Blog

Welcome to KITAB’s blog! This is the space where we give air to ideas as they arise, share some of what we are finding with our digital methods, and pose and answer questions. The themes will generally be academic and we invite responses that inform and challenge. We view this as an informal and experimental space, where we can all take risks – as is far too rare in typical research. And we take inspiration from many Digital Humanists outside our own field.

Arabic Pasts Conference

The Arabic Pasts Conference, held in the new Aga Khan Centre in London on the 12th and 13th of October, was a success! Organized by Hugh Kennedy, James Mc Dougalls, Sarah Savant and Claire Savina, this exploratory workshop-conference was to reflect on methodologies,...

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A First Look at KITAB’s Data

The digital revolution is arriving rather late to Middle Eastern Studies, but it is coming fast. Now, we can see the written tradition at a distance with KITAB’s first dataset. Spoiler: it is hugely intertexual. There are important caveats: we need to...

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We are hiring

The Aga Khan University-ISMC is seeking three post-doctoral research fellows to work with an international and interdisciplinary group of investigators for the European Research Council-funded project, KITAB (Knowledge, Information Technology, and the...

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KITAB is welcoming a new member!

KITAB members are happy to welcome Claire Savina, our new Research Associate. Claire is a Comparative Literature and Arabic Studies researcher and is interested in Translation, Circulation and History of Texts, as well as World Literature and...

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Detecting What Authors Took from Earlier Works

With text reuse detection, we rely on the power, speed, and memory of a computer to find common passages between texts. From our data so far, we can already see hundreds, or even thousands, of cases that point to the liquidity of the written tradition. By “liquid,” I...

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Happy News from the ERC…..and Some Details

The ERC has awarded KITAB a major grant that supports our research. I provide some key details. We will be recruiting participants to the project — including a Technical Lead, Research Associate, Post-docs, and researchers to support our annotation of the corpus.

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A Tale of 3 “Versions”

In this first blog I begin with a discussion of what our methods might be able to show us about the early transmission of the written tradition. The case I take up involves the Muwaṭṭaʾ (“the well-trodden path”) of Imam Mālik b. Anas (d. 796), which is also a founding book for Islamic law and Prophetic tradition (Hadith).

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