World Scripts: Concepts and Practices of Writing from a Comparative Perspective, Cape Town 2015

Illuminated Manuscript Walters Art Museum under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Illuminated Manuscript Walters Art Museum under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


The winter academy was held 4 – 14 September 2015 at the University of Cape Town.

“World Scripts” participants

“World Scripts” participants

The winter academy explored, from a comparative and global perspective, the vocabularies and typologies of writing in various philological traditions and the role of script as a technology in the production, diffusion, archiving and exchange of knowledge. Hosted at the University of Cape Town, the winter academy focused on the experience of writing and the technologies of script on the African continent, and especially explored comparative cases and entangled histories that connect Africa to the arabophone world, the Mediterranean region and through the Indian Ocean to South and Southeast Asia. It buildt on two previous Zukunftsphilologie winter schools: “Textual Practices Beyond Europe, 1500-1900” (Cairo, 2010), and “Philologies Across the Asias: The Translation, Transmission and Transformation of Knowledge in the Early Modern World” (Delhi, 2012).

The winter academy was conceptualized and steered by members of the Zukunftsphilologie collegium: Michael Allan (University of Oregon), Elisabetta Benigni (University of Turin), Islam Dayeh (Zukunftsphilologie/Free University Berlin), Adrien Delmas (French Institute South Africa), Shamil Jeppie (University of Cape Town), Stefan Leder (Orient Institute Beirut), Sumit Mandal (University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus), Pascale Rabault-Feuerhahn (CNRS Paris), Ronit Ricci (Australian National University), Umar Ryad (University of Utrecht), Lena Salaymeh (University of California, Berkeley).

The academy was organized in the framework of the research program Zukunftsphilologie: Revisiting the Canons of Textual Scholarship  by the Forum Transregionale Studien and the Max Weber Stiftung – German Humanities Institutes Abroad in cooperation with the University of Cape Town and the French Institute South Africa and supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.