HIST 486
Islam in European Culture from Muhammad to Modernity Fall 2021
Division II

Class Details

From the Crusades to modern colonialism, the relationship between Muslims and Western Christians has often been recounted as the clash of two opposing civilizations, a history of warfare and of incompatible values. This tutorial takes a different point of departure, namely the recent scholarly recognition that relationships between Muslims and Western Christians were often rooted in the intimacy of frequent interaction. We will delve into the many ways in which Muslim peoples shaped European culture from the Middle Ages to the present. We will explore different domains, from one of the first translations of the Qur’an into any language, the Latin version done in Toledo in 1143, to the many goods made by Muslim craftsmen that filled the homes of Renaissance Europe, and the roles of early modern Muslims as captives, slaves, diplomats, travelers, and converts. In the modern period, Muslims continued to inflect European culture both as colonial subjects and as domestic minorities, producing and inspiring art, imaginative literature, and critiques of European power. Our investigation will encompass music, visual art and film in addition to written works. How do we make sense of this intricately interwoven history? And what are its legacies for the present? Sources both primary and secondary will include Leo Africanus, Lady Montagu, Montesquieu, Mozart, al-Tahtawi, Flaubert, Sayyid Qutb and Fatima Mernissi.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1665
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Five tutorial papers (5-7 pages.) and five shorter responses; occasional presentations.
Prerequisites: History majors; juniors and seniors.
Enrollment Preferences: If the course is overenrolled, a statement of interest will be requested.
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
HIST Group G Electives - Global History

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