Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscript Traditions: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Fourth Hiob Ludolf Centre Summer School in Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscript Studies
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 30 September to 5 October 2019
From 30 September to 5 (6) October 2019, the Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies - this time in cooperation with the the Department of Linguistics and Philology at Addis Ababa University, and with a generous support from the VolkswagenStiftung - organizes its Fourth Summer School in Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscript Studies entitled "Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscript Traditions: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow".
Manuscripts are among the central objects of cultural heritage of Ethiopia, and their management has been a focus of research and activity in recent years.
There is no reliable figure for the total number of surviving manuscripts.
For Christian Ethiopic manuscripts, the numbers are likely in hundreds of thousands: there are many thousands churches and monasteries in Ethiopia and Eritrea, each in the possession of at least several manuscripts, with biggest collections counting several hundred codices. While the assumed numbers are very high, the number of historical – most valuable for researchers – manuscripts is diminishing at a quick pace. Field research confirms that over 90% of each manuscript collection is composed of manuscripts dating from the nineteenth and twentieth century. This underlines the necessity to record what has survived, and analyse the form and the content of these witnesses of the centuries past.
No reliable number for Islamic manuscripts in Ethiopia is known; until recently, only a few dozens were available and/or catalogued. In the past years, several hundred have been surveyed, partially digitized, and described, but more effort is still needed in evaluating this part of Ethiopian written heritage.
Many of the achievements in Ethiopian manuscript studies from the last few years have been the result of work of scholars based in Hamburg, who have also successfully organized three Summer Schools, vastly appreciated by the students and young scholars of Ethiopian studies, Semitic studies, and related disciplines.
The 2019 School shall be organized in Addis Ababa, in cooperation with the Department of Linguistics and Philology at Addis Ababa University and the Italian Cultural Institute.
Aims of the school
The school aims at training graduate students and junior scholars in methods used in Ethiopian manuscript studies. Lectures and seminars in topics ranging from History to Philology to Codicology to Cataloguing shall cover the most central aspects of research and help in developing skills necessary for theoretical and practical tasks in the study of manuscripts. Digital technologies that have become indispensable in the past years shall be showcased. Practical exercises will include digitization and analytical description of manuscripts.
The school is open to students and scholars of all disciplines, but some background in Christian oriental studies (not necessarily Gəʿəz) is expected.
We welcome applications from Ethiopia, Eritrea, but also other African countries, Europe, and the Americas. Provided equal qualifications, applicants from Africa shall receive preference. Female candidates are in particular encouraged to apply.
Note that since the participants are expected to be of very diverse backgrounds, prospective participants should be aware that the Summer School will include both introductory classes as well as more advanced exercises.
The Summer School shall be conducted in English.
The classes shall take place every day from Monday (Sept. 30) through Saturday (Oct. 5).
As an extracurricular experience, there shall be a possibility of an excursion to a manuscript repository (outside Addis Ababa) on Sunday, October 6, 2019.
Some evening public lectures (with voluntary attendance) may be additionally offered during the week of the Summer School on the premises of the Italian Cultural Institute.
25 participants shall be selected on a competitive basis from all qualified applications that will reach us before the deadline (5 May 2019).
All selected participants shall be provided admission to all classes and offered coffee breaks and lunches on the Summer School premises for the duration of the school, as well as access to the extracurricular activities offered. In addition, a number of travel bursaries for the participants having to travel to Addis Ababa from outside shall be available. (flight*, hotel, and a per diem of 22 Euro/day for the 6 days of the school).
All students will receive a certificate of participation.
* The dates of the flight can be chosen freely by the grantees. In case of earlier arrivals and later departures note that while the travel shall be covered, the hotel and per diem are only covered for the Summer School days.
Participants of the previous Summer Schools cannot reapply for the Fourth Summer School.
Please check the registration page for application requirements.