Cosmopolitanisms in Muslim Contexts: Models from the Past, Questions for the Future
June 21, 2008
An international workshop co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (Aga Khan University). This major international conference provided an opportunity to reflect on moments in world history when cosmopolitan ideas and cultures pervaded Muslim societies. The speakers focused on four cosmopolitan histories: the Swahili Coast, Ottoman empire, the Persianate and South Asia. Papers were presented by Iftikhar Dadi (Cornell), “Chughtai’s Revival of Mughal Cosmopolitanism,” Nile Green (UCLA), “Cosmopolitan Pressures and Tumbling Tower Blocks: Supernatural Catastrophe in Colonial Bombay,” Kai Kresse (Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin), “How Cosmopolitan is Mombasa and the Swahili Coast,” Muhammad Khalid Masud (Council of Islamic Ideology, Islamabad), “The Doctrine of tashabbul bi’l-kuffar (“imitating the infidel”) Revisited: Modern South Asian Fatawa Cultural Authencity,” Ariel Salzman (Queen’s), “Cosmopolis or Islampolis? Ottoman Urbanity between Myth, Memory and Post Modernity,” Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi (Toronto), “Persian Cosmopolitanism and Europology,” with comparative and interdisciplinary commentary by Abdou Filali Ansari (Aga Khan University), Luke Clossey (SFU), Thomas Kuehn (SFU), M. Ali Lakhani (editor, Sacred Web), Derryl MacLean (SFU) and Andrew Rippin (University of Victoria).