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George Mason University (Fairfax, VA 22030-4444)
Cemil Aydin (Project Director: June 2010 to August 2012)
Peter Mandaville (Project Director: August 2012 to March 2015)

Bridging Cultures Forums and Workshops
Public Programs

$424,625 (approved)
$415,475 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2010 – 5/31/2015

Funding details:
Original grant (2010) $219,549
Supplement (2010) $-9,150
Supplement (2011) $200,500
Supplement (2012) $4,576

Beyond the Golden Age and Decline: The Legacies of Muslim Societies in the Emergence of Global Modernity, 1300-1900

A scholarly forum and outreach planning workshop (held in conjunction with the Virginia Festival of the Book) addressing the impact of Muslim societies in the formation of global modernity.

The proposed scholarly forum and planning workshop aims to reshape dominant thinking about the impact of Muslim societies in the formation of global modernity with a focus on the political, cultural, artistic, economic and social achievements between 1300 and 1900, an era still commonly mischaracterized by the words ?decline? and ?stagnation.? By illuminating recent scholarship on the dynamic legacy of this period, the project aims to challenge the golden age and decline paradigm that scholars have long discredited, but continues to color the discourse on non-Western civilizations and world history. This paradigm is one of the main discourses that dehumanizes Muslims by relegating six hundred years of recent history in a large world region to insignificance and irrelevance in the emergence of the modern world. The proposed forum and workshop will result in a more historically accurate understanding of the role of Muslim societies in the formation of contemporary global civilization.