dhr. dr. R.L.A. (Richard) van Leeuwen

  • Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen
    Capaciteitsgroep Religiestudies
  • Bezoekadres
    Oost-Indisch Huis
    Kloveniersburgwal 48  Amsterdam
    Kamernummer: D1.09A
  • Postadres:
    Kloveniersburgwal  48
    1012 CX  Amsterdam
  • R.L.A.vanLeeuwen@uva.nl
    T: 0205254855

Richard van Leeuwen (Amsterdam 1955; Ph. D. 1992, University of of Amsterdam) is currently lecturer in Islamic Studies at the Department of Religious Studies of the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on the history of the Middle East, Arabic literature, and Islam in the modern world. His academic positions include a Ph. D. Position (University of Amsterdam, 1986-1991), a Post-doc grant by the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (1992-1996), a senior research grant by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (1997-2001). He also works as a translator of Arabic literature.



Arabic studies in the Netherlands; a short history in portraits, 1580-1950, (with A. Vrolijk), tr. A. Hamilton, Brill, Leiden 2014, 184 pp. (translation of Voortreffelijk en waardig: 400 jaar Arabische studies in Nederland).

Voortreffelijk en waardig: 400 jaar Arabische studies in Nederland, (with A. Vrolijk) Rijksmuseum voor Oudheden, Leiden 2013, 156 pp.

Sam; bir Osmanli sehri; vakiflar ve sehir, tr. H. Ebru Aksoy, Istanbul: Küre Yayinlari 2012 (translation of Waqfs and urban structures in Ottoman Damascus).

The Thousand and one nights; space, travel and transformation, Routledge, London etc. 2007, 161 pp. 

The Arabian nights encyclopedia, (with U. Marzolph), 2 vols., ABC-Clio, Santa Barbara etc. 2004, 921 pp.

Waqfs and urban structures: the case of Ottoman Damascus , Brill, Leiden 1999, app. 232 pp.

De wereld van Sjahrazaad, Bulaaq, Amsterdam 1999, 512 pp.

Notables and clergy in Mount Lebanon; the Khazin sheiks and the Maronite church (1736-1840),  Brill, Leiden 1994, 290 pp.  

De Arabische roman: identiteit en sociale werkelijkheid, ed. with E. de Moor, Coutinho, Bussum 1994, 144 pp.

In preparation:

Traces of Shahrazâd:  the reception of the Thousand and one nights in 20th century fiction.

Middle Eastern travel and religious thought.

Academic publications (literature):

               -  “De ongrijpbare Duizend-en-éen-nacht; tekst en Europese receptie in de achttiende eeuw,” in: Theo Meder (ed.), Van kikvors tot droomprins; de wording van het sprookje, Uitgeverij Verloren, Hilversum 2013, pp.87-100.

- “Des Lumières au romantisme: les Mille et une nuits dans la literature allemande, de Wieland à Hoffmann,” in: Les mille et une nuits, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris 2012, 175-179.

- “Literature and religious controversy: the vision of hell in az-Zahâwî’s Thawra fî al-jahîm,” in preparation.

- “Stories without end: Italo Calvino and the Thousand and one nights,” in preparation.

- “De Duizend-en-één-nacht en de Odyssee: een neoplatonistische omzwerving,” Lampas, vol.46, no 3 (September 2013), pp.290-300.

-“The narrative function of dialogue in the Thousand and one nights,” in preparation.

- “Murakami and the Thousand and one nights,” forthcoming.

- “Coming home, or death postponed, in Tayyib Sâlih’s Season of migration to the north,” forthcoming.

- “Conversion as a (Meta-) Historical Concept in the Epic Stories of the Thousand and One Nights,” in: S. Dorpmüller (ed.), Fictionalizing the Past: Historical Characters in Arabic Popular Epic (Orientalia Lovaniensa Analecta 206), Louvain: Peeters, 125-137.

- “The forbidden door: the Thousand and one nights, Ibrahîm al-Faqîh’s Gardens of the night and Jabrâ Ibrahîm Jabrâ’s Ghuraf ukhrâ,” forthcoming.

- “The Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse and the Thousand and one nights,” in: F. Rosset (ed.), Entretiens sur le Manuscrit trouvé à Saragosse, Études de lettres, no 292, 2012-4, 133-149.

- “The canonization of the Thousand and one nights in World literature: the role of literary criticism,” in: D. Jullien (ed.), Foundational texts of world literature, Peter Lang, New York etc., 2011, pp. 101-118.

- “The iconography of the Thousand and one nights and modernism: from text to image,” www.revue-relief.org/index.php/relief/article/viewFile/546/680 , 2010.

       - 'Murakami en de Duizend-en-één-nacht; over de handelingsvrijheid van personages,' in: A. van Heerikhuizen/ I. de Jong/ M. van Montfrans (eds), Tweede levens; over personen en personages in de geschiedschrijving en de literatuur, Vossiuspers UvA, Amsterdam 2010, pp. 217-227.

      - 'The Thousand and one nights and European modernism: Hugo von Hofmannsthal,' in: A. Chra"bi/ C. Ramirez (eds), Les Mille et une nuits et le récit Oriental en Espagne et l'Occident, L'Harmattan, Paris 2009, pp. 175-188.

  - 'Challenging symbols of power: palaces and castles in the Thousand and one nights,' in: R. Ostle (ed.), Sensibilities of the Islamic Mediterranean; self-expression in a Muslim culture from post-classical times to the present day, I.B. Tauris, London/New York 2008, pp. 13-26.

      - 'The journey in two Arabic novels,' in: idem, pp. 133-146.

- 'Preface: The journey as a metaphor,' in: idem, pp. 81-84.

- “Narrative and performance. Shahrazâd’s storytelling as a ritual act,” in: A. Vrolijk/J.P. Hogendijk (eds), O ye gentlemen: Arabic studies on science and literary culture; in honour of Remke Kruk, Brill, Leiden 2007, pp. 363-376

- “Liefdesverhalen in de Duizend-en-één-nacht,” Zemzem, jrg. 2, nr. 2 (2007), pp. 26-34. 

- “Macht en hartstocht in Istanbul,” Zemzem, jrg. 3, nr. 1 (2007), pp. 31-41.

- “Nagieb Mahfoez: een spiegel voor de ziel,” Zemzem, jrg. 2, nr 3 (2006), pp.17-27.  

- “The narrative of the ship: al-Mu’aqqit, Mahfuz, and Jabra,” in: L. Deheuvels/ B. Michalak-Pikulska/ P. Starkey (eds), Intertextuality in modern Arabic literature since 1967, Durham 2006, pp. 13-31.

- “Creation and revelation in Naguib Mahfouz’s novel Children of Gebelawi,” in: C. vander Stichele/ A. G. Hunter, Creation and creativity; from Genesis to genetics and back, Sheffield 2006, pp. 44-58.  

- “Potócki, Proust and the Thousand and one nights: the mystery of the night,” in: S. Houppermans et al. (eds), Marcel Proust aujourd’hui, no 3 (2005), pp.143-160.

- “Potócki, Proust en de Duizend-en-één-nacht: het mysterievandenacht,” In: M. van Montfrans/ S. van Wesemael (red.). Proust Vereniging,  bulletin, Amsterdam/ New York 2005, pp. 45-57.  

- “Lies, illusions and authority: the Thousand and one nights and Arabic comic theatre,” in: M. Kolk (ed.), The performance of the comic in Arabic theater, Documenta, vol. 13 (2005), no 3, pp. 210-224.

- “De illustraties van de Duizend-en-één-Nacht in het Nederlandse taalgebied,” in: J. Schaeps/ K. van Ommen/ A. Vrolijk (red.), Oostersche weelde; de Oriënt in westerse kunst en cultuur, Primavera Pers, Leiden 2005, pp. 161-180. 

- “A journey to reality: Mourid Barghouti’s I saw Ramallah,” in: K. Seigneurie (ed.), Crisis and memory; the representation of space in modern Levantine narrative, Wiesbaden2003, pp. 199-210;

- “The Thousand and one nights and the formation of genres: the case of Jacques Cazotte,” in: Ch. Szyska/ F. Pannewick (eds.), Crossings and passages in genre and culture, Wiesbaden 2003, pp. 53-63;  

- “Narrative sources of Tawfîq al-Hakîm’sShahrazâd: the Thousand and one nights,” in: F. Decreaus/M. Kolk(eds), Rereading classics in ‘East and West’: post-colonial perspectives on the tragic, Documenta, vol. 12 (2004) no 4, pp. 343-358.  

- “The art of interruption: the Thousand and one nights and Jan Potócki,” Middle Easten literatures, vol. 7 (2004), nr 2, pp. 183-198.

-  “The cultural context of translating Arabic literature,” in:S. Faiq (ed.), Cultural encounters in translation from Arabic, Multilingual Matters Ltd, Clevedon etc., 2004, pp. 14-25. 

- “Orientalisme, genre et réception des Mille et une nuits en Europe,” in: A. Chraïbi (ed.), Les Mille et une nuits en partage, Sindbad/ Actes Sud, Arles, 2004, pp. 120-141.

- “An inner pilgrimage: Gamal al-Ghitani’s pyramid,” Middle Eastern literatures,vol. 9, no 2(2006), pp. 159-168.  

