This conference, to be held at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, from the 12th to the 14th of December 2022, examines landownership and the organisation of agricultural production in the medieval Islamic world (ca. 622-1250 CE), from North Africa to Central Asia: the economic relationships between cultivators, landlords, and the state, and how these changed and varied over time and space.
We will address the following questions, in particular:
- Where and to what extent can we speak of private landownership in the medieval Islamic world? Was land alienable and heritable, and were claims to ownership defendable at law? How can we explain where, when, and how private landownership emerges and recedes?
- To what extent did landlords and the state involve themselves in agricultural production, and why? Were, say, large irrigation or drainage projects organised and financed by the government, or were such efforts and expenditures left to landlords? To what level of precision, and to what ends, did landlords monitor and direct cultivation on their estates?
- What obligations did cultivators have to the state and their landlords — tax, rent, or otherwise? What factors led to these obligations intensifying or diminishing, or otherwise changing?
Through this conference, we seek to bring about communication and collaboration across traditional disciplinary boundaries (e.g., history, philology, Islamic Studies, and Iranian Studies) to enable viewing these questions in a transregional and comparative perspective.
If you are interested in attending the conference, please use the registration box below to send us your details.