This post is entirely devoted to the newest exhibit at the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, featuring dozens of works from the Muslim World Manuscripts housed in the RBML and Burke Library collections. Head of Global Studies Kaoukab Chebaro wrote a terrific post for the Global Studies Blog which we are highlighting below. We hope you get a chance to head down the block and see the exhibit yourself — now on view to the public through March of 2023!
Read the original post from curator and Head of Global Studies Kaoukab Chebaro at the Global Studies Blog…
FROM THE ORIGINAL POST: [in italics]
“Science, Nature and Beauty: Harmony and Cosmological Perspectives in Islamic Science” showcases over 90 manuscripts, instruments and objects focused on the Islamic sciences broadly conceived, many of which have never been on display before since they entered our collections in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the Columbia University Libraries, some one hundred years ago.
This exhibit is a collective curatorial effort that has involved students, faculty members, librarians and library staff working hand-in-hand over fourteen months… We conceived this exhibit as a learning, collaborative journey, one that we hoped would involve many voices and players, diverse and different, but always united through a great scholarly companionship, a suhba (companionship) of scholars in search of the joy of learning.
[T]hese collections clearly challenge the traditional narrative of Islamic science as squeezed between mere transmission (of the Greco-Hellenistic heritage) and translation (into the European Renaissance). The items exhibited here contribute to an understanding of Islamic science as a robust, diverse and lively scholarly endeavor that touched on many aspects of the Muslim world, and as a central and non-reducible component of larger and non-linear histories, cultures and traditions of the arts and sciences. The conclusion we drew was that such an exhibit would constitute a wonderful opportunity to address those silences and gaps; to enrich the history of science from a non-Western standpoint.
Our curatorial team consisted of the following members: Kaoukab Chebaro (Global Studies, Columbia University Libraries), Olivia Clemens (PhD candidate, Art history Department), Aneka Kazlyna (graduate student, MESAAS), Arwa Palanpurwala (Islamic Studies MA Student, Middle Ea
st Institute- GSAS, ), Prof. Tunç Şen (History Department), Prof. Marwa Elshakry (History Department), Prof. Avinoam Shalem (Reggio professor, Art History Department), Julia Tomasson (graduate student, History Department), Yusuf Umrethwala (Islamic Studies MA Student, Middle East Institute-GSAS).
This exhibit is open to all: visitors and members of the public, please be aware of the University COVID compliance requirements, and be prepared to show government-issued ID at the Library Information Office in order to enter Butler Library. The hours for the Library Information Office can be found here, and for the Rare Book and Manuscript Library here.