- “Translating Shahrazad,” Transeuropéenne, 22 (2002), pp. 89-99.

- “Representations of space and the autobiographical novel: the case of Alia Mamduh’s Habbat al-naftalin, in: M. H. de Larrimendi/ G. Fernández Parrilla/ B. A.Piazza(eds.), Autobiografía y literatura árabe, Cuenca 2002, pp. 57-69.  

- “Literary journalism and the field of literature: the case of Akhbar al-adab, in: R. Dorigo (ed.), Literary innovation in modern Arabic literature. Schools and journals, Quaderni di studi Arabi, vol. 18, 2000 (appeared 2002), pp.151-167.

- “The lost heritage: generation conflicts in four Arabic novels,” in: R. Meijer (ed.), Alienation or integration of Arab youth; between family, state and street, Richmond 2000, pp. 189-206.

- “Visions of power in Awlad haratina of Naguib Mahfouz,” in: M.H. de Larramendi/ L.M. Pérez Cañada (eds.), La traducción de literature árabe contemporánea: antes y después de Naguib Mahfuz, Cuenca 2000, pp. 219-236.  

- “Referentialiteit en metafoor in ‘Het verhaal van de Koperen Stad,” in: Tijdschrift voor literatuurwe­tenschap, vol. 3, no 2 (1998), pp. 125-135.

- “Cars in the desert: Ibrahim al-Kawni, Abd al-Rahman Munif and Andre Citroen,” Oriente moderno, vol. XVI (LXXVII) 2-3, 1997 (publ. 1999), Numero monografico: The Arabic literatures of the Maghreb: tradition revisited or response to cultural hegemony?, pp. 59-72.  

- “Two Egyptians at the Paris world exhibition,” in: R. Ostle/E. de Moor/S. Wild (ed.), Writing the self; autobiographical writing in modern Arabic literature, Saqi Books, London 1998, pp. 39-50.

- “Enchanted spaces in two novels of Hoda Barakat and Gamal al-Ghitani,” in: B. Hallaq/R. Ostle/ S. Wild (eds), La poétique de l’espacedans la littérature arabe moderne, Paris 2002, pp. 153-171.  

- “Space as a metaphor in Alf laylah wa-laylah: the archetypal city,” in: A. Neuwirth/ B. Embaló/ S. Günther/ M. Jarrar, Myths, historical archetypes and symbolic figures in Arabic literature; towards a new hermeneutic approach; proceedings of the International Symposium in Beirut, June 25th - June 30th, 1996, Beirut 1999, pp.493-505.

- “Translation and referentiality: the European translations of the Thousands and One Nights,” in: G.F. Parrilla/ M.C. Feria García (eds.), Orientalismo, exotismo y traducción, Cuenca 2000, pp. 191-207.  

-“The poet and his space: the prose works of Mahmud Darwish,” in: S. Guth/ P. Furrer/ J. Ch Bürgel (eds.) Conscious voices; concepts of writing intheMiddle East; Beiruter Texte und Studien, Band 72, Beirut/Stuttgart 1999, pp. 255-275.

- “al-Makan majazan fi Alf layla wa-layla,” al-Adab, vol. 45, no. 9/10 (1997), pp. 83-90.  

- “Love and the mechanisms of power: Kamal Abd al-Gawwad and Sa'id al-Guhayni,” in: R. Allen/ H. Kilpatrick/ E. de Moor (eds), Love and sexuality in modern Arabic literature, Saqi Books, London  1995, pp. 91-105.

- “Translating the Thousand and one nights,” Travaux du Centre de Traduction Littéraire, Université de Lausanne, nr. 22 nov. 1995, pp. 65-93.  

- “Identiteit en geschiedenis: Gamaal al-Ghitani en Nagieb Mahfoez,” in: R. van Leeuwen/E. de Moor (ed.), De Arabische roman, Coutinho, Bussum 1994, pp. 41-54.

- “Literature, politics and Islam in Egypt,” MERA essays, nr. 1, June 1989, 23 pp.  

- “Literatuur en islam in Egypte,” in: R. Haleber (red.), Rushdie effecten, SUA, Amsterdam 1989, pp. 55-63.

-“Literatuur en verzet: modern Palestijns proza,” in: G.-J. van Gel­der/E. de Moor (red.), De pen en het zwaard; literatuur en politiek in het Midden-Oosten, Coutinho, Muiderberg 1988, pp. 163-173.  

Academic publications (history/Islam):

- “Two ‘ulamâ’ travelling to Europe in the beginning of the 20th century: Muhammad al-Wartatânî and Muhammad al-Sâ’ih,” in preparation.

- “The experience of travel: a Moroccan scholar’s journey to Europe in 1919,” in: A. Gilardo (ed.), Islam and globalization; historica land contemporary perspectives (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 226), Peeters, Leuven etc. 2013, pp.419-431.

- “Reformist Islam and popular beliefs: Rashîd Ridâ’s attack against the cult of shrines,” in: V. Klemm/ N. al-Sha‘ar (eds), Sources and approaches across disciplines in Near Eastern studies (Orientalia lovaniensia analecta 215), Peeters, Leuven etc. 2013, pp. 141-154.

- “Mobility in Islamic Thought: The Syrian Journey of Rashîd Ridâ in 1908,” in: G. Contu (ed.), Centre and Periphery within the Borders of Islam (Orientalia lovaniensa analecta 207), Peeters, Leuven 2012, pp. 33-46.

- “Orientalism and the reformation: two Protestant travellers to the Levant,” forthcoming. 

- “Travel and spirituality: the peregrinations of a Moroccan Sufi in the 16th century,”, in: A. Chraïbi (ed.), Tropes du voyage; les rencontres, L’Harmattan, Paris 2010, pp., 157-173.

     - '"Yâ rahîl!" Reasons for travelling in al-Ghazâlî's Ihyâ' úlûm al-dîn,' in: Tropes du voyage. Le voyage dans la littérature arabe, vol. 1, Départs. Annali di Ca' Foscari, vol. XLVIII, 3, 2009, pp. 165-179.

- 'Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: Een eigenzinnige polemist. Reinhart Dozy (1820-1883),' (met Arnoud Vrolijk), Zemzem, 2010, nr. 1, pp. 40-51.

      - 'Oosterse christenen als wegbereiders voor de islam. Het reisverslag van Jonas Korte,' Zemzem 2010 nr. 2, pp. 16-23.

      - 'Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: De beminnelijke filoloog Michaël Jan de Goeje (1836-1909),' (met Arnoud Vrolijk), Zemzem 2010 nr 2, pp. 87-102.

      - 'Islam and globalization: Târiq Ramadân and European Islam,' in: 30 years ofArabic and Islamic studies in Bulgaria, University Press St. Kliment Ohridsky, Sofia 2008, pp. 403-419.

      - 'Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: De "verlichte" oriëntalist Adriaan Reland,' Zemzem, jrg. 5 (2009), nr 1, pp. 76-86 (met Arnoud Vrolijk).

      - 'Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: Albert Schultens, grondlegger van een dynastie,' Zemzem, jrg. 5 (2009), nr 2, pp. 58-67 (met Arnoud Vrolijk).

      - 'Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: het geslacht Schultens,' Zemzem, jrg. 5 (2009), nr 3, pp. 73-86 (met Arnoud Vrolijk).

- "Ibn Khaldûn en de islamitischestad," in: M. van Berkel/ R. Künzel (red.),Ibn Khaldûn en zijn wereld,Bulaaq, Amsterdam 2008, pp. 99-118.

- "Osmanli mirasi ve Arap ortadogusu,"Kebikec, no. 25 (2008), pp.151-165.

- “Islamic reformism and the secular: Rashîd Ridâ’s theory on miracles,” in: H. Bock/ J. Feuchter/ M. Knecht (eds), Religion and its other: secular and sacral concepts in interaction, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt/ New York 2008, pp. 64-78.

- “De koran in het hedendaagse denken,” Zemzem, jrg 3, nr 3(2007, versch. 2008), pp. 21-30.

- “Social functions of the waqf institution,” In: B. Michalak-Pikulska/ A. Pikulski (eds), Authority, privacy and public order in Islam, Leuven etc. 2006, pp. 407-421.  

- “De Osmaanse erfenis in het Arabische Midden-Oosten,” Zemzem, jrg. 3, nr 1 (2007), pp. 94-105.

- 'Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: de vroege voorgeschiedenis,' Zemzem, jrg. 4, nr 1 (2008), pp. 64-75 [with Arnoud Vrolijk].

          - 'Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: Thomsas Erpenius en Jacob Golius," Zemzem, jrg. 4, nr. 2 (2008), pp. 54-67 [with Arnoud Vrolijk]

- “Rashid Rida: geestelijke vader van de huidige hervormers,” Zemzem, jrg. 2, nr3 (2005), pp. 114-119.  

- “The Maronites in Mount Lebanon and the Mediterranean world,” in: Mersin, the Mediterranean, and modernity,  Mersin 2002, pp. 34-37.  

- “Leadership and the control of space in the Maronite community,” Revue du Monde Musulman et de la Méditerranée, vol. 79-80 (1996), no. 1/2, pp. 183-199.

