Maaike van Berkel is a social and cultural historian of the Middle East, with a particular interest in literacy, court culture, governance and urban organization. She is the head of the Department of History, Art History and Classics at Radboud University Nijmegen. She has coordinated the NWO Horizon Eurasian Empires project (2011-2016), studying premodern Eurasian imperial rulers and elites in comparative perspective. Her new research project investigates water management in premodern Middle Eastern cities.
During our first online meeting, we discussed questions of formal and informal access to urban infrastructure, starting from Maaike’s current project on water management, also referring back to her article on Abbasid mazalim. Partha Chatterjee’s powerful formulation of “the politics of the governed” provided the frame of reference for our discussion. In our second meeting, EmCo team members Alon Dar and Reza Huseini presented a draft chapter from their respective dissertations. This gave us the chance to talk about political elites (and what the concept entails) in early Islamic Egypt and Central Asia.
8 April 2020 and 16 April 2020. Online session due to Covid-19 regulations.← Back