Join us for a talk with Justin Stearns, Associate Professor in Arab Crossroads Studies at NYU Abu Dhabi
Reception at 4:00 pm, Academic Building West, Room 6050
Talk at 4:30pm, Academic Building East, Room 4450
Standard surveys of Middle East History discuss intellectual life in the Muslim world in terms of an initial Golden Age during the Abbasid caliphate that was followed by a long period of stasis or decline. In this talk, I will revisit the broad question of what made the ninth to twelfth centuries distinctive, and will then spend the majority of the talk looking at how knowledge of the natural sciences was transmitted, studied, and advanced from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries. Here, I will use the case of Morocco in the seventeenth century as a case study. In closing, I will offer a few theoretical reflections on the dangers of narratives of progress, the implications of the category of science, and the challenges facing intellectual historians of the Muslim world.