The Colloquium discusses the origins of contemporary Islamist narratives of world order in the global Cold War context of the 1970s and 1980s. Prof. Aydin argues that the political movement of Islamism emerged as a transnational ideological movement only in the last two decades of the cold war. Both anti-Western Islamism and Islamophobic discourses in the West carry the characteristics of the Cold War ideological battles. Islamism carries the formative influence of universalist claims and double standards of cold war ideological rivalries. Modern Pan-Islamic narratives, he argues, are modern constructs that emerged in the intertwined crisis of the cold war and decolonization processes. This attention to Cold War can also help us better understand how an imagined Muslim world began to be depicted as the new enemy of the West in Islamophobic ideologies after the Cold war.
*Attendees are encouraged to read the colloquium materials ahead of the event. They may be requested by writing to Prof. Mohammed Bamyeh at email@example.com.
The Islamicate Studies Working Group consists of faculty and staff at the University of Pittsburgh who are exploring the prospects of building an academic program for the study of the Muslim World. Its members come from the Dietrich School’s departments of English; History; Linguistics; Religious Studies; and Sociology; as well as from the Law School; the School of Education; and staff members from the Library and Global Studies, and it incorporates visiting postdoctoral fellows faculty members.