The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters

Friday, October 2

Time:  7:00pm 

Location: Book Culture 

536 West 112 Street

New York, NY 10027

Please join Book Culture  for a discussion with Muhsin al-Musawi on his book,The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters: Arabic Knowledge Construction. Professor Roger Allenand Professor Everett Rowson will join as discussants. Professor Mamadou Diouf will moderate the event.

In The Medieval Islamic Republic of Letters: Arabic Knowledge Construction, Muhsin J. al-Musawi offers a groundbreaking study of literary heritage in the medieval and premodern Islamic period. al-Musawi challenges the paradigm that considers the period from the fall of Baghdad in 1258 to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1919 as an "Age of Decay" followed by an "Awakening" ("al-nahdah"). His sweeping synthesis debunks this view by carefully documenting a "republic of letters" in the Islamic Near East and South Asia that was vibrant and dynamic, one varying considerably from the generally accepted image of a centuries-long period of intellectual and literary stagnation.

Professor Muhsin al-Musawi is a literary critic and a scholar of classical and modern Arabic literature and comparative cultural studies. He taught for over two decades at universities in the Arab world before moving to Columbia University. He is the author of twenty-eight books (including four novels) and over sixty scholarly articles. He has been the editor of the Journal of Arabic Literature since 2000.   Click here for more information.   

This event is sponsored by Book Culture.