The Giorgio Levi Della Vida Medal of the Gustave E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Los Angeles, is awarded every 2 or 3 years to an outstanding scholar whose work has significantly and lastingly advanced the study of Muslim civilisations. The award, which was inaugurated in 1967, consists of a bronze medal and a prize of money, together with the obligation to present in person a formal lecture as part of the conference. The recipient of the award chooses the theme of the conference and selects the participants. The proceedings of each conference are published in a special series.

This year’s theme, “From Islamology to the Critique of ‘Islamic’ Reason,” was also the title of Professor Arkoun’s keynote address. Presenters this year included: William Chittick (State University of New York, Stony Brook); Ahmad Dallal (Stanford University); Sadik al-Azm (University of Damascus); and Gudrun Kraemer (Free University of Berlin). Azim Nanji, Director of the Institute of Ismaili Studies, and Leonard Binder (University of California, Los Angeles) acted as discussants.

Previous Giorgio Levi Della Vida Award recipients have included: Joseph Schact (1969), S. D. Goiten (1975), Albert Hourani (1979), W. Montgomery Watt (1981), Fazlur Rahman (1983), Annemarie Schimmel (1987) and Oleg Grabar (1996).