Presentations (Communicative Events)

Āʼishah al-Bāʻūniyyah: The Life and Poetry of a Medieval Damascene Scholar

Ullah, Sahar Ishtiaque

Contrary to popular beliefs about the lack of women intellectuals and the decline of Arabic literary production in medieval Muslim societies, the sixteenth-century Damascene scholar Āʼishah al-Bāʻūniyyah is considered one of the most prolific women writers of the medieval period. Most recently, she has been translated for the first time into English and has been described as composing more works in Arabic than any other woman prior to the twentieth century; however, very little is known about her and her works in American and European academia and within a larger context in which Arab and Muslim societies are popularly vilified as historically misogynist and anti-culture. This talk will introduce and shed light on the life and poetry of Āʼishah al-Bāʻūniyyah. Specifically, I will closely read her Wine Ode in T, the Tā’iyyah, and demonstrate Al-Bāʻūniyyah’s performance of scholarly citation and engagement with other famous medieval writers along with unique departures in rhetorical style. During a time when histories are irreparably being destroyed in Syria and other parts of the Arabic and Muslim world, highlighting an Arabic love poem by a medieval Muslim woman is a small contribution to resisting the erasure and vilification of a people.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Published Here
June 14, 2017


This talk is the result of a series of presentations and collaborative feedback provided by members of the Office of Academic Diversity Research Collective.