KINGSTON —The Kingston Community Library will host the third session of a five-part Connected Histories reading and discussion series called Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys, sponsored by the American Library Association, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the New Hampshire Humanities Council on Thurs., March 20 at 7:00 p.m. Kingston Library one of 125 libraries and humanities counsels across the country to be selected to participate in this project. The scholar leading the discussion is Ethel Sara Wolper, an Associate Professor at UNH, whose area of expertise is the history of the Middle East, and the history of Islam.
Says Wolper, “the Middle East is a dynamic region of change, and continues to change through time. The role of the Middle East is transition and enrichment”. The area known as the Middle East has long been a crossroads. Connected Histories sees the sixteenth century not as the beginning but as the culmination of a much larger, thousand-year story of adventure, discovery, and cross-cultural interaction across the Old World. “This first global age, much like our own, was a time when long-distance travel was routine, and when ideas, technologies, faiths, and commercial products moved as easily as people, from Europe to China, from Africa to India. Moreover, this was an age when Islam occupied the world’s intellectual, economic, and political center, serving as a catalyst for global integration and, in the process, laying the foundations of our own interconnected present—including many of the elements of what we understand today to be Western Civilization itself”, states Giancarlo Casale of the University of Minnesota.
Each book in the series focuses on a different aspect of history, so it is easy to join the discussions at any point. “Ornament of the World” by Maria Rosa Menocal will be discussed March 20. The fourth book is “Leo Africanus” by Amin Maalouf and will be discussed on April 17, and the final book is “In an Antique Land” by Amitav Ghosh to be discussed on May 8. All discussions take place at 7:00 p.m., at the Kingston Community Library. Stop by to pick up your copy today.