- “The Crusades and Maronite historiography,” in: K. Ciggaar/A. Davids/H. Teule (ed.), East and west in the crusader states; contexts, contacts, confrontations, Peeters, Leuven1996, pp.51-62.  

- “De maronieten in Egypte (1745-1820),” Het christelijk oosten, jrg. 48 (1996), nr. 1/2, pp. 73-88.

- “The quest for the Islamic city,” Orientati­ons, nr. 3 (1995), pp. 147-162.  

- “A Maronite waqf in the 18th century: the monastery of Sayyidat Bkirki,” in: R. Deguilhem, Le waqf dans l'espace islamique outil de pouvoir socio-politique, Institut Français d'EtudesArabes de Damas, Damas 1994, pp. 259-275.

- “Missionaries and Maronites: the monastery of ‘Ayn Tura,” Orienta­tions, 2, 1994, pp. 114-129.  

- “A Syrian Prince in Exile in Tuscany,” in: P. van Kessel (ed.), The Power of Imagery; Essays on Rome, Italy & Imagina­tion, Rome 1992, pp. 48-62.

- “Fakhr al-Din and his place in Lebanese national history,” Beirut review, nr. 4, 1992, pp. 97-103.  

- “Monastic Estates and Agricultural Transformation in Mount Lebanonin the 18th Century,”  International journal of Middle East studies, vol. 23 no. 4 (1991), pp. 601-617.

- “Syrië en de Pax Americana in het Midden-Oosten,” Interna­tionale spectator, vol. 45, nr. 5, mei 1991, pp. 300-304.  

- “The Lebanese Order and Agricultural Change in Mount Lebanon in the 18th Century,” in: M. Woidich (ed.), Amsterdam Middle Eastern Studies, Wiesbaden 1990, pp. 59-67.

- “Geld en het Osmaanse Rijk: Monetaire Ontwikkelingen en Desintegra­tie,” in: P. Aarts (red.), Geld, Goed en Godsdienst in het Midden-Oosten, Coutinho, Muiderberg 1990, pp. 90-100.  

- “The Political Emancipation of the Maronite Church in Mount Lebanon (1736-1842),” MERA occasional papers, no.8,Dec. 1990, 20 pp.

- “Syrië en de Libanese Nationale Identiteit,” Internationa­le specta­tor, vol. 44, nr. 5, mei 1990, pp. 291-7.  

- “Het Vaticaan en de Maronieten in de 18e eeuw: de Libanese Synode,” Sharqiyyat, 2e jrg. nr. 2, dec. 1989, pp. 119-131.  

Reviews and articles for encyclopedias:

- Review of: S. Makdisi/F.A. Nussbaum (eds.), The Arabian nights in historical context. Between East and West, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2008, in: Bibliotheca orientalis, vol. LXIX, no. 5-6, Sept-Dec. 2012, pp. 662-4.

-“De historische achtergrond van de Arabische Lente,” review of: Patrick Seale, The struggle for Arab independence. Riad el-Solh and the makers of the modern Middle East, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2010, in: Tijdschrift voor geschiedenis, vol. 124 (2011), no 4, 583-584.

- Review of: D. Jullien, Les amoureux de Schéhérazade; variations modernes sur les Mille et une nuits, Genève 2009, in: Bibliotheca orientalis, vol. LXVI, no 5-6, Sept.-Dec. 2009, pp. 688-690.

      - Review of: Y. Yamanaka/ T. Nishio (eds), The Arabian Nights and Orientalism. Perspectives from East and West, London/ New York 2006, in: Bibliotheca orientalis, vol. LXVI, no 5-6, Sept.-Dec. 2009, p. 691. 

- Art. “Thousand and one nights,” in: G. Brulotte/ J. Philips (eds), Encyclopedia of erotic literature, 2 vols, New York/ London 2006, pp. 1299-1303.  

-Review of: K. Müller, Da war ihm als müsse er fliegen vor Freuden, München2001, Bibliotheca orientalis, vol. LX, no 5/6, 2003, pp. 787-8.

- Review of: A. Fuess, Verbranntes Ufer, Leiden 2001, Bibliotheca orientalis, vol. LX, no 3/4, 2003, pp. 480-2.  

- Review of: B. Hoffmann, Waqf im mongolischen Iran. Rasîduddîns Sorge um Nachruhm und Seelenheil, Stuttgart 2000, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, no 154/2, 2004, pp. 504-506.

- Review of: B. Embaló, Palästinenser im arabischen Roman. Syrien, Jordanien, Palästina 1948-1988, Wiesbaden 2000,MiddleEastern literatures, vol. 7, 2004, nr 1, pp. 102-104.  

- Review of: A. Pflitsch,Gegenwelten: zur Literaturtheorie Idwâr al-Harrâts, Wiesbaden 2000, Middle Eastern literatures, vol. 7, 2004, nr 1, pp. 104-106.

- Review of: A. Kaiser, Islamische Stiftungen in Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Syriens vom 16. bis 18. Jahrhundert, Berlin 1999, Bibliotheca orientalis, vol. LVII, no. 3/4, May-August 2000, pp. 448-449.  

- Review of: E. Sallis, Sheherazade through the looking glass; the metamorphosis of the Thousand-and-one-nights, Richmond 1999, Journal of Middle Easternliteratures,2001,pp. 92-94.

- Review of: A.B. Zahlan (ed.), The reconstruction of Palestine; urban and rural development,London/ New York 1997, Bibliotheca orientalis, 2001.  

- Review of: F. Kogelmann, Islamische fromme Stiftungen und Staat; der Wandel in den Beziehungen zwischen einer religiösen Institution und dem marokkanischen Staat seit dem 19. Jahrhundert bis 1937, Würzburg 1999, Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 2001.

- Review of: D.S. Landes, The wealth and poverty of nations, New York/London 1998, in Tijdschrift voor sociale geschiedenis, vol. 25 (1999), no. 1, pp. 67-71.  

- Review of: Waqfs and other institutions of religious/philanthropic endowment incomparative perspective, special issueofJournal of the economicand social history of the Orient, vol. 38, part 3 (1995), in: Journal of Islamic law and society, vol. 6 (1999), no. 1, pp.112-114.

- Review of: B. Schäbler, Aufstände im Drusenbergland; Ethnizität und Integration einer länd­lichen Gesellschaft Syriens vom Osmanischen Reich bis zur staatlichen Unabhängigkeit, Gotha 1996, in: Bibliotheca orientalis, vol. 55, no. 3/4 (1998), pp. 565-8.  

- Review of: B. Doumani,Rediscovering Palestine; merchantsand peasantsinJabal Nblus,1700-1900, Berkeley etc. 1995, in:Bibliotheca orientalis, vol. 55, no. 3/4 (1998), pp. 563-5.

- Article “Shahin,” in: Encyclopedia of Islam, Brill, Leiden, will appear in 1999.  

- Article “Tarbayh,” in: Encyclopedia of Islam, Brill, Leiden, will appear in 1999.

- Article “Ibn Battuta,” in: J.B. Friedman/ K. Mossler Figg (eds.), Trade, travel, and exploration in the Middle Ages; an encyclopedia,  New York/ London 2000.  

- Review of:E.H. Kossmann, Vergankelijkheid en continuiteit. Opstellen over geschiedenis, Amsterdam 1995; H.W. von der Dunk, Elke tijd is overgangstijd. Opstellen over onze omgang met de geschiedenis, Amsterdam1996; J. Tollebeek, Deekster en de kooi. Nieuwe opstellen over de geschiedschrijving, Amsterdam 1996, in: Tijdschrift voor geschiedenis, vol. 110, no 3 (1997), pp. 358-361.

- Review of: H.P. Rüger (hrsg.), Syrien und Palästina nach dem Reise­bericht des Benjamin von Tudela (Wiesbaden 1990),  in: Biblio­theca orientalis, vol. 53 (1996), no. 3/4, pp. 578-580.  

- Review of: A. Singer, Palestinian peasants and Ottoman officials;rural administrationaroundsixteenth-century Jerusalem, (Cambridge 1994),  in: Bibliotheca orientalis, vol. 53 (1996), no. 3/4, pp. 580-2.

- Review of: S. Srouji, Emil Habibi; ein arabischer Literat aus Israel (Augsburg 1993), in: Journal of Arabic literature, vol. 27 (1996), pp. 176-7.  

- Review of: S.K. Jayyusi, Modern Palestinian Literature, New York 1992, in: Journal of Arabic literature, 1995; pp. 276-278.  

Literary translations (modern novels, short stories and poetry):­

- N. Mahfoez, Duizend dagen en nachten, De Geus, Breda 2008, 254 pp.  

- A. al-Aidi,Leven als Abbaas, De Geus, Breda2008, 123 pp. [with D. Poppinga].

- A.M. Mosallem, ‘De verdorvenen op aarde,’ in: J. Berenová/ P. Smit (eds), Gewraakte passages, Amsterdam 2005, pp. 31-33.  

- Elias Khoury, Jalo, Ambo, Amsterdam, 2004, 333 pp.

- Nagieb Mahfoez, Miramar, DeGeus, Breda, 2004, 190 pp.  

