Committee for the Study of Books & Media: Pier Mattia Tommasino
“We will all become Arabs”: reading the Qur’an in 17th-century Florence
Pier Mattia Tommasino, Columbia University
Monday, December 5, 2016
4:30 p.m. - 40 McCosh Hall
This paper is an exercise on micro-philology and global history. Through the analysis of a very short two-folios manuscript, I aim to disentangle the complex and intertwined relations between European orientalism, Italian culture and language and Muslim exegesis of the Qur’an in the seventeenth century. Despite its fragmentary nature, the material, linguistic and doctrinal feautures of this miscellaneous manuscript shed light on the cross-cultural and cross-confessional scholarly practices of the early modern world. This document, I argue, offers an in-depth understanding of a crucial moment in the development of European orientalism.
Pier Mattia Tommasino (PhD, Scuola Normale Superiore, 2009) is Assistant Professor of Italian at Columbia University. His first book, L’Alcorano di Macometto. Storia di un libro del Cinquecento europeo was published in 2013 (Bologna, il Mulino). He organizes The Italian and Mediterranean Colloquium (IMC), a permanent seminar on the relations between Italian history and culture and the Mediterranean world.