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Michael Pregill
UCLA; Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles (Elon, NC 27244-9423)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2012 – 7/31/2012

Judeo-Arabic Geniza Texts on Exodus as Evidence of Judeo-Islamic Cultural Synthesis in the Middle Ages

I am applying for an NEH Summer Stipend to conduct manuscript research in Israel and Russia during summer 2011. Examining medieval manuscripts from the Firkovich Collection of the State Public Library in St. Petersburg is critical for the monograph I am currently preparing for publication, The Living Calf of Sinai: Polemic, Idolatry, and "Influence" in Judeo-Islamic Tradition. The material in question illuminates exchanges between the Jewish and Muslim communities of the Mediterranean and Near East in the Middle Ages, and will significantly advance our knowledge of this important but still little-understood phenomenon. The texts in the Firkovich Collection have generally been underemployed by scholars, and the specific material I propose to examine has never been published or discussed in the relevant scholarly literature. My work will make an important contribution to Religious Studies, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies, and related fields.