential as significant tools for developing a better understanding of the cultural and social history of the medieval Islamicate world.
|Number of pages
|Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
|Published - 1 Jun 2017
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
©SOAS, University of London, 2017.
- Islamicate world
- Medieval jewish history