Giorgio Levi Della Vida Series in Islamic Studies

A tradition established by the Near East Center's first director, Gustav E. von Grunebaum, to encourage research in the field of Islamic studies and to honor outstanding scholars in the field, beginning with the scholar for whom the award is named.

The Giorgio Levi Della Vida Award is given to outstanding scholars whose work has significantly and lastingly advanced the study of Islamic civilization. The scholar is selected by a committee appointed by the Chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, meeting under the chairmanship of the Director of the Center for Near Eastern Studies.

The award carries with it a bronze medal, together with the obligation to present a formal lecture as part of a conference held at the University. The recipient of the award chooses the theme of the conference and selects the other participants. The conference proceedings are published in the Giorgio Levi Della Vida Series in Islamic Studies.

1. G.E. von Grunebaum, ed., Logic in Classical Islamic Culture (Undena Publications, 1970), honoring Robert Brunschvig

  • Robert Brunschvig, Logic and Law in Classical Islam
  • Josef van Ess, The Logical Structure of Islamic Theology
  • Muhsin Mahdi, Language and Logic in Classical Islam
  • Seeger A. Bonebakker, Poets and Critics in the Third Century A.H.
  • Abraham L. Udovitch, The "Law Merchant" of the Medieval Islamic World

2. G.E. von Grunebaum, ed., Theology and Law in Islam (Undena Publications, 1971), honoring Joseph Schacht

  • Joseph Schacht, Theology and Law in Islam
  • W. Montgomery Watt, The Great Community and the Sects
  • Walther Braune, Historical Consciousness in Islam
  • Gerhart B. Ladner, Reform: Innovation and Tradition in Medieval Christendom
  • George Makdisi, Law and Traditionalism in the Institutions of Learning of Medieval Islam
  • Fazlur Rahman, Functional Interdependence of Law and Theology

3. G.E. von Grunebaum, ed., Arabic Poetry: Theory and Development (Undena Publications, 1973), honoring Francesco Gabrieli

  • Francesco Gabrieli, Religious Poetry in Early Islam
  • Wolfhart Heinrichs, Literary Theory: The Problem of Its Efficiency
  • Benedikt Reinert, Probleme der vormongolischen arabisch-persischen Poesiegemeinschaft und ihr Reflex in der Poetik
  • Lois Giffen, Love Poetry and Love Theory in Medieval Arabic Literature
  • James T. Monroe, Hispano-Arabic Poetry during the Caliphate of Córdoba: Theory and Practice
  • Shmuel Moreh, The Neoclassical Qasida: Modern Poets and Critics
  • M.M. Badawi, Convention and Revolt in Modern Arabic Poetry

4. Speros Vryonis, Jr., ed., Islam and Cultural Change in the Middle Ages (Undena Publications, 1975), posthumously honoring G.E. von Grunebaum

  • Muhsin Mahdi, The Book and the Master as Poles of Cultural Change in Islam
  • Georges C. Anawati, Factors and Effects of Arabization and Islamization in Medieval Egypt and Syria
  • Alessandro Bausani, Muhammad or Darius? The Elements and Basis of Iranian Culture
  • Anwar G. Chejne, Islamization and Arabization in al-Andalus: A General View
  • Robert I. Burns, Spanish Islam in Transition: Acculturative Survival and Its Price in the Christian Kingdom of Valencia, 1240-1280
  • Annemarie Schimmel, Turk and Hindu: A Poetical Image and Its Application to Historical Fact
  • Speros Vryonis, Jr., Religious Change and Continuity in the Balkans and Anatolia from the Fourteenth through the Sixteenth Century

5. Amin Banani and Speros Vryonis, Jr., ed., Individualism and Conformity in Classical Islam (Undena Publications, 1977), honoring Shelomo Dov Goitein

  • S.D. Goitein, Individualism and Conformity in Classical Islam
  • Amin Banani, Conversion and Conformity in a Self-Conscious Elite
  • Franz Rosenthal, "I Am You" – Individual Piety and Society in Islam
  • Avrom L. Udovitch, Formalism and Informalism in the Social and Economic Institutions of the Medieval Islamic World
  • Richard Ettinghausen, Originality and Conformity in Islamic Art
  • Speros Vryonis, Jr., Cultural Conformity in Byzantine Society
  • John F. Benton, Individualism and Conformity in Medieval Western Europe

6. Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid Marsot, ed., Society and the Sexes in Medieval Islam (Undena Publications, 1979), honoring Franz Rosenthal

  • Franz Rosenthal, Fiction and Reality: Sources for the Role of Sex in Medieval Muslim Society
  • James A. Bellamy, Sex and Society in Islamic Popular Literature
  • S.D. Goitein, The Sexual Mores of the Common People
  • Noel J. Coulson, Regulation of Sexual Behavior under Traditional Islamic Law
  • Wilferd Madelung, Shi`i Attitudes toward Women as Reflected in Fiqh
  • J.C. Bürgel, Love, Lust and Longing: Eroticism in Early Islam as Reflected in Literary Sources
  • Annemarie Schimmel, Eros – Heavenly and Not So Heavenly – in Sufi Literature and Life

7. Malcolm H. Kerr, ed., Islamic Studies: A Tradition and Its Problems (Undena Publications, 1980), honoring Albert Hourani

  • Albert Hourani, Islamic History, Middle Eastern History, Modern History
  • Josef van Ess, From Wellhausen to Becker: The Emergence of Kulturgeschichte in Islamic Studies
  • Edward W. Said, Islam, the Philological Vocation, and French Culture: Renan and Massignon
  • Edmund Burke, III, The Sociology of Islam: The French Tradition
  • Ira M. Lapidus, Islam and the Historical Experience of Muslim Peoples
  • Jaroslav Stetkevych, Arabic Poetry and Assorted Poetics
  • Fazlur Rahman, Islamic Studies and the Future of Islam

8. Richard G. Hovannisian and Speros Vryonis, Jr., eds., Islam's Understanding of Itself (Undena Publications, 1983), honoring W. Montgomery Watt

  • W. Montgomery Watt, Self-Images of Islam in the Qur'an and Later
  • Alford T. Welch, Muhammad's Understanding of Himself: The Koranic Data
  • William A. Graham, Islam in the Mirror of Ritual
  • George Makdisi, Institutionalized Learning as a Self-Image of Islam
  • Michael E. Marmura, The Islamic Philosophers' Conception of Islam
  • Annemarie Schimmel, The Sufis and the Shahada
  • David Kerr, Islam in Modern Europe

9. Richard G. Hovannisian, ed., Ethics in Islam (Undena Publications, 1985), honoring Fazlur Rahman

  • Fazlur Rahman, Law and Ethics in Islam
  • Charles E. Butterworth, Ethics and Classical Islamic Philosophy: A Study of Averroes' Commentary on Plato's Republic
  • George Makdisi, Ethics in Islamic Traditionalist Doctrine
  • Kemal Faruki , Legal Implications for Today of al-Ahkam al-Khamsa (The Five Values)
  • George F. Hourani, Divine Justice and Human Reason in Mu`tazilite Ethical Theology
  • Wilferd Madelung, Nasir ad-Din Tusi's Ethics between Philosophy, Shi`ism and Sufism
  • Frederick M. Denny, Ethics and the Qur'an: Community and World View

10. Georges Sabagh, ed., The Modern Economic and Social History of the Middle East in its World Context (Cambridge University Press, 1989), honoring Charles Issawi

  • Charles Issawi, The Middle East in the World Context: A Historical View
  • Roger Owen, The Movement of Labor In and Out of the Middle East over the Last Two Centuries: Peasants, Patterns and Policies
  • Homa Katouzian, Oil and Economic Development in the Middle East
  • Bent Hansen, Capital and Lopsided Development in Egypt under British Occupation
  • Samir Khalaf, On Loyalties and Social Change
  • Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid-Marsot, Women and Social Change
  • Carter Vaughn Findley, Knowledge and Education in the Modern Middle East: A Comparative View

11. Amin Banani, Richard Hovannisian and Georges Sabagh, ed., Poetry and Mysticism in Islam: The Heritage of Rumi (Cambridge University Press, 1994), honoring Annemarie Schimmel

