Universiteit Leiden

nl en

Lecture | Contemporary History and International Relations Research Seminar (CHIRRS)

Muslim World as Geopolitics, Race, and Anti-Colonial Internationalism

  • Cemil Aydin (UNC Chapel Hill)
Thursday 8 February 2018
WHAT's NEW?! Spring Lecture Series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden
Prayer in Cairo by Jean-Leon Gerome, 1865

In the current global debate on “Islam and the West,” it is rarely recognized that the idea of “the Muslim world” and the notion of an Islamic civilization are modern constructs whose origins can only be traced back to the crisis of imperial world order in the second half of the 19th century. What are the roots, content and evolution of the idea of the “Muslim World”, and how did it gain its contemporary global recognition, paradoxically in a world order composed of nation states?”  This seminar paper discusses why civilizational and racial thinking about the Muslim world is not a monopoly of Islamist and Islamophobes. Ranging from Ottoman Imperial elites, Orientalist scholars, modernization theorists, world historians and observers of international affairs to secular Muslim nationalists and humanist thinkers, many have contributed to the elusive persistence of the civilizational paradigm of Islam versus the West, and have laid the foundations of contemporary Islamic thought in both its religious revivalist and secular varieties. 

Please note: the lecture starts at 17:00 sharp! 

The discussion will be led by Carolien Stolte

About Cemil Aydin

Cemil Aydin (Ph.D. Harvard University, 2002)  is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His recent research deals with global intellectual history and international history of Pan-Islamic and Pan-Asian thought. Cemil Aydin’s publications include his book on the Politics of Anti-Westernism in Asia (Columbia University Press, 2007),  “Regionen und Reiche in der Politischen Geschichte des Langen 19 Jahrhunderts, 1750-1924 (Region and Empire in the Political History of the Long 19th Century” in Geschichte Der Welt, 1750-1870: Wege Zur Modernen Welt (A History of the World, 1750-1870)“ (Beck Publishers/Harvard, July 2016) pp: 35-253, and The Idea of the Muslim World: A Global Intellectual History (Harvard University Press, Spring 2017)


CHIRRS brings together historians, area specialists and international relations specialists to address 20th century topics from Brexit to the Muslim world and from French decolonization to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

If you would like to attend the seminars or to be added to our mailinglist please send an email to chirrs@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

This website uses cookies.  More information.