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Check out the three IntroSems being offered this summer, and apply in the IntroSems' VCA.

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ANTHRO 20N: Islam and the Idea of Europe

Meet the Instructor | General Education Requirements

Course Description

Policy makers often ask whether Muslims can be integrated into Europe. The question itself presumes, often without justification, that Islam as such is foreign to Europe. This course seeks to challenge this presumption. What if the very idea of Europe was already shaped by the history of Muslim societies? How will we need to revise our basic assumptions about western civilization, especially with respect to its racial and religious foundations? We will explore these questions from a range of sites, from southern Spain, which witnessed eight centuries of Muslim rule, to the efforts of German converts to Islam who are rethinking their understandings of European enlightenment, and finally to those in France who claim belonging both as Europeans and as devout Muslims. Course materials will include readings in Anthropology, as well as several film screenings.

General Education Requirements

Meet the Instructor

Kabir Tambar

Kabir Tambar

"I am an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford. My research has largely focused on religion and politics in Turkey, with attention to the history of religious and ethnic pluralism. I started thinking about the concept of Europe from this location — a place that is densely entwined with European history and politics and yet is commonly seen as outside of Europe’s cultural and religious heritage. I began to think of Europe not simply as a geographic region and more as a historical idea, one that has been contested over time. Recent debates about Islam started to look different from this vantage point — no longer simply as a response to the arrival of new immigrant populations and instead as a set of disputes over what it means to be European and what histories and populations can be recognized with that term."