- Faradj Bayrakdar, ‘Diagnose’, ‘Visioen’, ‘Twee verzen’, ‘Omdat jij bestaat, ben ik,’ in: id., Gedichten, Free Word Award 2004, Bèta Imaginations, Rotterdam, pp. 13, 16, 17, 19; also published in Revolver, no 122 (2004), pp. 9, 11, 13.

- Laila Aboe Zaid, Het laatste hoofdstuk, Bulaaq, Amsterdam, 2004, 160 pp [with D. Poppinga].  

- Mohammed Chefik, Imazighen, Bulaaq, Amsterdam, 2004, 160 pp.

- Elias Khoury, ‘Jalo; een fragment,’ Armada, jaargang 10 (2004), nr 35, pp. 33-41.  

-IbnJubayr,“Beschrijving van Sicilië,” in: A. Vrolijk (ed.), De taal der engelen; 1250 jaar klassiek Arabisch proza, Contact, Amsterdam/Antwerpen 2002, pp. 181-193.

- Al-Tahtawi, “Gewoonten en gebruiken van de Parijzenaars,” in: idem, pp. 205-218.  

- Moeried al-Barghoeti, Weerzien met Ramallah, Bulaq, Amsterdam 2002, 191 pp. [with D. Poppinga].

- Ra’oef Moes’ad Basta,Het struisvogelei, De Geus, Breda 2001, 253 pp. [with D. Poppinga].  

- Baha Tahir, De wraakvan Safiyya, VanGennep,Amsterdam 2000, 125 pp.

- Mahmoed Darwiesj, “Dagboek van een Palestijnse wond,” in: De tweede ronde, vol. 19, no 3 (autumn 1998), pp. 148-154.  

- Na’iem Araidi, “Drie gedichten’,” in: idem, pp. 145-7.

- Mohammed Masalha, “Twee gedichten,” in: idem, pp. 155-6.  

- Nawaal Naffa, “Vier gedichten,” in: idem, pp. 157-9.

- Emile Habiebi, “Oemm Robavecchia,” in: idem, pp. 127-132.  

- Mohammed Ali Taha, “Regel en uitzondering,” in: idem, pp. 138-144.

- Mohammed Naffa, “Schedel nummer veertien,” in: idem, pp. 133-7.  

- Rasjied ad-Da’ief, Beste meneer Kawabata, Goossens/Elmar, Rijswijk 1999, 167 pp.

- Nagieb Mahfoez, Kinderen van Gabalawi, De Geus,Breda 1999, 603 pp. [with D. Poppinga]  

- Alia Mamdoeh, Mottenballen, Goossens/Elmar,Rijswijk1998,173 pp. [withD. Poppinga].

- Ibrahim al-Koni, Bloedende steen, Van Gennep/Novib, Amsterdam 1997, 123 pp.  

- Latiefa Zajjaat, Het onderzoek, Breda, De Geus, 1996, 143 pp.

- Nagieb Mahfoez, Taveerne de Zwarte Kat, De Geus, Breda 1995, 220 pp [et al.].  

- Hoda Barakat, De lachsteen, Goossens/Manteau, Rijswijk/Antwerpen 1996, 203 pp.

- Hamieda Na’na, Het vaderland, Goossens/Manteau, Rijswijk/Antwerpen1996,173 pp. [with D. Poppinga].  

- Sahar Khaliefa, De poort, Breda,DeGeus, 1996 [with D. Poppinga].

- Mahmoed Darwiesj, Herinnering om te vergeten, Amsterdam, Meulenhoff, 1996; 175 pp. [with D. Poppinga].  

- Gamaal al-Ghitani, Onrust in de saffraansteeg,AMBO/NOVIB, Baarn/ Den Haag 1994, 322 pp.

- Nagieb Mahfoez, In een roes op de Nijl, De Geus, Breda 1994; 156 pp.  

-Sahar Khalifa, Memoires van een eigenzinnige vrouw, De Geus/ EPO, Den Bosch 1993, 190 pp. [with D. Poppinga].

- Samiera Azzaam, “Nog een jaar,” in: Het huis groet de nieuwe morgen, Ravijn, Amsterdam 1993, pp. 14-20 [with D. Poppinga].  

- Samiera Azzaam, “Roze gordijnen,” in: idem, pp. 118-124 [with D. Poppinga].

- Nagieb Mahfoez, De Suikersteeg, Het Wereldvenster, Houten 1993; 338 pp.  

- Nagieb Mahfoez,  Paleis van Verlangen, Het Wereldven­ster, Houten1991; 473pp.

- Joesef Idris,  DeVreemdeling, AMBO/NOVIB,Baarnetc. 1991; 71 pp. [with D. Poppinga].  

- Nagieb Mahfoez,  Tussen Twee Paleizen, Het Wereldven­ster, Houten 1990; 520 pp.

- Ghassaan Kanafani, “Het Land van de BedroefdeSinaasap­pels,” Onze Wereld, febr. 1989, pp. 34-36.  

- Djamaal Bannoera, “Het Verhaal van mijn Grootvader,” Soe­moed,jan.­/febr. 1989,pp.24-25.

- Mahmoed Darwiesj, “Reizigers tussen Voorbijgaande Woor­den,” Soe­moed, okt./nov. 1989, p. 25.  

- Mohammed Moestagaab, “De Brug,” in: Uit de Geheime Geschie­denis van Noe'maan Abd al-Hafiz, Ambo/Novib, Baarn etc. 1989, pp. 82-91.

- Nagieb Mahfoez,  De Dwaaltocht, Het Wereldvenster, Houten 1989, 174 pp.  

- Land van Tijm en Stenen, Het Wereld­venster, Houten 1989, 212 pp.

- Nagieb Mahfoez, De Moskee in de Steeg, Het  Wereld­venster, Houten 1989, 155 pp. [et al.].  

- Mohammed Zafzaaf, “De Moessem,” in: Een Benauwde Tijd, El Hizjra­/De Balie/Novib/NBLC, Amsterdam etc. 1988, pp. 29-42.

- Akram Sjariem, “De Grond,” in: G.-J. van Gelder/ E.deMoor(red.) De Pen en het Zwaard; Literatuur en Politiek in het Midden Oosten, Coutin­ho, Muiderberg 1988, pp. 181-185.  

- Nagieb Mahfoez, “De Woestijn,” Onze Wereld, dec. 1988, pp. 35-37.

- Gamaal al-Ghitani, De Spion van de Sultan, Het Wereldvenster, Houten 1988, 291 pp.  

- Tayyib Salih,  De Roep van de Nijl, Het Wereldven­ster, Houten 1987, 207 pp.

- Sahar Khalifa, De Zonnebloem, Het Wereldvenster, Houten 1986, 333 pp [with J. de Bakker].  

- Stemmen uit de Schaduw, Het Wereld­venster, Houten 1986; 278 pp. [et al.].

- Joesoef Idries, “De Portefeuille,”in:Korte Verhalen uit Afrika, Azie en Latijns Amerika 2, Het Wereldvenster/No­vib, Weesp etc. 1985, pp. 71-79.[with J. de Bakker]  

- Abdoel Hakiem Kasim, De Zeven Dagen van de Mens, Het Wereld­venster, Weesp 1984, 196 pp. [with J. de Bakker].

- Nagieb Mahfoez, “Een Vlaag van Verstandsverbijstering,” De tweede ronde,4ejrg.nr.1,spring 1983, pp. 115-120 [with J. de Bakker].  

- Nagieb Mahfoez, “Sjeherazade,” id. pp. 121-130 [with J. de Bakker]

- Nagieb Mahfoez,“Ajjoebende Bom,” id. pp.131-138[with J. de Bakker].  

- Gamaal al-Ghitani, “Leidraad voor de Stervelingen,” id. pp. 97-108 [with J. de Bakker].

- Joesoef Idries, “Werk,” id. pp. 109-114 [with J. de Bakker].  

- Sahar Khalifa , De cactus, Het Wereldvenster, Bussum 1982, 181 pp. [with J. de Bakker]  

Literary translations (pre-modern texts):

- De vertellingen van duizend-en-een nacht, deel 13, Bulaaq, Amsterdam 1999, 264 pp.

          - De vertellingen van duizend-en-een nacht, deel 14, Bulaaq, Amsterdam 1999, 271 pp.  

- De vertellingenvan duizend-en-een nacht, deel 3, Bulaaq, Amsterdam 1998, 214 pp.

- De vertellingen van duizend-en-een-nacht, deel 4, Bulaaq,Amsterdam 1998,223 pp.  

- Ibn Battoeta, De reis, uitg. Bulaaq, Amsterdam 1997, 387 pp.

- De vertellingen van duizend-en-een-nacht, deel 11, Bulaaq, Amsterdam 1997, 222pp.  

- De vertellingen van duizend-en-een-nacht, deel 12, Bulaaq, Amsterdam 1997, 226 pp.

- De vertellingen van duizend en een nacht, deel 9, Amsterdam, Bulaaq, 1996, 235 pp.  

- De vertellingen van duizend en een nacht, deel 10, Amsterdam, Bulaaq, 1996, 230 pp.

- De vertellingen van duizend en een nacht, deel 7, Bulaaq, Am­sterdam 1995, 264 pp.  

