Intensive Courses

Thanks to a number of generous grants from the David A. Gardner '69 Magic Project, the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University has organized a series of short, intensive courses for graduate students on a variety of subjects in the broad field of Islamic studies not normally covered in the Princeton curriculum. In each case, an internationally-recognized expert has been brought in to teach the course over a period of five weekdays.

This year, we plan to offer such a course on Islamic Archaeology. The Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity (CSLA) will co-sponsor the course.

The course will take place from August 19–August 23, 2019. The course is intended primarily for graduate students, both from Princeton and from other universities.

The instructor will be Dr. Denis Genequand, a leading expert in the study of Islamic Archaeology. The objective of the program is to present the field of Islamic archaeology, which has witnessed a considerable evolution over the past 40 years. The main focus of the course will be on the early Islamic Near East, with a brief excursus into other regions of the Islamicate world.

The program will have three objectives:

  1. Give students a comprehensive picture of the archaeology of Syria-Palestine and Iraq between the 7th and the 10th century (Late Antique context, Islamic conquest, Umayyad and Abbasid periods). This will encompass the archaeology of the main cities, the new urban settlements and the different types of rural settlements, as well as land use and settlement patterns.
  2. Introduce students, using a number of case studies, to different categories of archaeological sources (architectural remains, pottery, faunal or botanical remains, etc.) and their potential for investigating economic and social aspects of early Islamic society.
  3. Give students a wider perspective on Islamic archaeology, with some insights into research conducted in other regions of the Islamicate world (Central Asia, Indian Ocean, North and West Africa).

Applications must be emailed to Julia Gilbert ( at the Near Eastern Studies Department at Princeton University by April 1, 2019. The subject line of the email should read, "Application for Islamic Archaeology Workshop."

Applications should comprise the following:

Letter of application with statement of interest CV Names, positions, and email addresses of two referees. All items should be included in a single attachment, which may be a pdf.

Successful applicants will be notified in mid-April 2019 and students accepted for the course but coming from outside of Princeton will receive partial scholarships to help defray travel and accommodation costs. The course itself is free.

Dr Denis Genequand is an archaeologist specialized in the Islamic period, with a main focus on Early Islamic Syria. He has conducted field work in the Near East (Syria and Jordan), Arabian Peninsula (Yemen), Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan), and West Africa (Ghana). Until recently, he held a senior lectureship in Islamic Archaeology at the University of Geneva, and is currently the Director of the Museum and Research Centre of Avenches (Switzerland).

If you know of others who might be interested in these courses, feel free to let them know.

Future course:

    Date: August 19–August 23, 2019
    Topic: Islamic Archaeology  
    Instructor: Denis Genequand


Previous courses:

(13) 2018 (May 28–June 1)
       Topic: Pre-Islamic Arabia
       Instructor: Christian Robin
(12) 2017 (August 21–August 25)
      Topic: Arabic Papyrology
       Instructor: Petra Sijpesteijn
(11) 2016 (August 29–September 2)
      Topic: Greco-Arabic Tradition
       Instructor: Dimitri Gutas
(10) 2015 (May 11–15)
      Topic: Christian Arabic
       Instructor: Alexander Treiger (Dalhousie University)
(9) 2014 (June 9–13)
    Topic: Arabic Manuscripts and Early Qur’ans
    Instructor: François Déroche (École pratique des hautes études)
(8) 2012 (March 19–23):
    Topic: Islamic numismatics  
    Instructor: Professor Stefan Heidemann (University of Hamburg)
 (7) 2011 (June 6–24)
    Topic: Arabic dialectology
    Instructors: Professors Dr. Werner Arnold (Heidelberg) and Dr. Otto Jastrow (Tallinn) 
 (6) 2010 (March 15–19):
    Topic: Sayyids/sharifs: the kinsfolk of the Prophet in Muslim
    Instructor: Professor Kazuo Morimoto (Tokyo)
 (5) 2009 (March 16–20):
    Topic: Arabic dialectology
    Instructor: Professor Dr Otto Jastrow (Tallinn)
 (4) 2008 (March 17–21):
    Topic: Middle Iranian philology
    Instructor: Professor Nicholas Sims-Williams (SOAS, University of
 (3) 2007 (March 19–23):
    Topic: Arabic papyri
    Instructor: Professor Geoffrey Khan (Cambridge)
(2) 2006 (March 20–24):
    Topic: Islamic coins
    Instructor: Dr Lutz Ilisch (Tübingen)
 (1) 2004 (October 25–29):
    Topic: Arabic manuscripts
    Instructor: Dr Adam Gacek (McGill)