Tu Th 11:30AM-12:50PM
Popular perceptions and representations of Islam and Muslims are often founded on ignorance and outright prejudice. Fundamental to these understandings are narrow and highly politicized notions of history, frequently accepted uncritically. Accordingly, this course seeks first to introduce analytical approaches crucial to developing nuanced understandings of historical and contemporary depictions of Islam and Muslims. In addition, the course provides a broad outline of the history of Islamic Civilizations from Iberia and North Africa to South and Southeast Asia, and from the Mediterranean to Sub-Saharan Africa, and a basic understanding of key religious and secular institutions that characterize Muslim societies. While the course is broadly chronological, we will also examine key topics in detail, including the life of the Prophet, conversion and the global spread of Islam, colonialism and imperialism, radical militant and progressive Muslim politics, media representations, and Islam in the West. The course is not comprehensive, but seeks to provide a basic understand of the history of Islam from Muhammad to the present, and a solid empirical and methodological foundation for further inquiry.