-De vertellingen van duizenden een nacht, deel 8, Bulaaq, Am­sterdam 1995, 244 pp.

- Ali Baba en de veertig rovers, Bulaaq, Amsterdam1995, 151 pp.  

          - Het verhaal van Aladdin en de wonderlamp, Bulaaq, Amsterdam 1994, 127 pp.

- De vertellingen van duizend en een nacht, deel 5, Bulaaq, Am­sterdam 1994, 225 pp.  

- De vertellingen van duizend en een nacht, deel 6, Bulaaq, Am­sterdam 1994, 294 pp.

-Een vertelling vanduizenden een nacht, Bulaaq, Amsterdam 1994, 63 pp.  

- De vertellingen van duizend en een nacht, deel 2, Bulaaq, Am­sterdam 1993, 254 pp.

- De vertellingen van duizend en een nacht, deel 1, Bulaaq, Amster­dam 1993, 206 pp.  

- I. al-Mausili, Een Arabier in Zuid Amerika (1675-1683), [Introduction and partial translation], Amsterdam 1992, 72 pp.

- “De Verhalen van Sindbad de Zeevaarder: de Derde Reis,” De tweede ronde, 9e jrg. nr. 4, winter1988,pp. 88-98.  

­­Popularizing publications:  

- "Ontvleesdeteksten,"Armada, nr 50 (2008), pp. 148-152.

- A large number of articleson politics, history, culture and literature of the Arab world, in collections of articles, newspapers andmagazines; reviews in­ De Volkskrant, Vrij Nederland, NRC-Handelsblad and Trouw.

- “Vertellen als bezwering: De verhalen van Sjahrazaad,” Raster, nr. 115 (2006), pp. 109-115. 

- “Ritueleninde islam:van sjarie’a tot volksgeloof,” In: J. van Dam/ W.S. Meijer/ J.W. Treffers (eds), Levende rituelen, Fama, Purmerend 2006, pp. 101-112.

          - “Palestina als symbool en realiteit; Over Weerzien met Ramallah van Moeried al-Barghoeti,Armada, jaargang 10 (2004), nr 35, pp. 27-32.

- “De paradox van het vertalen,” Schrift, no 216 (2004), pp. 183-186.  

- “Een groter reiziger dan Marco Polo. De wereldomzwervingen van Ibn Battoeta (1304-1369)”, Spiegel historiael, jaargang 39, no 7/8, 2004, pp. 298-303.

- “Beloften, vertoon van goede wil en nieuwe spraakverwarring; Arabische literatuur en de Frankfurter Buchmesse,”Hetschrijvershuis, winter 2004, pp 6-7.  

          -  “Palestijnseliteratuur in Israel,” De tweede ronde, vol. 19, no. 3 (autumn 1998), pp. 124-6

- “Arabische hindernissen,” Armada, vol. 1, no. 3 (June 1996), pp. 19-22.  

- “Ruimte,” in: Het woordenboek van de Duivelsverzen, Amsterdam/Antwerpen 1996, pp. 81-83.

-“Een grondleggervandemoderne Egyptische literatuur,” in: Nagieb Mahfoez, Mijn Egypte, De Geus, Breda 1998, pp. 27-42.  

- Het Midden-Oosten na de Golf, ed. with R. Meijer, EPO/ De Geus, Berchem/ Breda 1991, 208 pp.

- “Historisch onrecht,” in: R. van Leeuwen/ R. Meijer (eds.), Het Midden-Oosten na de Golf, Berchem/ Breda 1991, pp.75-85.  

- “De oriënt in de Europese literatuur,” in: K. van Herwijnen (red.), Theaterfestival; terugblik 1994, Amsterdam, 1994, pp. 158-162.

- “Literature and eroticism,” Newsletter of the Abu Nuwas Society, no. 1, 1994, pp. 14-15. 

          - “Literatuur en de staat inEgypte,”Bzzlletin, nr..186/­187, mei/juni1991,pp.93-99.

- “Jordanië” in: P. Aarts (red.) Het Midden-Oosten en Noord-Afrika; een Politiek Landenboek, Het Wereldvenster/Stan­daard, Weesp etc. 1983; pp. 79-86.  

- “Syrië,” in: id. pp. 178-189.

- “Iets over Nagieb Mahfoez,” De tweede ronde, jrg. 4, nr. 1, lente 1983, pp. 71-74.  

- “Sahar Khalifa en haar roman De Cactus,” in: Vrouwen in het Midden Oosten, Het Wereldvenster/MOI/Stan­daard, Bussum etc. 1982, pp. 243-253 [with J. de Bakker].

Curriculum vitae:


Date of birth: 9-8-1955

Place of birth: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Nationality: Dutch

Address: Laplacestraat 47-2, 1098 HS Amsterdam, NL

e-mail: r.l.a.vanleeuwen@uva.nl

Professional career:

2005 award for literary translations from Arabic into Dutch, awarded by Fonds voor de Letteren, together with Djûke Poppinga;

2003 and onwards: Lecturer in Islamic Studies, Universityof Amsterdam; Co-ordinator of theMaster Programme ‘Islam in the Modern World’;

2001-2005  member of the Advisory Committee of the literary foundation Fonds voor de Letteren, Amsterdam; member of the Committee for Intercultural Projects;

1999-2002 senior researcher of the research project ‘Arabian Nights Encyclopedia’, supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Akademie der Wissenschaften of Göttingen; in co-operation with Prof. Ulrich Marzolph, Institut der Enzyklopädie des Mär­chens, Göttingen;

1997-1998 temporary teaching position at the University of Amsterdam, dpt. of Arabic and Islamic Studies (modern literature; modern history);

1996-2001: senior researcher of the European research programme Individual and society in the Mediterranean Muslim world (European Science Foundation); workshop “Images and represen­ta­ti­ons”; research subject: Metaphorical journeys in the Thousand and One Nights;

1994-2001: member of the European board of editors of the autobiographical series Mémoi­res de la Méditerranée (European Cultural Foundation; Arabic autobiographies in translation); 1999 coordinator of the programme;

1994- 1998: member of the board of editors of the journal Het christelijk oosten;

1993-1996 senior researcher of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNA­W) attheUniversityofAmsterdam,dpt.of Arabic and Islamic Studies; research project: Waqfs and urban structures in Ottoman Damascus, resulting in a monograph, published in 1999;

1992-2001: reviewer of the weekly journal Vrij Nederland, for Arabic literature, culture and history;

1992 Ph.D. Faculty of Arts, University of Amsterdam; dissertation: Notables and clergy in Mount Lebanon; the Khazin sheiks and the Maronite church, 1736-1840; promotores Prof. Dr M. Woidich, Prof. Dr R. Peters, Prof. Dr P. Rietbergen;

1987-1991 PhD research at the University of Amsterdam, dpt. of Arabic and Islamic Studies;

1987- 1992: member of the editorial board of the Novib/Ambo literary series;

1986 M.A. Arabic and Newpersian language and literature, dpt. of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Amster­­­­­­dam/University of Leiden, cum laude;

1985-1993 Member of the board of MERA foundation (Middle East Research Associates);

1985-1989 Reviewer for the daily De volkskrant;

1982-1985 Member of the board of AICA foundation(translation services);

1981 and onwards: translator ofArabic literature;

1981 candidate Arabic and Newpersian language and literature, dpt. of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Amsterdam/University of Leiden;

Presentations at international conferences and universities:

2013 Conference “Variantes narratives, sources et fonctions des ille et une nuits dans l’espece médiéval,” Biblioteca Apostolicana Vaticana, Rome (literature)

2013 Conference “Hajj: global interactions through pilgrimage”, Volkenkundig Museum, Leiden.

2013 Guest lecture David Foundation Copenhagen (literature)

2013 Guest lecture, University of Torino (literature)

2013 Guest lecture, University of Gothenburg (literature).

2013 Guest lecture, University of Berne (Islam).

2013 Conference “Texts in contexts: new cultural constellations in translation studies,” Hamad bin Khalifa University, Doha (literature)

2012 Guest lecture, NVIC, Cairo (literature).

2012 NISIS Spring school, Istanbul (Islam).

2012 Conf. “Locating hell in Islamic traditions,” University of Utrecht (literature/ Islam).

2012 EURAMAL Conference, Paris (modern literature).

2012 Conf. “The Syrian-French connection: Antoine Galland’s and Hanna Diyab’s Arabian nights; sources, transmissions and influences of the first corpus of the Nights,” University of Copenhagen (literature).

2012 Conf. “Le dialogue dans la culture arabe: structures, fonctions, significations (VIIIe-XIIIe siècles,” Università degli Studi di Catania/ Università degli Studi di Venezia, Catania (literature).

2012 Conference “At the crossroads of Arabic literature: the Arabic literary heritage in the context of World literature,”; 1st Honeyman Conference, St. Andrews University (literature).

