Fall 2014 - Graduate Course Description
Instructor
Muslu, Cihan
Discipline and Number
HUHI 6349 Section 001
Day
R Time 1:00 PM - 3:45 PM
Course Title
Travel & Knwldge in Islamic Hist

Description of Course:

Before the rise of new communication methods and transportation means, people used to rely on travelers and travel accounts for the transmission of knowledge and the conveyance of new information. In the first part of the semester, the course focuses on the rise and spread of Islam. It introduces the students to the basic history and historiography of the Islamic world (from the rise of Islam until the 16th century). In the second part, the course focuses on the role of travel in the Medieval and Early Modern Islamic world and limits itself with the Muslim travellers. The significance of travelling reached a new height when pilgrimage became one of the five pillars of Islam in the seventh century. This development made travelling central to the spiritual lives of Muslims, and it was even further supported by the Prophetic saying: “Seek knowledge, even as far away as China.” In addition to the practical means of medieval and early-modern era (cartography, road connections, accommodations, etc.), the course discusses diverse motivations, from piety to intellectual curiosity, that prompted people to leave their homes. It emphasizes the fact that the higher learning institutions in the Islamic world benefitted from the mobility of learned individuals and that travelling was essential for the transmission of knowledge in the Islamic world. The circulation of individuals and the accounts they produced not only strengthened the ties of communication between diverse Muslim societies, but also shaped the mutual perceptions of societies with dissimilar ethnic and religious affiliations. In terms of primary sources, the course primarily focuses on the account of Ibn Battuta. This account will be analyzed as a historical text.

Required Texts:

TBA. Please be aware that the syllabus which is available on Course Lookup is only a sample and is posted for the general information of the students.

Course Requirements/Evaluation Criteria:

TBA. Please be aware that the syllabus which is available on Course Lookup is only a sample and is posted for the general information of the students.

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