Forum to Re-Examine Islamic History

Posted: March 10, 2011 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: March 10, 2011 at 8:58 pm

“Beyond Golden Age and Decline: The Legacy of Muslim Societies in Global Modernity, 1300-1900” is the title of a two-part conference that begins at Mason on March 14.

The conference is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Bridging Cultures Initiative on the Muslim World and the Humanities, the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at Mason and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities (VFH).

The first part, the two-day Scholars Forum at the Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel, will bring together local, national and international scholars to confront commonly accepted readings of Islamic history between the 14th and 20th centuries, an era described as one of general decline for Muslim societies in contrast to the preceding Islamic “Golden Age.”

Focusing on the history of Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires, speakers will bring to light recent scholarship on this misunderstood era in Muslim history and debunk widely perpetuated myths within academia.

The Scholars Forum will host a range of national and international scholars of Muslim and world history, including faculty members and researchers from Harvard University, Brown University,  University of California-Los Angeles, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia, McGill University, the University of Edinburgh and many others.

Immediately following the Scholars Forum, a two-day program development workshop for professionals will be held at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel in Charlottesville, Va., beginning March 16.

Held concurrently with the VFH Festival of the Book, the workshop will brainstorm strategies for disseminating this knowledge to the public and feature two panels open to the public in which scholars from the forum will present their books.

This workshop will bring together educators from Fairfax County and Montgomery County Public Schools, museum professionals from the Newseum and Virginia Association of Museums, filmmakers, and other specialists.

For more information and the event schedule, please visit the project website.


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