2012 Colloq. “Giving meaning to the passage of time,” Nederlands Instituut Beirut/ Orient-Institut, Beirut (literature).

2012 Symposium Meertens Instituut, Amsterdam (literature).

2011 Conference “Transnational Islam in interwar Europe,” Leiden (Islam/ travel)

2011 Conference “Moslims in de Nederlandse kunst en literatuur,” Leiden (art)

2011 Conference “Mil y una noches de Bagdad a Granada,” Granada (literature)

2011 Conference “Tropics of travel; part 4: Homes,” Liège (modern literature)

2010 25th Congress of the UEAI, Naples (Islam)

2010 EURAMAL, Rome (modern literature)

2010 Conference “Littérature du monde II:de la tradition à la création,” Paris (modern literature)

2009 Conference "Tropics of travel III:utopias and dystopias," London (modern literature)

2009 Colloquium "Thousand and one nights'," Copenhagen (literature)

2009 Conference "World literature I:foundational texts," Santa Barbara (literary history)

2009 Conference "Mille et une nuits," Fes(modern literature)

2008 Conference ACLA, Longbeach (modernliterature)

2008 Conference "Tropics of travel II:encounters," Paris (Islam)

2008 24th Congress ofthe UEAI, Leipzig(Islam)

2008 Colloquium "Thesijillât in perspective," Berlin (history

2008 Conference "El legadodelas'Milyunanoches'," Seville (pre-modern literature)

2007 Conference “Bild- undTextordnungenimreligionskulturellen Vergleich,”Berlin(pre-modern/ modern literature; orientalism)

2007 Conference “Historical dimensions of  Arabic epic literature,” Cairo (pre-modern Ar. literature)

2007 Conference “Tropics of travel,” University Ca’Foscari, Venice (classical literature/ Islam)

2008 Conference UEAI, Leipzig (Islamic thought)

2008 Conference “Departures and arrivals,” ACLA, Long Beach (pre-modern Ar. literature)

2008 Conference “Tropics of travel,” Paris (Islam/ travel)

2007 “All souls’ Conference,” University of Amsterdam (modern Islamic thought)

2007 Conference “Bild- und Textordnungen im religionskulturellen Vergleich,” Berlin (pre-modern/ modern literature; orientalism)

2007 Conference “Historical dimensions of  Arabic epic literature,” Cairo (pre-modern Ar. literature)

2007 Conference “Tropics of travel,” University Ca’Foscari, Venice (classical literature/ Islam)

2007 Conference “Scenes of encounter,” University of Amsterdam (Islamic thought/ travel)

2007  Conference “Religion and its other,” Humboldt Universität, Berlin (modern Islamic thought)

2007 “All souls’ Conference,” University of Amsterdam (modern Islamic thought)

2007 Conference “Things: material religion and the topography of divine spaces,” University of Amsterdam (modern Islamic thought)

2006 UEAI Conference “Centre and periphery within the borders of Islam,” Sassari (Islamic studies)

2006 Conference “Reading spiritualities: constructing and representing spiritualities through the medium of text: sacred, literary and visual,” Lancaster (Islamic studies; travel lit.)

2005 Conference “The Arab world and Islam: identities and intercultural interactions,” Sofia (contemporary Islamic thought)

2005 Conference “Rituals, ceremonies and theatrical performance,” Khartoum (pre-modern Ar. literature)

2005 Conference “The comic condition as a play with incongruities; cultural varieties in Arabic and Western theatre,” Tanger (modern Ar. literature; in absentia)

2004 UEAI conference “Authority, privacy and public order in Islam,” Cracow (Islamic history)

2004 Conference “Mille et une nuits en partage,” Paris (pre-modern Ar. literature)

2004 Colloquium “Vocabularies of creation and creativity: Tanakh, Bible and Qur’an in the 21st century, Glasgow (modern Ar. literature)

2003 Conference “Tragedy as a literary genre within Western and Arabic drama,” Gent (modern Ar. literature)

2003 6th EMTAR Conference, Cracow (modern Ar. lit.)

2003 NEMLA Conference, Boston (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

2003 Guest lecture Harvard University, Cambridge (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

2002 Guest lecture Freie Universität Berlin (modern Ar. lit.)

2002 Conference “Les Mille et une nuits du texte au mythe,” Rabat (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

2002 Third workshop “Genre, narrative and ideology,” SOAS, London (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

2002 Colloquium “Mersin, the Mediterranean, and modernity; heritage of the long nineteenth century,” Mersin (modern history)

2002 Second workshop “Genre, narrative and ideology,” SOAS, London (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

2001 First workshop “Genre, narrative and ideology,” SOAS, London (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

2001 Final conference “Individual and society in the Muslim Mediterranean,” Castelvecchio Pascoli (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

2001 5th EMTAR Conference, Bonn (Modern Ar. lit.)

2001 Deutsche Orientalistentag, Bamberg (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

2000 Conference “La mémoire du futur. Littérature arabe et autobiographie,” Escuela de Traductores, Toledo (modern Ar. lit.)

2000 Atelier “Transeuropéenne,” Marrakesh (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

2000 Symposium “Questions of borders, questioning borders,’ Uppsala University (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

1999 4th EMTAR Conference, Venice (modern Ar. lit.)

1999 Colloque international “Les tendances contemporaines du roman arabe,” Université des Sciences Humaines de Strasbourg (modern Ar. lit.)

1999 Symposium “Challenging the established order,” Leiden (ESF; pre-modern Ar. lit.)

1998 Conference “La traducción de literatura árabe contemporanea diez anos después del Nobel a Mahfuz,” Escuela de Traductores, Toledo (modern Ar. lit.)

1998 ESF Meeting, Istanbul (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

[1997 3d Joseph Schacht Conference, Granada (pre-modern history)]

1997 Symposium “Guise and disguise in Arabic literature and art,” Florence (ESF pre-modern Ar. lit.)

1997 Symposium “Der Auftrag des Schriftstellers in Selbstaussagen,” Unitobler, Bern (modern Ar. lit.)

1997 3d EMTAR Conference, Paris (modern Ar. lit.)

1997 Conference “Orientalismo, exotismo y traducción,” Escuela de Traductores,Toledo (transla­tion of Ar. lit.)

1996 CIEPO, Prague (pre-modern history)

1996 Conference “Archetypes and symbols in Arabic literature,” Inst. der DMG, Beirut (pre-modern Ar. lit.)

1996 Conference “Individual and society in the Mediterranean Muslim world,” Granada (ESF; pre-modern Ar. lit.)

1996 Lecture at the Istituto Olandese, Rome (pre-modern history)

1995 Symposium Tunis-Amsterdam, Amsterdam (Islamic law; pre-modern history)

1995 MESA Conference, Washington (pre-modern history)

1995 Intern. Conf. “Traduction et politiques culturelles entre l’Egypte et l’Europe,” Cairo (translation of Ar. lit.)

1995 2nd EMTAR Conference, Oxford (modern Ar. lit)

1994 Lecture at the Unitobler, Bern (pre-modern history)

1994 Lecture at the University of Lausanne (translation)

1994 Foro de reflexión sobre la traducción en el Mediterráneo, Toledo (translation)

1994 2nd Joseph Schacht Conf., Amsterdam (Islamic law)

1994 CIEPO, Amsterdam (pre-modern history)

1993 Int. Conf. “East and West in the Crusader states,” Hernen (pre-modern history)

Lectures and courses:

- a large number of lectures on the history, modern and classical literature, and politics of the Arab and Islamic world, for Dutch universities, Dutch research conferences, private organiza­tions, etc.

- Courses at the dpt. of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Amsterdam (1987-1998) and the dpt. of Religious Studies (from 2003 onwards) both on BA and MA levels, on pre-modern and modern history of the Middle East, Islam, Islamic studies, contemporary Islamic thought, literary translation, modern Arabic literature.

Completed and current research projects:

1. The beginnings of transnationalism in modern Islamic thought: Rashîd Ridâ (1869-1935) (from 2006 onwards).

This project will focus on the transnational dimension of the religious and political thought and activism of Muhammad Rashîd Ridâ, who was one of the precursors of  modern Islamic reformism. Ridâ was born in Syria but lived in exile in Egypt from 1897 onwards, both to escape Ottoman censorship and repression, and to become the disciple of the famous reformist thinker Muhammad ‘Abduh. Although he is usually considered to be the inheritor and conveyor of ‘Abduh’s ideas, especially after the latter’s death in 1905 he developed his own system of reformism and political activism. In 1898 he founded the journal al-Manâr, which was distributed throughout the Muslim world, from Morocco to Indonesia, from Istanbul to Khartoum, and which became the source of inspiration of many reformist groups and currents in Islam. In his journal he not only propagated a return to religious values and the adaptation of religious thought and practice to the requirements of modern society, he also gave legal advice on issues related to modern developments and problems.

The origins of Ridâ’s thought should be sought in the highly unstable years marking the decline and collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the First World War, and the European interventions in thew Middle East and North Africa, which led to the redrawing of the political map of the Arab world and Western hegemony. In all of these developments, Ridâ was involved as a thinker, a commentator and an activist, seeking to create a modern form of Islam out of the debris of the Ottoman Empire and trying to influence the policies of the foreign powers. It is one of the hypotheses of this project that it was the impact of exile and the political upheavals during his lifetime that shaped the transnational dimension of Ridâ’s thought.

