George F. Hourani papers
Scope and Contents
This collection contains materials from George F. Hourani, professor of Philosophy, specializing in Near Eastern History and Islamic philosophy. Included are correspondence, teachings, writings, Middle Eastern Studies research, and departmental files from both the University of Michigan and the University at Buffalo.
- Hourani, George Fadlo (Person)
Language of Materials
Collection material in English, French, Arabic, German and Spanish.
Terms of Access
The George F. Hourani Papers, 1927-1984 are open for research.
Please note: Series I. Personal, Subseries A, Personal Correspondence, is restricted due to the personal nature of the documents. Please contact the archivist for more information.
Copyright is held by the State University of New York at Buffalo, University Archives. Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.
George Fadlo Hourani was one of the preeminent scholars of Islamic philosophy and Near Eastern History. He authored numerous articles as well as several books including: Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean in the Ancient and Early Medieval Times (1963), Ethical Value (1956, reprinted in 1969), Islamic Rationalism: the Ethics of 'Abd al-Jabbar'(1971) and Reason and Tradition in Islamic Ethics (published posthumously in 1985).
Throughout his career, Dr. Hourani participated in many national and international professional organizations. He was often celebrated for his professional insight into Middle Eastern culture. In 1991, UB Philosophy Department Chair Peter Hare stated that George Hourani was "unquestionably the leading specialist in Islamic thought in the United States. He had no peer."
- Born in Manchester, England to parents of Lebanese descent.
- Attended the Mill Hill School in London where he studied Classics.
- Received his B.A. in classics and philosophy from the Balliol College at Oxford University.
- Spent a year studying Arabic with tutors in Beirut.
- Received his Ph.D. from Princeton University after writing his dissertation, Arab Navigation in the Indian Ocean in the 9th and 10th Centuries A.D.
- Lecturer of philosophy and classics at the Government Arab College in Jerusalem
- Married Celeste Habib in Heliopolis, Egypt.
- Began his 17 year tenure at the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
- Received the Ford Foundation Area Research Fellowship in Cairo, Egypt for writing on Islamic philosophy.
- Recipient of the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for writing on Islamic philosophy in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- Came to the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he was a professor in the Department of Philosophy until his retirement in 1982.
- Chairman of the Department of Philosophy.
- One of several Near Eastern scholars to be invited to the White House by President Jimmy Carter to discuss U.S. relations with the Muslim world.
- Received the title of "Distinguished Professor of Islamic Thought and Civilization."
- Retired from the University at Buffalo.
- Passed away at the age of 71 in Buffalo, NY.
16 Linear Feet (36 manuscript boxes, 2 half boxes, 2 card boxes)
Collection of materials from George F. Hourani, professor of Philosophy, specializing in Near Eastern History and Islamic philosophy. Includes correspondence, teachings, writings, Middle Eastern Studies research, and departmental files from both the University of Michigan and the University at Buffalo.
This collection is divided into five series.
I. Personal; includes housing information, notes from George Hourani's early education and his personal writing. Please note: Subseries A, Personal correspondence, is restricted due to the personal nature of the documents. Please contact the archivist for more information.
II. Correspondence was processed by a previous staff archivist. The archivist's organization was retained; original order is unknown. Series includes professional correspondence, organized by both subject and author and correspondence with students.
III. Writings contains manuscripts, essays, articles, encyclopedia entries, book reviews, and research pertaining to works written by George Hourani.
IV. Teachings includes early teachings at the Government Arab College in Jerusalem, coursework and departmental files from the University of Michigan and the University at Buffalo, and lectures given at various institutions. Folders labeled as "coursework" signifies a specific topic which may have been used in several classes.
V. Research for Middle Eastern studies includes collected materials used for research. Also includes newsletters and conferences related to the study of relations in the Middle East.
The collection was received by John Sheffer, lawyer for the Hourani estate, on September 30, 1987 as accession #87-050.
Accruals and Additions
No further accruals are expected to this collection.
Processed by Molly Dahl, May-July 2005.
- Academic writing
- American Institute of Islamic Studies
- American Oriental Society
- American University in Cairo
- American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
- Arab-Israeli conflict
- Civilization, Islamic -- Study and teaching -- United States
- College teachers -- United States
- Educators -- United States
- Ethics -- Study and teaching -- United States
- Government Arab College (Jerusalem)
- History -- Religious aspects -- Islam
- Hourani, Albert Habib
- Hourani, Celeste
- Hourani, George Fadlo -- Correspondence -- Archives
- Hourani, George Fadlo -- Ethical value -- Islamic rationalism -- Reason and tradition in Islamic ethics
- Indian Ocean -- Navigation -- History
- International Congress of Orientalists
- Islam -- Study and teaching -- United States
- Islam and politics
- Islamic Empire -- History -- United States
- Islamic ethics -- Study and teaching -- United States
- Jewish-Arab relations
- Marmura, Michael E. -- Islamic theology and philosophy
- Mentoring in education -- United States
- Middle East -- Relations -- United States
- Middle East -- Study and teaching -- United States
- Middle East Studies Association of North America
- Morewedge, Parviz
- Philosophy teachers -- United States
- Philosophy, Islamic -- Study and teaching -- United States
- Scholarly publishing -- United States
- State University of New York at Buffalo. Department of Philosophy -- Faculty -- Records and correspondence
- Teacher exchange programs
- University of Buffalo -- Archives
- University of Michigan. Department of Near Eastern Studies
- Visiting teachers
- Finding Aid for the George F. Hourani papers
- Finding aid prepared by Molly Dahl.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note