New work reassesses the role of early Turks in shaping the Islamic world
(Excerpt of book cover from Oxford University Press)

New work reassesses the role of early Turks in shaping the Islamic world

Papers from the 19th Levi della Vida conference published by Oxford University Press

Turks in the Indian Subcontinent, Central and West Asia, edited by Ismail K. Poonawala, has been published by the Oxford University Press. Dr. Pooonawala, professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at UCLA, coordinated contributions by a dozen scholars from the Universities of Exeter, Edinburgh, and London; Delhi University, Loránd University (Budapest); the University of Chicago, Rutgers, Princeton, and UC Davis.

The papers collected in this book were delivered at the nineteenth Giorgio Levi Della Vida Award and Conference in Islamic Studies presented by UCLA’s Center for Near Eastern Studies on May 18-19, 2010. The award, established in 1967 by the Center’s founder and longtime director Gustave con Grunebaum honors Levi della Vida’s contributions to the development of Middle East studies in the United States. The recipient of the biennial award chooses a theme for the conference and selects a group of scholars to present talks on that theme. The recipient of the 2010 award was British historian C. Edmund Bosworth, who selected the theme “The Turkish Presence in the Islamic World.”

For almost a millennium, Turkish rulers and military commanders controlled vast stretches of Islamic lands, from Algeria in the west to Bengal in the east, reaching the Volga region in the north and Yemen in the south. Turkish scholars, theologians, jurists, poets, and other literary figures significantly influenced the culture of the Islamic world.

Highlighting the political and cultural history of the Turks in the Indian subcontinent -- where they laid the foundation the Mughal Empire -- as well as Central and West Asia, this outstanding work of collective scholarship reassesses the contribution of Turks in shaping the Islamic world and its civilization.

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