Danielle Adams

About Danielle Adams

Danielle Adams is a 2015-2016 NASA Space Grant Fellow for a project entitled "Two Deserts, One Sky: Arab Observational Astronomy and Star Lore" (onesky.arizona.edu). Danielle Adams holds an MA in Anthropology from the University of Arkansas (2000), and she spent three years living in Beirut, Lebanon, where she focused her studies on classical Arabic poetry. Her research interests lie in the anthropology of science, particularly cultural astronomy; indigenous systems of folk astronomy in North Africa; cultural knowledge transmission; the rise of modern amateur astronomy in the Middle East and North Africa; astronomy in Arabic poetry; star lore; and the anthropology of religion and modernity. Research Topics: The transformation of indigenous Arabian astronomy under Islam, the interaction between science and Islam within the modern Maghreb, and the role of modern astronomical technologies in Islamic practice. Languages: Arabic (MSA and Lebanese), Turkish (modern), Ottoman Turkish, French, Latin, some German.

Areas of Study

North Africa
Southwest Asia (Middle East)

Projects

Two Deserts, One Sky: Arab Observational Astronomy and Star Lore

onesky.arizona.edu

The desert sky we see here in Tucson, Arizona, is the same desert sky that Arabs have observed for millennia. Two Deserts, One Sky is intended to bring the richness and depth of astronomy in ancient Arab cultures to modern awareness. This project for the first time presents ancient Arab astronomical traditions within their own cultural contexts instead of fragmented within the confines of Greek-oriented modern astronomy. From explaining the meaning and usage of star names in ancient star calendars to examining their continuing impact on modern-day astronomy around the globe, this project is designed to build bridges of understanding and foster greater appreciation for the vast heritage of Arab astronomy.

Research Interests

Anthropology of science, particularly cultural astronomy; indigenous systems of folk astronomy in North Africa; cultural knowledge transmission; the rise of modern amateur astronomy in MENA; astronomy in Arabic poetry; star lore; astronomy/science and religion.