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Swahili Poetry of Commitment by Ustadh Mahmoud Mau
The present volume is a pioneering collection of poetry by the outstanding Kenyan poet, intellectual and imam Ustadh Mahmmoud Mau (born 1952) from Lamu island, once an Indian Ocean hub, now on the edge of the nation state. By means of poetry in Arabic script, the poet raises his voice against social ills and injustices troubling his community on Lamu. The book situates Mahmoud Mau’s oeuvre within transoceanic exchanges of thoughts so characteristic of the Swahili coast. It shows how Swahili Indian Ocean intellectual history inhabits an individual biography and writings while also portraying a unique African Muslim thinker and his poetry in the local language, which has so often been neglected as major site for critical discourse in Islamic Africa. The authors’ approaches highlight the relevance of local epistemologies as archives for understanding the relationship between reform Islam and local communities in contemporary Africa.
The selected poetry is clustered around the following themes: jamii: societal topical issues, ilimu: the importance of education, huruma: social roles and responsabilities, matukio: biographical events and maombi: supplications. Prefaced by Prof. Rayya Timamy (Nairobi University), the volume includes contributions by Jasmin Mahazi, Kai Kresse and Kadara Swaleh, Annachiara Raia and Clarissa Vierke.
Written by the poet-painter Karel van Mander, who finished it in June 1603, the Grondt der edel, vry schilderconst (Foundation of the Noble, Free Art of Painting) was the first systematic treatise on schilderconst (the art of painting / picturing) to be published in Dutch (Haarlem: Paschier van Wes[t]busch, 1604). This English-language edition of the Grondt, accompanied by an introductory monograph and a full critical apparatus, provides unprecedented access to Van Mander’s crucially important art treatise. The book sheds light on key terms and critical categories such as schilder, manier, uyt zijn selven doen, welstandt, leven and gheest, and wel schilderen, and both exemplifies and explicates the author’s distinctive views on the complementary forms and functions of history and landscape.
Editor / Translator: Oliver Kahl
ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī's Indian Books, completed in the year 850 CE as an appendix to his medico-philosophical chef-d'œuvre "Paradise of Wisdom", belong to the most remarkable texts in Arabic scientific literature. The Indian Books offer a unique, interpretative summary of the main tenets of Ayurvedic medicine, as understood by Arabic-speaking scholars on the basis of now lost translations from Sanskrit. The present book centres around a critical edition and annotated translation of this crucial text, framed by a detailed introduction and extensive glossaries of terms. Ṭabarī's learned exposé of Ayurveda also throws a more nuanced light on the allegedly uncontested supremacy of Greek humoralism in 9th-century Arabic medicine.
In Alfonso de Cartagena’s 'Memoriale virtutum' (1422), María Morrás and Jeremy Lawrance offer a critical edition of an anthology of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, compiled and significantly altered by the major Castilian intellectual of the day, Bishop Alfonso de Cartagena, and addressed to the heir to the throne of Portugal, Crown Prince Duarte.
The work is a speculum principis, an education of a future king in the virtues suitable to a statesman. Cartagena’s choice of Aristotle was a harbinger of Renaissance ideas. The “memorial” sheds light on a society in transition, setting new ethical guidelines for the ruling class at the crossroads between medieval feudalism and Renaissance absolutism.
The Contemplacioun of Synnaris, by the Observant Franciscan William Touris, written c.1494 and evidently intended for King James IV of Scotland, is a significant and much copied work of Older Scots, although the earliest surviving witness is the English print by Wynkyn de Worde (1499).
The Contemplacioun was the very first work of Older Scots literature to be translated and to be printed. The poem’s seven sections comprise a course of meditations for Holy Week. Richard Fox, bishop of Durham, commissioned the English print, in which the stanzas were preceded by Latin sententiae, biblical, medieval and ancient. The work retained sufficient interest to re-emerge in separate versions in both Scotland (1568) and England (1578), drastically revised for Protestant readers.
Contributor: Jürgen Gröschl
The Letters of Johann Ernst Bergmann, edited and translated by Russell Kleckley, chronicles the experiences and perceptions of a German Lutheran pastor called to serve a struggling community in the American South soon after the Revolutionary War. Written mostly to Bergmann’s superiors at the important center of German Pietism in Halle, the letters not only report on conditions in Ebenezer, Georgia, established over a half-century earlier by religious refugees from Salzburg, they also offer a distinctive and often critical look at American culture, religion, and politics from an outsider’s viewpoint. Bergmann stresses the practical and corrosive impact of American notions of freedom in everyday life while also commenting on a wide range of other issues, including Georgia’s relationship with Native Americans and the practice of slavery.