  • Annemarie Schimmel, Mawlana Rumi: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
  • Amin Banani, Rumi the Poet
  • J. Christoph Bürgel, "Speech is a Ship and Meaning the Sea": Some Formal Aspects of the Ghazal Poetry of Rumi
  • William C. Chittick, Rumi and Wahdat al-Wujud
  • Hamid Dabashi, Rumi and the Problems of Theodicy: Moral Imagination and Narrative Discourse in a Story of the Masnavi
  • Margaret A. Mills, Folk Tradition in the Masnavi and the Masnavi in Folk Tradition
  • Victoria Holbrook, The Fortress of Forms: Rumi and Galib

12. Richard Hovannisian and Georges Sabagh, eds., The Thousand and One Nights in Arabic Literature and Society (Cambridge University Press, 1997), honoring André Miquel

  • André Miquel, The Thousand and One Nights in Arabic Literature and Society
  • Jamel Eddine Bencheikh, Historical and Mythical Baghdad in the Tale of `Ali b. Bakkar and Shams al-Nahar, or the Resurgence of the Imaginary
  • Roy P. Mottahedeh, `Aja'ib in The Thousand and One Nights
  • Fedwa Malti-Douglas, Shahrazad Feminist
  • Seeger A. Bonebakker, Nihil Obstat in Storytelling?
  • Muhsin Mahdi, From History to Fiction: The Tale Told by the King's Steward in The Thousand and One Nights
  • Stanislav Segert, Ancient Near Eastern Traditions in The Thousand and One Nights

13. Richard G. Hovannisian and Georges Sabagh, eds., The Persian Presence in the Islamic World (Cambridge University Press, 1998), honoring Ehsan Yarshater

  • Ehsan Yarshater, The Persian Presence in the Islamic World
  • George Saliba, Persian Scientists in the Islamic World: Astronomy from Maragha to Samarqand
  • Annemarie Schimmel, The West-Eastern Divan: The Influence of Persian Poetry in East and West
  • Gerhard Böwering, Ideas of Time in Persian Mysticism
  • Oleg Grabar, Persian Miniatures: Illustrations or Paintings
  • C. Edmund Bosworth, The Persian Contribution to Islamic Historiography in the Pre-Mongol Period
  • Gerhard Doerfer, The Influence of Persian Language and Literature among the Turks

14. Richard G. Hovannisian, ed., Religion and Culture in Medieval Islam (Cambridge University Press, 1999), honoring George Makdisi

  • George Makdisi, Religion and Culture in Classical Islam and the Christian West
  • W. Montgomery Watt, The Future of Islam
  • Merlin Swartz, Arab Rhetoric and the Art of the Homily in Medieval Islam
  • Irfan Shahid, Medieval Islam: The Literary-Cultural Dimension
  • George Saliba, The Ash`arites and the Science of the Stars
  • Roger Arnaldez, Religion, Religious Culture, and Culture
  • Mahmoud Ayoub, Cult and Culture, Common Saints and Shrines in Middle Eastern Popular Piety

15. Irene A. Bierman, ed., The Experience of Islamic Art on the Margins of Islam (Ithaca, in press), honoring Oleg Grabar

  • Oleg Grabar, The Experience of Islamic Art
  • Robert S. Nelson, Letters and Language / Ornament and Identity in Byzantium and Islam
  • Zeynep Çelik, "Islamic" Art and Architecture in French Colonial Discourse: Algeria, 1930
  • Richard M. Eaton, The Articulation of Islamic Space in the Medieval Deccan
  • Richard H. Davis, Memories of Broken Idols

16. Irene A. Bierman, ed., Text and Context in Islamic Societies (Ithaca Press, 2004), honoring André Raymond and Josef van Ess

  • Josef van Ess, Heroes of the Plague: Texts and Contexts
  • André Raymond, Reflections on Research in the History of the Arab City during the Ottoman Period (16th-18th centuries), or Jean Sauvaget Revisited
  • R. Stephen Humphreys, Borrowed Lives: The Reproduction of Texts in Islamic Cultures
  • David A. King, From Inscriptions to Context: Some Islamic Astronomical Instruments and Their Secrets
  • Paula Sanders, The Contest over Context: Fatimid Cairo in the Twentieth Century
  • Dale F. Eickelman, Compromised Contexts: Changing Ideas of Texts in the Islamic Tradition

