Past Spring 2015 Events
“Beyond Convivencia and Conflict:
The Muslims of the Medieval Christian West"
What images are conjured up when one thinks of Muslims in Pre-Modern Europe? The Infidel, mujahid, the enemy and victim of Crusaders, the “Blackamoor” Othello, or predatory Barbary Pirates? Whatever the case, Islam is typically seen as the “Other” to Christian Europe. Few scholars and fewer among the broader public are aware that substantial populations of Muslims lived within Christian European society during the Middle Ages and into the Early Modern period. Brian A. Catlos, author of the prize-winning Muslims of Medieval Latin Christendom, ca. 1050–1614 (Cambridge: 2014), is the first scholar to carry out a comprehensive study of these communities. What emerges is that these Muslims were not merely hapless victims of colonialism, but active participants in the larger societies, cultures and economies in which they lived. In this presentation, Catlos will provide an overview of Muslims’ presence and role in pre-Modern European societies and examine the factors that led to their prosperity and their decline.
“Winning Through Wisdom: Traditional Chinese Warfare"
Dr. Ralph Sawyer is an eminent authority on ancient Chinese warfare and strategic thought. He has translated nearly all of the classical Chinese treatises on warfare in ten books and has written a number of books on ancient Chinese warfare. He also has a background in military intelligence and now works as an independent author and consultant.
“Why did the Allies Win World War II?"
Jeremy Black is Professor of History at the University of Exeter. He is the author of over 100 books, especially on eighteenth century British politics and international relations. Recent publications include War and World 1450-2000 (Yale), The British Seaborne Empire (Yale), Maps and History (Yale), George III (Yale) and European Warfare in a Global Context, 1660-1815 (Routledge). He has lectured extensively in Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, and the USA, where he has held visiting chairs at West Point, Texas Christian University, and Stillman College. A past Council member of the Royal Historical Society, Black is a Senior Fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He was appointed to the Order of Membership of the British Empire for services to stamp design. He is or has been on a number of editorial boards including the Journal of Military History, the journal of the Royal United Services Institute, Media History, the International History Review, and History Today and was editor of Archives.
His Website: http://www.jeremyblack.co.uk/