Lost Archives, Sacrosanct Wastebins and the Jewish Communities of the Medieval Islamicate World

Averroës Lecture Series

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A lecture by Marina Rustow (Princeton University)

The medieval Middle East, where the vast majority of medieval Jews lived, is widely presumed to have produced few documentary texts and preserved next to none. But tens of thousands of documents have survived—for the period before 1100, more than survived from Europe. The find spots range from Cairo to China. This illustrated lecture will take account of a flood of new information these caches offer about the Jewish communities of the Middle Ages, their surprisingly broad geographic remit and the impact of mobility and distance on communal life.

Marina Rustow is the Khedouri A. Zilkha Professor of Jewish Civilization in the Near East at Princeton University, where she runs the Princeton Geniza Lab and holds a joint appointment in the departments of Near Eastern Studies and History. Her second book, The Lost Archive: Traces of a Caliphate in a Cairo Synagogue, has just been published by Princeton University Press. In 2015, she was named a MacArthur Fellow.

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Duration: 01:17:00

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Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2020