The panelists include Adam Benkato (Berkeley), Katherine Blouin (UTSC HCS/UofT Classics), Suleyman Dost (UTSC HSC/UofT Religion), and Heba Mostafa (Art History). The chair for this event will be Suzanne Conklin Akbari (Princeton).
Description: The ongoing “freedom convoys” and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have led to a substantial flow of public Orientalism, as well as to the normalized and conspicuous use of the words “civilization” and “civilized” (with or without “the West” or “Western”). Drawing from this highly historicized present moment, this panel will gather scholars working at the intersection of Ancient, Early Medieval and Islamic History. Together, we will reflect on questions such as: What are the ancient roots of the notion of “civilization”? How does the reality of the period spanning from the so-called ‘Classical’ past to the early Islamic period disrupt this narrative? What can teachers of ancient to medieval and Islamic History contribute to shifting popular Eurocentric, Orientalist, and Islamophobic narratives? And how can scholars working at the intersection of Antiquity and Early Islam best contribute to public conversations about, and the prevention of, the rise of White supremacy, fascism, and ethno-nationalism?