Muslim Societies, Global Perspectives

Muslim Societies, Global Perspectives

site header

Muslim Societies, Global Perspectives Initiative at Queen’s University

Courses Offering -  2016-17


*New Course*
HIST 240FW  
Topics in History: 
Islamophobia from the Crusaders to Donald Trump
(Drs. Adnan Husain and Ariel Salzmann)

When did Islam and Muslims become an all-purpose target of Western rage ? Are current policies and violence directed against Muslims in Europe and North America simply responses to acts of terrorism by individuals and groups? Or do they betray a deeper, millennial ambivalence toward Christendom’s most proximate civilizational rival and ally? This course traces the roots of the fraught and complex relationship between the West and the Muslim world from late classical Middle East to contemporary North America. In addition to providing students with an understanding of Islam, the second largest religious civilization with roots in Europe, Asia and Africa, it explores historic patterns of interaction and competition that have shaped Western perspectives.  It examines issues of cultural identity, racial and ethnic difference, immigration, citizenship in a longer historical perspective to explore the combination of society anxiety, political opportunism, and the resilient narratives employed by mass media and pundits that continue today to distort the image of Muslims and Islam in the West.


HIST 337 W: Debates in the Historiography of the Ottoman Empire
(Dr. Ariel Salzmann)

Between the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance a tiny Muslim kingdom, east of the Byzantine Empire, would become one of history's largest territorial empires. The Ottoman sultans' armies and navies encircled the Mediterranean. The empire included almost all of North Africa, Southeastern Europe, including Hungary, the horn of Africa and Arabia, and the Middle East, up to, and at times, including large areas of the Caucasus and Iran. Why did European statesmen hold up the Ottoman Empire as a mirror with which to build their own states? How did the empire’s diverse societies hold together as a political unit whilst Europe fought long and bloody wars of religion? These are some of the questions this courses addresses.


HIST 430 FW The Crusades and the Latin Kingdoms;
(Dr. Adnan Husain)

The crusades were among the most formative as well as dramatic episodes of the Middle Ages. While their history has been heavily romanticized or vilified over time, depending on the cultural perspective from which they are viewed, there can be no doubt that they brought people from the societies of medieval Western Europe into direct contact, often into violent conflict, but also into situations of significant cultural exchange with those, Muslim and Christian, of the Eastern Mediterranean. In doing so they forged new relationships, developed new attitudes and ideas, created new patterns of behaviour and thought. These would play a vital role in Western Europe and the Middle East during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries but would also continue to be of influence for centuries afterwards, even down to the present day. Study of the crusades has in recent years become one of the most vibrant topics in the discipline of history. This upper year seminar will give students the opportunity to examine key topics in the history and interpretation of the medieval Crusades both in the Middle East and Western Europe from the late eleventh to the late thirteenth centuries. The society established by the crusaders in the Eastern Mediterranean and its interactions both with the different peoples of the region and with those of Western Europe will also be studied in some depth, while students will also be encouraged to relate medieval crusading to relevant present day debates and issues. Stress will be placed on the use of original source material (in translation) and the development of research, analytical, writing, and communication skills of students in the upper years of a History concentration. The course will be of particular interest to students of the Middle Ages, the Middle East, Byzantium, the Eastern Mediterranean, and the history of Christianity and Islam.


*New Course*
HIST 449 W Topics in Medieval Mediterranean History:  
Messiahs, Mystics, and Martyrs in Muslim and Jewish Religious Culture
(Drs. Adnan Husain and Howard Adelman)

This course explores the interplay or “symbiosis” between Jews and Muslims, Judaism and Islam, to understand the religious identities and cultures of both and their mutual development rom the time of Muhammad to the mysterious messiah and convert to Islam Sabbatai Zvi in the 17th century Ottoman empire.  Among the key topics discussed are religious dissent, sectarianism, conversion, polemics, politics, power, the treatment of religious minorities, and apocalyptic or messianic movements across the Medieval Mediterranean world. The course explores shared intellectual movements in philosophy, theology, and mysticism while investigating the tensions between traditional and text based authority and popular rebellious movements based on charismatic leaders.


ENGL 487 F:  Muslim Identity in the Diaspora
(Dr. Margaret Pappano)

This course is designed to introduce students to the growing body of writing by and about Muslims as a diverse but distinctive diasporic group, particularly in North America and Europe.  Our objective is to gain a more complex understanding of Muslim identities by examining how Muslims represent themselves as well as the contexts in which they write.  The course will focus on experiences of colonization, occupation, war, immigration, citizenship, racialization and racism, and the consequences of 9/11 in shaping Muslim lives. In particular, this course explores the complex and conflicting attitudes and practices around gender and sexuality that inform Muslim identities as well as how Muslims are perceived by non-Muslims. The course thus addresses contemporary debates about hijab and niqab in Canada and elsewhere. In addition to literary texts such as novels, memoir, poetry, plays, and film, this course explores theoretical and historiographical writing on Muslim identities. Some authors include: Susan Abulhawa, Lela Aboulela, Monica Ali, Nafisa Haji, Mohja Kahf, Yussef El-Guindi, Amina Wadud.


RELS 396/896 F: Islam in the Modern World
(Dr. Forough Jahanbakhsh)

Exploration of Islamic developments since the 19th century: major thinkers, trends of thought, and contemporary movements as responses to modernity.


RELS 226 W: Islam
(Dr. Forough Jahanbakhsh)

Historical and topical survey of Islam, its development through the study of its rise, institutionalization of its beliefs and practices, formation of its theology, law, mysticism; as well as its modern interpretations and practices.