Transnationalism can be related to Ridâ’s ideas in several ways: first, through his exile in Egypt, which made him part of a transnational network of scholars and political activists; second, through his journeys to Syria, Istanbul, the Hijâz, India and Europe; through his interest in modern technology and means of communication, which became manifest in the publication of al-Manâr, the first ‘transnational’ Islamic journal; fourth, through his efforts to revive the idea of the caliphate, as a ‘modern’ concept and as a solution for the collapse of the political structures in the Levant; and, fifth, through his tireless efforts to purify Islam from ‘superstitions’ and local divergencies, and to formulate the tenets of a uniform, fundamentalist faith, transcending political boundaries. These five pillars of Ridâ’s transnationalism are also the basis of reformist thought and Islamic political activism throughout the 20th century, in which the transnational component became increasingly important, not only because of the process of globalizationm and increasing interaction between the Muslim world and the West, but also because of the availability of modern means of communication and the call for a uniform, text-based Islam. Therefore, Rashîd Ridâ can be seen as the forerunner of many transnational, reformist thinkers in Islam today.

2. Religion and Middle Eastern travel (2005 onwards).

Travel has always been not only a source of intercultural communication and exchange, but also an incentive for cultural transformation and dynamism. In the first instance, it implies an experience of ‘otherness’, as the traveller is confronted with strange environments, objects and persons, generating a primary sense of unfamiliarity. In travelogues this sense of estrangement is as a rule incorporated into an intellectual effort to reconcile concepts of the ‘unfamiliar’ with concepts of the ‘familiar’, constructing a framework in which visions of the other and of the self are incorporated into a rationalized discourse. It is the combination of experience and text that defines the transformative potential of travelling and the importance of travel accounts as texts documenting intellectual and cultural shifts. This is especially true in the case of Middle Eastern travel, that is, journeys of European travellers to the Arab world and of Arab travellers to Europe. From the appearance of Islam in the 7th century European travellers have contributed decisively not only to the images of the Arab world in Europe, but also to visions of European identity in contrast with constructions of the Muslim ‘other’. Conversely, especially in the 19th century, Arab travellers to Europe have been one of the main sources of a new cultural awareness in the Arab world which became manifest in the transformations during the nahda period, when European models were adopted to construct a vision of modernity.

Within the discourses constructed within the framework of Middle Eastern travel, religion played a vital role. Evidently, for European Christians the Middle East was since ancient times associated with pilgrimage, especially to the Holy Land and Egypt. As a consequence, because these were situated in the realm of Islam, the religious ‘other’, travel accounts were often structured around religious themes or within the domain of religious discourse. Conversely, for Muslims travelling in Europe the ‘unfamiliar’ was often re-integrated into ‘familiar’ contexts by mobilizing forms of religious discourse, or, alternatively, opposed to familiar religious practices and ideas. Thus the communication between Christianity and Islam through the experience of travel resulted in various way of defining and re-defining religious attitudes and concepts, either strengthened or weakened by the confrontation with the other.

This part of the programme ‘Islam and Europe’ will concentrate on the ways in which religious discourses both in Europe and in the Arab world were influenced and transformed by the experience of travel, from the rise of Islam until the 20th century. It will focus both on the consequences of the experience of otherness for self-definition and the definition of the other and explore the transformations generated by the intensification of contacts. Finally it will examine strategies of conveying religiosity within travel texts.

3. The Thousand and One Nights (1997 onwards).

This project focuses on two fields: the first consists of the compilation of a reference work about the Thousand-and-one-Nights, including summaries of the stories in the most important editions and translations, and entries on persons, themes, textual history, historical context, etc. This project is financed by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Akademie der Wissenschaften of Göttingen and is carried out in co-operation with Prof. Dr. Ulrich Marzolph of the Enzyklopädie des Märchens and the University of Göttingen (2000-2002; Arabian nights: an encyclopedia, scheduled for 2004).

The second part is aimed at writing a monography on the significance of spatial representations in the narrative structure of a selected number of stories of the Thousand and One Nights. It will be argued that spatial representations are especially important for the interpretation of stories which are structured as journeys, in which the setting and the movement itself add a specific layer to the meaning of the text. Several modern literary theories will be referred to in order to analyze the narrative structure, the structure of journeys, the uses of metaphors, the techniques of referentiality, etcetera. The conclusions will be related to current research on the Thousand and One Nights and several models of literary analysis. Until now, the intermediate results of the project have been presented at the various meetings of the ESF program “Individual and society in the Mediterranean Muslim world” (The poetics of the journey in the Thousand-and-one nights, scheduled for 2004)

4. Waqf and urban structures: the case of Ottoman Damascus (1993-1997).

This project was carried out with a grant of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was based on research in the archive of the Shar’iyya Court of Damascus (18th century) and other relevant archival and printed material. Several types of texts were used to make a reconstruction of the development of the waqf-system of Damascus in Ayyubid, Mamluk and, especially, Ottoman times, and of the functions of waqfs within the urban structure and for urban expansion. It is argued that the study of waqfs should be based on an integrative approach, taking account of their legal, symbolic and economic dimensions, and of their functioning as part of mechanisms of power and authority, according to theoretical framework and the concept of the ‘field’ as developed by Pierre Bourdieu. The results of the project are laid down in several articles and the mono­graph Waqfs and urban structures: the case of Ottoman Damascus, which will be published by Brill, Leiden, in 1999.

5. Narrative aspects of the modern Arabic novel (1994 onwards).

a. Modern Arab authors are especially concerned with questions of authority and the spatial environment. This research project attempts to present an analysis of the way in which Arab novelists have represented “power” and “space” in their work, both in the political sense, in their descriptions of individual relationships and personal development, and in the aesthetic and philosophical sense. Until now, articles have appeared on Nagib Mahfuz, Gamal al-Ghitani, Mah­mud Darwish, Ibrahim al-Kawni, Abd al-Rahman Munif, Hoda Barakat, and others. More or less regularly articles will follow on Nagib Mahfuz, Abd al-Hakim Qasim, Alia Mamduh, Sahar Khalifa, and others. Various theoretical approaches have been used to analyse the literary works, both in the field of literary criticism and in the field of spatial concepts. Special attention is given to the relation between literature and cultural and political debates.

b. Religious aspects of modern Arabic novels. Modern Arabic literature is usually considered tob e part of the secular domain within modern Arabic culture. ‘Religious novels’ are hard to find, as novelists tend to prefer to write about thye human condition in the secular terms of modernity. This does not mean, however, that religion as a theme or as a source of inspiration is totally absent from modern literary expression.In this research it will be examined how Arabic authors deal with religious themes in their work and how religious themes in literature are used to shape the debate within the cultural domain between religious and secular forces. After all, references to religion have often led to polemics and controversy in the context of the struggle for hegemony within the cultural field. Works will be studied of Mahfuz, al-Ghitani, al-Wattar, al-Kawni, Qasim and others.

c. Traces of the Thousand and one nights in modern Arabic literature: several cases of intertextuality will be studied in the works of  Taha Husayn, Tawfiq al-Hakim, Elias Khoury, Nagib Mahfuz, Hani al-Rahib, and others.

6. The Vatican and the Maronites in Mount Lebanon in the 18th/19th centuries (1987-1991).

Ph.D. project carried out with a grant of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Amsterdam, focused on the intensification of the interference of the Vatican and the European powers in the affairs of the Maronite church in Mount Lebanon, and the consequences for the organization of the church, the position of prelates, and the social equilibrium within the Maronite community. Special attention is given to the Khazin sheikhs, the main lay patrons of the Maronite church, and the Maronite monasteries, pertaining to various orders. The research is focused on the socio-economic position of the Khazins, their role vis-a-vis the church and Rome, and their status within the community. The monasteries, usually Maronite waqfs, are seen as a vehicle of reform, supported by the Vatican. For this research archives were consulted in Lebanon (family archive of the Khazins, archives of monasteries, archive of the Patriarcate in Bkirki, and the archive of the Congrgation of the Propagation of the Holy Faith in Rome). The material includes letters, reports, legal documents, official decrees, economc surveys, etcetera. The project resulted in several articles and a monograph, entitled Notables and clergy in Mount Lebanon; the Khazin sheiks and the Maronite church (1736-1840), Brill, Leiden 1994.



  • R.L.A. van Leeuwen (2015). Coming home or death postponed: Tayyib Salih's Season of migration to the North and the Thousand and one nights. In F. Bauden (Ed.), Tropics of travel. - Vol. 4: Homes: proceedings of the international conference organized at the University of Liège (pp. 125-139). Louvain: Peeters.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2015). Stories without end: Italo Calvino and the Thousand and one nights. In L. Capezzone & E. Benigni (Eds.), Paradossi delle notte: dieci studi su le Mille e una notte (pp. 163-178). Pisa: Fabrizio Serra.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2015). Literature and religious controversy: the vision of hell in Jamīl Sidqī al-Zahāwī’s Thawra fī l-jahīm. In C. Lange (Ed.), Locating Hell in Islamic Traditions (pp. 336-351). Leiden: Brill.[go to publisher's site]
  • R.L.A. van Leeuwen (2015). The scent of the Orient: The prehistory of Poiret's perfume 'Aladdin'. In M. Derks, M. Eickhoff, R. Ensel & F. Meens (Eds.), What's left behind: The lieux de mémoire of Europe beyond Europe (pp. 33-39). Nijmegen: Vantilt.


