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Camden-Carroll Library
150 University Blvd.
Morehead, KY 40351


MSU Home :: Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys

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 Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys Book Discussion Series

Camden-Carroll Library is hosting a book discussion series on selected books from the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf collection. To learn more about the Bookshelf collection and programming associated with it, please visit this page.

The March 3 discussion on "The House of Wisdom" has been postponed until March 10 due to the weather.

Connected Histories

Our theme is Connected Histories. Centuries before the dawn of the modern age, the world was already a surprisingly interconnected place. Readings for this theme introduce a way of understanding the past in which Islam and the West are seen as products of a shared, cosmopolitan, and inextricably intertwined past. These books help envision the world of our ancestors, which was as complex and dynamically interconnected as the world we live in today.

Registration is recommended for this program. Registries will receive a folder with materials related to the book and a FREE copy of the book! Participants are encouraged to attend all events and discussions, but it is not required! Registration will be for each individual book, not for the whole series. We recommend that you register by the suggested date listed below.

All events are FREE and open to the public!


PARKING: The University Parking/Traffic office has informed me that because of the timing of our book discussions, as long as you do not park in a numbered spot, they will not be giving out tickets. There are a number of lots around the library that provide for convenient parking, if you need a map for parking, please let Sandy know.


LTAI: Kick off Event

Date: Monday, February 3
Time: 4:30 pm

This will be our Kick-off Event for this book discussion series. Participants will have read and be ready to discuss the Essay to accompany our theme and books. This will give us an introduction to the books and an introduction to each other! Refreshments will be provided. 

Join this event on Facebook!


LTAI: Book 1: When Asia Was the WorldWhen Asia Was the World

Date: Monday, February 17
Time: 4:30 pm

Book Discussion 1 will be on "When Asia Was the World: Traveling Merchants, Scholars, Warriors, and Monks Who Created the "Riches of the East"" by Stewart Gordon.  

Amazon description:

While European civilization stagnated in the “Dark Ages,” Asia flourished as the wellspring of science, philosophy, and religion. Linked together by a web of spiritual, commercial, and intellectual connections, the distant regions of Asia’s vast civilization, from Arabia to China, hummed with trade, international diplomacy, and the exchange of ideas. Stewart Gordon has fashioned a compelling and unique look at Asia from AD 700 to 1500—a time when Asia was the world—by relating the personal journeys of Asia’s many travelers.

Registration: Monday, January 27 - Monday, February 10


LTAI: Book 2: House of WisdomHouse of Wisdom

Date: Monday, March 3 - This discussion has been postponed until March 10
Time: 4:30 pm

Book Discussion 2 will be on "The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance" by Jim Al-Khalili

Amazon description: A myth-shattering view of the Islamic world's myriad scientific innovations and the role they played in sparking the European Renaissance.

Many of the innovations that we think of as hallmarks of Western science had their roots in the Arab world of the middle ages, a period when much of Western Christendom lay in intellectual darkness. Jim al- Khalili, a leading British-Iraqi physicist, resurrects this lost chapter of history, and given current East-West tensions, his book could not be timelier. With transporting detail, al-Khalili places readers in the hothouses of the Arabic Enlightenment, shows how they led to Europe's cultural awakening, and poses the question: Why did the Islamic world enter its own dark age after such a dazzling flowering?

Registration: Monday, February 10 - Monday, February 24


LTAI: Book 3: Ornament of the WorldOrnament of the World

Date: Monday, March 31
Time: 4:30 pm

Book Discussion 3 will be on "The Ornament of the World" by Maria Rosa Menocal

Amazon description:

A brilliant and fascinating portrait of medieval Spain explores the golden age when Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived together in an atmosphere of tolerance. of photos. 3 maps.

Registration: Monday, February 24 - Monday, March 24


LTAI: Book 4: Leo AfricanusLeo Africanus

Date: Monday, April 14
Time: 4:30 pm

Book Discussion 4 will be on "Leo Africanus" by Amin Maalouf, translated by Peter Sluglett

Amazon description:

"I, Hasan the son of Muhammad the weigh-master, I, Jean-Leon de Medici, circumcised at the hand of a barber and baptized at the hand of a pope, I am now called the African, but I am not from Africa, nor from Europe, nor from Arabia. I am also called the Granadan, the Fassi, the Zayyati, but I come from no country, from no city, no tribe. I am the son of the road, my country is the caravan, my life the most unexpected of voyages."

Thus wrote Leo Africanus, in his fortieth year, in this imaginary autobiography of the famous geographer, adventurer, and scholar Hasan al-Wazzan, who was born in Granada in 1488. His family fled the Inquisition and took him to the city of Fez, in North Africa. Hasan became an itinerant merchant, and made many journeys to the East, journeys rich in adventure and observation. He was captured by a Sicilian pirate and taken back to Rome as a gift to Pope Leo X, who baptized him Johannes Leo. While in Rome, he wrote the first trilingual dictionary (Latin, Arabic and Hebrew), as well as his celebrated Description of Africa, for which he is still remembered as Leo Africanus.

Registration: Monday, March 24 - Monday, April 7


LTAI: Book 5: In an Antique LandIn an Antique Land

Date: Monday, April 28
Time: 4:30 pm

Book Discussion 5 will be on "In an Antique Land" by Amitav Ghosh.

Amazon description:

Once upon a time an Indian writer named Amitav Ghosh set out an Indian slave, name unknown, who some seven hundred years before had traveled to the Middle East. The journey took him to a small village in Egypt, where medieval customs coexist with twentieth-century desires and discontents. But even as Ghosh sought to re-create the life of his Indian predecessor, he found himself immersed in those of his modern Egyptian neighbors.
Combining shrewd observations with painstaking historical research, Ghosh serves up skeptics and holy men, merchants and sorcerers. Some of these figures are real, some only imagined, but all emerge as vividly as the characters in a great novel. In an Antique Land is an inspired work that transcends genres as deftly as it does eras, weaving an entrancing and intoxicating spell.

Registration: Monday, April 7 - Monday, April 21


Let's Talk About It: Muslim Journeys, a reading and discussion series, has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in cooperation with the American Library Association.

Local partners for the project include: Alana Cain Scott, Associate Professor of History, our Project Scholar; the Department of International and Interdisciplinary Studies; Student Activities, Inclusion and Leadership Development

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