Paul Babinski is a PhD candidate studying the history of orientalist literature. His dissertation, “World Literature in Practice: The Orientalist Manuscript, 1600-1800,” works from the manuscripts, notebooks, marginalia, and letters of European orientalists to follow the transformation of orientalist practices from the mid-seventeenth to the early nineteenth century, with a particular focus on how Ottoman institutions, scholars, and scholarship facilitated and informed the work of early modern German, Dutch, and French orientalists. Subjects addressed in the dissertation include the efforts of Georg Gentius, Adam Olearius, André du Ryer, and others to translate Saʿdī’s Golestān, inscriptions found in manuscripts acquired as Türkenbeute, European readers of Sūdī Bosnevī’s commentaries, the manuscript collections of Christian Raue and Theodor Peträus, Wojciech Bobowski’s manuscripts, the copying practices of Johann Jacob Reiske and his students, Silvestre de Sacy’s lectures, and the exercises and translations of students at the École des jeunes de langues (Istanbul and Paris) and the Orientalische Akademie (Vienna). His other interests include Goethe’s West-östlicher Divan, alba amicorum, the history of philology, book history, reading practices, prints, drawings, historia literaria, late Ottoman and early Republican Turkish literature, Islamic art, and the history of pedagogy. Before coming to Princeton in 2013 he studied at the University of Colorado - Boulder.
World Literature in Practice: The Orientalist’s Manuscript, 1600-1800