Editorial Board / Council Member: Thomas Wortmann, Schamma Schahadat, and Cornelia Ruhe
Die Reihe versammelt Beiträge zu Theorie, Geschichte und Ästhetik der Medien. Im Zentrum sollen dabei die Beziehungen zwischen Medien, Kultur und Gesellschaft in synchroner und diachroner Perspektive stehen: Gefragt wird einerseits nach der kulturellen Formung von Medien sowie ihrer ästhetischen Faktur. In den Blick kommt andererseits das Wechselspiel zwischen Reaktion, Reflexion und Initiierung kultureller und gesellschaftlicher Prozesse in und durch Medien. Grundlage der Auseinandersetzung bildet die Verknüpfung von medien- und kulturwissenschaftlicher Theorie.
Die Reihe ist getragen von der Idee, dass unter dem Begriff der Medienkulturwissenschaft unterschiedliche geisteswissenschaft-
liche Disziplinen ihr Interesse an der Materialität von Kommunikation und der Medialität ästhetischer Artefakte bündeln können. Das Spektrum der zu analysierenden Medien ist daher bewusst breit gefasst: Es reicht von Film, Fotografie und Fernsehen über Literatur, Musik, Theater und Medienkunst bis zur Internet Art. Studien zu einzelnen Medien, Genres und Künstler:innen sind ebenso willkommen wie kultur- und medienvergleichend angelegte Projekte.
This series publishes contributions on the theory, history and aesthetics of media. Key focal points are the synchronic and diachronic relations between media, culture and society. The cultural formation of media and their aesthetic composition will be explored, whilst at the same time delving into the interplay between reaction, reflection and initiation of cultural and societal processes within and by media. The intersection between media and cultural studies theories serves as the starting point for this approach. The series is based on the idea that different disciplines in the humanities can unite their interest in the materiality of communication and the mediality of aesthetic artifacts under the concept of media cultural studies. The scope of media to be analyzed is deliberately broad by design. It ranges from film and photography through television, music, literature and theater to media and internet art. Studies about single media, genres and artists are just as welcome as projects utilizing a comparative approach to culture and media.
Jean-Baptiste Du Bos’ Critical Reflections on Poetry and Painting, first published in French in 1719, is one of the seminal works of modern aesthetics. Du Bos rejected the seventeenth-century view that works of art are assessed by reason. Instead, he believed, audience members have sentiments in response to artworks. Their sentiments are fainter versions of those they would feel in response to actually seeing what the work of art imitates. Du Bos was influenced by John Locke’s empiricism and, in turn, had a major impact on virtually every major eighteenth-century contributor to philosophy of art, including Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau, Herder, Lessing, Mendelssohn, Kames, Gerard, and Hume. This is the first modern, annotated and scholarly edition of the Critical Reflections in any language.
Latin-German Pharmaceutical Glossaries in Hebrew Characters extant in Ms Leiden Universiteitsbibliotheek, Cod. Or. 4732/1 (SCAL 15), fols. 1a–17b
With A Glimpse into Medical Practice among Jews around 1500: Latin-German Pharmaceutical Glossaries in Hebrew Characters extant in Ms Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Cod. Or. 4732/1 (SCAL 15), fols. 1a–17b, Gerrit Bos and Klaus-Dietrich Fischer present an edition of two unique medieval lists of medico-botanical terms in Latin and German, written in Hebrew characters. Jewish physicians probably used these kinds of lists for the acquisition of pharmaceuticals they needed for the preparation of medicines. The edition with a total of 568 entries features transcriptions from the Hebrew, tables and indexes of the analysed terms in a regularized form, and a facsimile of the Leiden manuscript.

Many of the German plant names featuing in the edition are not listed in the otherwise monumental reference work Wörterbuch der deutschen Pflanzennamen (Dictionary of German Plant Names) by the German botanist Heinrich Marzell. This testifies to the value of these glossaries for further research. It is also useful to see which Latin forms were in current use at the time of creation of the edition.
Editor / Translator: Jan Bloemendal
This is the first edition since its original publication of Daniel Heinsius’ Latin tragedy Auriacus, sive Libertas saucia (Orange, or Liberty Wounded, 1602), with an introduction, a parallel English translation, and a commentary. Centering on the assassination of William of Orange, one of the leaders of the Dutch Revolt against King Philip II of Spain, Auriacus was Heinsius’ history drama, with which he aimed to raise Dutch drama to the level of classical drama. Highly influential, the tragedy contributed to the construction of a national identity in the Low Countries and launched Heinsius’ long career as an internationally celebrated poet and professor at Leiden University.