Our guide to the book is John Schaefer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Affiliate Faculty in Black World Studies. His research interests focus on the black communities of Arab North Africa, in particular their music. Before arriving at Middletown this fall, he spent three years teaching at the American University in Cairo.
Moving between past and present, anthropologist Amitav Ghosh presents a lyrical portrait of life in Egypt, as well as broad histories of that country, Tunisia, and India’s Malabar Coast. Ghosh weaves strands of his own life in rural Egypt into the story he is researching of a twelfth-century Jewish merchant and his slave. Exploiting an extraordinary cache of medieval documents in Cairo, Ghosh is able to piece together a fascinating story illuminating the reach of medieval Egyptian trade and cross-cultural interaction; he also tells of a form of slavery very different from the one familiar to most Americans.
The presentation is free and open to all. Light refreshments will be provided.
This presentation is made possible through the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) award of a Muslim Journeys Bookshelf to the campus’ Gardner-Harvey Library in cooperation with the Regional Campus Diversity Council.