  • R. van Leeuwen (2014). Two Ulama traveling to Europe in the beginning of the twentieth century: Muhammad al-Wartatani and Muhammad al-Sa'ih. In G. Nordbruch & U. Ryad (Eds.), Transnational Islam in interwar Europe: Muslim activists and thinkers (The modern Muslim world) (pp. 67-88). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2014). The forbidden room: The Thousand and one nights and Ibrahim al-Faqih's Gardens of the night. In S. Boustani, I Camera d'Afflitto, R El-Enany & W Granara (Eds.), Desire, pleasure and the taboo: new voices and freedom of expression in contemporary Arabic literature (Rivista degli Studi Orientali: Supplemento, 87, n. 1) (pp. 45-62). Pisa: Fabrizio Serra.


  • R. van Leeuwen (2012). Bir Osmanlı şehri: Şam: vakıflar ve şehir. İstanbul: Küre Yayınevi.


  • R. van Leeuwen (2011). The canonization of the Thousand and One Nights in world literature: the role of literary criticism. In D. Jullien (Ed.), Foundational texts of world literature (Currents in comparative romance languages and literatures, 184) (pp. 101-117). New York [etc.]: Peter Lang.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2011). Travel and spirituality: the peregrinations of a Moroccan Sufi in the 16th century. In A. Chraïbi (Ed.), Tropes du voyage: les rencontres (pp. 157-173). Paris: L'Harmattan.



  • R.L.A. van Leeuwen (2007). The thousand and one nights : space, travel and transformation. Londen etc.: Routledge.
  • R.L.A. van Leeuwen (2007). Narrative and Performace : Shahrazâd's storytelling as a ritual act. In A. Vrolijk & J.P. Hogendijk (Eds.), O ye gentlemen : Arabic studies on science and literary culture. In honour of Remke Kruk (pp. 366-376). Leiden: Brill.


  • A. Vrolijk & R. van Leeuwen (2014). Arabic studies in the Netherlands: a short history in portraits, 1580-1950. Leiden: Brill.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2014). Enlightened orientalism: two Protestant travellers to the Levant in the 18th century. In S. Daccache, C. Edde, S. Knost, B. Paoli & S. Slim (Eds.), Cohabitation et conflits dans le Bilâd al-Châm à l'époque ottomane: musulmans et chrétiens à travers les écrits des chroniqueurs et des voyageurs: Colloques organisé par: l'Université de Balamand, l'Université Saint-Joseph, l'Insitut Français du Proche-Orient et l'Oriant-Institut Beirut 28-29-30 mai 2009 (pp. 111-132). Beyrouth: Université Saint-Joseph.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2014). Love or lust: sexual relationships between humans and jinns in the Thousand And One Nights and The Djinn in The Nightingale's Eye. In A. Talib, M. Hammond & A. Schippers (Eds.), The rude, the bad and the bawdy: essays in honour of Professor Geer Jan van Gelder (pp. 208-220). Warminster: Gibb Memorial Trust.


  • A. Vrolijk & R. van Leeuwen (2013). Voortreffelijk en waardig: 400 jaar Arabische studies in Nederland. Leiden: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2013). Reformist Islam and popular beliefs: Rashīd Ridā's attack against the cult of shrines. In V. Klemm & N. Al-Sha'ar (Eds.), Sources and approaches across disciplines in Near Eastern studies: proceedings of the 24th congress, Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants, Leipzig 2008 Vol. 215. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta (pp. 141-154). Leuven: Peeters.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2013). De ongrijpbare Duizend-en-één-nacht; tekst en Europese receptie in de achttiende eeuw. In T. Meder (Ed.), Van kikvors tot droomprins: de wording van het sprookje (pp. 87-99). Hilversum: Verloren.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2013). The experience of travel: a Moroccan scholar's journey to Europe in 1919. In A. Cilardo (Ed.), Islam and globalisation: historical and contemporary perspectives: proceedings of the 25th Congress of L'Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants Vol. 226. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta (pp. 419-431). Leuven: Peeters.


  • R. van Leeuwen (2012). Conversion as a (meta-)historical concept in the epic stories of the Thousand and one nights. In S. Dorpmueller (Ed.), Fictionalizing the past: historical characters in Arabic popular epic: workshop held at the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo, 28th-29th of November 2007: in honor of Remke Kruk Vol. 206. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta (pp. 125-137). Leuven: Peeters.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2012). Mobility and Islamic thought: the Syrian journey of Rashīd Ridā in 1908. In G. Contu (Ed.), Centre and periphery within the borders of Islam: proceedings of the 23rd congress of L'Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants Vol. 207. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta (pp. 33-46). Leuven: Peeters en Departement Oosterse Studies.


  • R. van Leeuwen (2010). Oosterse christenen als wegbereiders voor de islam: het reisverslag van Jonas Korte. ZemZem, 6 (2), 16-23.
  • R. van Leeuwen & A. Vrolijk (2010). Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: de beminnelijke filoloog Michaël Jan de Goeje (1836-1909). ZemZem, 6 (2), 87-102.
  • R. van Leeuwen & A. Vrolijk (2010). Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: een eigenzinnige polemist, Reinhart Dozy (1820-1883). ZemZem, 6 (1), 40-51.


  • R. van Leeuwen & A. Vrolijk (2009). Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: de ‘verlichte’ oriëntalist Adriaan Reland. ZemZem, 5 (1), 76-86.


  • R.L.A. van Leeuwen (2008). Osmanlı mirası ve Arap orta dogusu. Kebikeç : insan bilimleri için kaynak araştırmaları dergisi, 13 (25), 151-165.
  • R. van Leeuwen & A. Vrolijk (2008). Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: Levinus Warner. ZemZem, 4 (3), 79-88.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2008). Ontvleesde teksten. Armada, 50, 148-152.
  • R. van Leeuwen & A. Vrolijk (2008). Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: Thomas Erpenius en Jacob Golius. ZemZem, 4 (2), 54-67.
  • R. van Leeuwen & A. Vrolijk (2008). Oriëntalistiek in de Lage Landen: de vroege voorgeschiedenis. ZemZem, 4 (1), 64-75.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2008). Ibn Khaldûn en de islamitische stad. In M. van Berkel & R. Künzel (Eds.), Ibn Khaldûn en zijn wereld (pp. 99-118, 261-262). Amsterdam: Bulaaq.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2008). The journey in two Arabic novels. In R. Ostle (Ed.), Sensibilities of the Islamic Mediterranean: self-expression in a Muslim culture from post-classical times to the present day (The Islamic Mediterranean, 7) (pp. 133-146). London [etc.]: I.B. Tauris.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2008). Preface: The journey as metaphor. In R. Ostle (Ed.), Sensibilities of the Islamic Mediterranean: self-expression in a Muslim culture from post-classical times to the present day (The Islamic Mediterranean, 7) (pp. 81-84). London [etc.]: I.B. Tauris.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2008). Islamic reformism and the secular: Rashîd Ridâ's theory on miracles. In H. Bock, J. Feuchter & M. Knecht (Eds.), Religion and its other: secular and sacral concepts and practices in interaction (Eigene und fremde Welten, 8) (pp. 64-78). Frankfurt am Main [etc.]: Campus.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2008). Challenging symbols of power: palaces and castles in the 'Thousand and one nights'. In R. Ostle (Ed.), Sensibilities of the Islamic Mediterranean: self-expression in a Muslim culture from post-classical times to the present day (The Islamic Mediterranean, 7) (pp. 13-26). London [etc.]: I.B. Tauris.


  • R.L.A. van Leeuwen (2007). De Osmaanse erfenis in het Arabische Midden-Oosten. ZemZem, 3 (1), 94-105.
  • R.L.A. van Leeuwen (2007). Macht en Hartstocht in Istanbul. ZemZem, 3 (1), 31-41.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2007). De koran in het hedendaagse islamitische denken. ZemZem, 3 (3), 21-30, 120.
  • R. van Leeuwen (2007). Liefdesverhalen in de ''Duizend-en- één- nacht ''. ZemZem, 3 (2), 26-34.


  • R. van Leeuwen (2013). De 'Duizend en één nacht' en de 'Odyssee': een neoplatonistische omzwerving. Lampas, 46 (3), 290-300.


  • R. van Leeuwen (2012). Des Lumières au romantisme: les Mille et Une Nuits dans la littérature allemande, de Wieland à Hoffmann. In É. Bouffard & A.-A. Joyard (Eds.), Les mille et une nuits: cet ouvrage est publié à l'occasion de l'Exposition "Les Mille et Une Nuits - Alf laila wa-laila" organisée par l'Institut du Monde Arabe du 27 novembre 2012 au 28 avril 2013 (pp. 175-186). Paris: Hazan.


  • R. van Leeuwen (2009). [Review of the book Les amoureux de Schéhérazade: variations modernes sur les Mille et une nuits]. Bibliotheca Orientalis, 66(5-6), 688-690.[go to publisher's site]
  • R. van Leeuwen (2009). [Review of the book The Arabian Nights and Orientalism: perspectives from East & West]. Bibliotheca Orientalis, 66(5-6), 691.[go to publisher's site]
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