Manuscripts, Politics and Oriental Studies commemorates the life and works of Johann Gottfried Wetzstein (1815-1905) as a scholar, manuscript collector, and consul in Berlin and Damascus. Beyond research into Wetzstein's own time, special attention is given to the impact his efforts to acquire manuscripts have had until this day. Several contributions also illustrate contemporary developments that give context to his own career as a scholar and diplomat. The particular focus of this volume allows to explore the history of Oriental scholarship not purely through the lens of academic posts and publications but encourages us to discover lifes such as Wetzstein's, without academic stardom yet laying the material foundations of textual work for generations.
Contributors are Kaoukab Chebaro; François Déroche; Faustina Doufikar-Aerts; Alba Fedeli; Ludmila Hanisch †; Michaela Hoffmann-Ruf; Ingeborg Huhn; Robert Irwin; Boris Liebrenz; Astrid Meier; Samar El Mikati El Kaissi; Claudia Ott; Holger Preißler †; Christoph Rauch; Helga Rebhan; Anke Scharrahs; Jan Just Witkam.
Boris Liebrenz is a researcher at the Saxon Academy of Science and member of the editorial board of the
Journal of Islamic Manuscripts. His main interest is the history of manuscripts, libraries, and readers, also the topic of his
Die Rifāʽiya aus Damaskus (Brill 2016; awarded the Annemarie-Schimmel- Forschungspreis 2017).
Christoph Rauch is head of the Oriental Department at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. He co-organized several conferences and exhibitions on manuscript collections and the history of Oriental studies. He is co-editor of
The Yemeni Manuscript Tradition (Brill 2015) and
The Diez Albums: Contexts and Contents (Brill 2016).
All interested in the history of Oriental scholarship in the 19th century, Syria in the late Ottoman period, as well as Oriental manuscripts and their collecting.