The 1993 Charles Homer Haskins Lecture
The Haskins lecturer for 1993 was Annemarie Schimmel, who was born in 1922 in Germany where she received doctoral degrees in Arabic and Islamic Studies (Berlin 1941) and the History of Religions (Marburg 1951). After serving as an Associate Professor in the University of Marburg, she began an international career. From 1954 to 1959, she was Professor of the History of Religion in the Faculty of Islamic Theology at the University of Ankara, Turkey. Subsequently she was Associate Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Bonn and joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1966, serving as Professor of Indo-Muslim Culture from 1970 until 1992. She was elected Honorary Professor at the University of Bonn following her retirement from Harvard.
Professor Schimmel has received honorary degrees from universities in Europe and the Middle East. She has also received a long list of medals and awards from institutions throughout the world in recognition of her distinctive contributions to scholarship. Her principal scholarly fields have been the study of the history of religion, literature, and mysticism, and she is an important translator, especially into German poetry, from many languages including Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Urdu, and Sindhi. Her studies cover Islamic subjects from early medieval periods to the contemporary era and from north Africa to southeast Asia. Her works on Islamic mysticism and spiritual literature have made a major impact on Western understanding of the Islamic experience. Among her important works are Gabriel’s Wing: A Study into the Religious Ideas of Sir Muhammad Iqbal; Mystical Dimensions of Islam; And Muhammad is His Messenger: The Veneration of the Prophet in Islamic Piety; A Two-Colored Brocade: The Imagery of Persian Poetry; Calligraphy and Islamic Culture; and at least fifty additional volumes of studies and translations in German, English, and Turkish.