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Conference: In search for a hidden group: Where are the awlād al-nās?, Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg, University of Bonn, December 17-18, 2020

December 17, 2020 - December 18, 2020

With the awlād al-nās, this conference focuses on a group still awaiting the academic interest it deserves. Awlād have often been characterized as cultural brokers and a middling group between the Mamluks and Egyptian society. Whether in the field of military service (ajnad al- halqa), in the administration of state land or pious foundations, as scholars, historiographers, or tradesmen; awlād al- nās participated in many key areas of Mamluk society. However, we still wait for a social history of this group.

This conference, and the conference proceedings, will for the first time unite research focusing on this fascinating group. We will discuss existing sources, open questions and perspectives and challenges for future research. Together, we aim at approaching the awlād and their impact on society from different angles and on the basis of a broad range of source material.

Starting from several key questions, the discussions will also serve to define a common approach that allows joining forces in future research.

– In which fields could awlād develop agency and exert influence?

– In which social networks were they integrated, and what functions did they fulfil in them?

– Was there any understanding of a social group of the Mamluk descendants at all, and if so, what did it look like?

– In which contexts and in which fashion was the position of the awlād addressed?

– How did awlād themselves define and characterize their status?


Prof. Dr. Stephan Conermann


Dr. Anna Kollatz



Online via Zoom

To register for the event, please send an email to Anna Kollatz. Registration is open until Monday, December 14, 2020.


December 17, 2020
December 18, 2020
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