2-3 November 2013: Arabic in Context

The year 2013 marks the 400th anniversary of Leiden’s chair in Arabic Language and Culture. To celebrate this memorable event, the Leiden Institute for Area Studies and the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics will convene a conference that will bring together Arabicists, Semiticists, historians, and epigraphists to discuss original research on the pre- and early history of Arabic.

Call for papers

The papers presented at this congress will be published in a volume commemorating this important anniversary. It is hoped that the 400th year of Arabic at Leiden will mark an important contribution to our understanding of Arabic in its earliest stages.

We invite submissions on all topics dealing with the relationship between Arabic and other the Semitic and Afro-Asiatic languages. We especially encourage interdisciplinary approaches that combine the fields of linguistics/philology and history to shed light on problems such as the distribution of Arabic epigraphy, the development of the Arabic script, the language of the Qur’an, and the linguistic geography of pre-Islamic Arabic. These topics should only be considered as general guidelines and are not exhaustive. Any paper dealing with Arabic in its historical and linguistic context will be considered.

  • We welcome abstracts for papers (not exceeding 2 pages) before 15th August 2013. Please do not forget to mention your institutional affiliation.
  • Successful applicants will be informed early September 2013.
  • Participants must register in order to take part in the conference. The registration fee is 50 euro. Meals and drinks will be provided for on both congress days. 

Please submit your abstracts and any questions you may have to congress convener, Ahmad Al-Jallad, PhD: a.m.al-jallad@hum.leidenuniv.nl.


Professor John Huehnergard (University of Texas, Austin) will deliver the keynote address entitled “Arabic in its Semitic Context.”

The final programme can now be downloaded here.


To participate in the conference, registration is required. If you would like to attend the conference Arabic in Context, please follow this link. When you use this link, a 'paylogic-window' will open. You can select your language at the left bottom side of the window, fill in your details and pay the conference fee of 50 euro, by master card, credit card or IDeal. Please contact us when paylogic is not working.

Other Events

More information on this conference and other events regarding the 400th anniversary of the Arabic chair in Leiden, you can find on the website of '400 years of Arabic in Leiden'.

Last Modified: 31-10-2013