17.  Irene A. Bierman, ed., Working papers, published as separate volumes, from the conference honoring Mohammed Arkoun

  • Mohammed Arkoun, From Islamology to the Critique of ‘Islamic’ Reason
  • Ahmed Dallal, Other Enlightenments? The Tradition of Reform in 18th-Century Islamic Thought
  • William Chittick, The Place of Intelligence in Islamic Philosophy
  • Gudrun Krämer, Reflections on Justice in Modern Islamic Thought

18. Michael G. Morony, ed., Universality in Islamic Thought: Rationalism, Science and Religious Belief (I.B. Tauris, 2014), honoring Wilferd Madelung

  • Wilferd Madelung, Universality in Muˁtazilī Thought
  • Babar Johansen, Capacity, Legal Personality and the Concept of Obligation in Transoxanian Ḥanafī Law
  • Ismail K. Poonawala, Humanism in Ismaˁīlī Thought: the Case of the Rasā’il Ikhwān al-Șafā’
  • Michael G. Morony, Universality of Islamic Historiography
  • Emilie Savage-Smith, The Universality and Neutrality of Science
  • Carl W. Ernst, The Limits of Universalism in Islamic Thought: The Case of Indian Religions

19. Ismail K. Poonawala, ed., Turks in the Indian Subcontinent, Central and West Asia: The Turkish Presence in the Islamic World (Oxford University Press, 2017), honoring Clifford Edmund Bosworth

  • Peter B. Golden, 'Eternal Stones': Historical Memory and Notions of History among the Early Turkic Peoples
  • Gary Leiser, The Waqf as an Instrument of Cultural transformation in Seljuq Anatolia
  • Clifford Edmund Bosworth, The Appearance of the Turks in the Islamic World
  • Robert Hillenbrand: Brick versus Stone: Seljuq architecture in Iran and Anatolia
  • Carole Hillenbrand: The Nizamiyya Madrasas
  • Sunil Kumar: Trans-regional Contacts and Relationships: Turks, Mongols, and the Delhi Sultanate in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries
  • Francis Robinson: The Great Mughals: Relationships, Emotions, and Monuments
  • Benedik Péri: Turkish Language and Literature in Medieval and Early Modern India
  • Svat Soucek: Piri Reis as a Renaissance Ottoman Turk
  • Robert Dankoff: Evliya Çelebi’s Expeditions on the Nile
  • Ali Anooshahr: Revisiting Safavid Origins in Light of Some Contemporary Documents

21. Carol Bakhos and Michael Cook, eds., Islam and its Past: Jahiliyya, Late Antiquity, and the Qur'an. Oxford Studies in the Abrahamic Religions (Oxford University Press, 2017), honoring Patricia Crone

  • Reflections on the State of the Art in Western Quraanic Studies
  • Nicolai Sinai: Processes of Literary Growth and Editorial Expansion in Two Medinan Surahs
  • Joseph Witztum: O Believers, Be not as Those who Hurt Moses : Q 33:69 and its Exegesis
  • Patricia Crone: Pagan Arabs as God-fearers
  • Angelika Neuwirth: Locating the Qur'an and Early Islam in the Epistemic Space of Late Antiquity
  • Were there Prophets in the Jahiliyya?
  • Michael Cook: Early Medieval Christian and Muslim Attitudes to Pagan Law: a Comparison
  • Iwona Gajda: Remarks on Monotheism in Ancient South Arabia

Recipients of the Giorgio Levi Della Vida Award:

1. Robert Brunschvig, 1967
2. Joseph Schacht, 1969
3. Francesco Gabrieli, 1971
4. Gustav E. von Grunebaum, 1973
5. S.D. Goitein, 1975
6. Franz Rosenthal, 1977
7. Albert Hourani, 1979
8. W. Montgomery Watt, 1981
9. Fazlur Rahman, 1983
10. Charles Issawi, 1985
11. Annemarie Schimmel, 1987
12. André Miquel, 1989
13. Ehsan Yarshater, 1991
14. George Makdisi, 1993
15. Oleg Grabar, 1996
16. Josef van Ess, 1999
16. André Raymond, 1999
17. Mohammed Arkoun, 2002
18. Wilferd Madelung, 2007
19. C. Edmund Bosworth, 2010
20. Roger Owen, 2012
21. Patricia Crone, 2014
22. Zeynep Çelik, 2019


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Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2004