Muslim discovery of printing is focus of April 24 lecture

Western Today staff

The Liberal Studies Department at Western Washington University is holding a free public lecture titled “The Muslim Discovery of Printing: A Moment in Global History” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, in Communications Facility Room 105.

The lecture, by Nile Green, professor of South Asian and Islamic history at UCLA and founding director of the UCLA Program on Central Asia, is part of Western's Liberal Studies Lecture Series.

A specialist on the Muslim communities of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and the Indian Ocean, Green seeks in his research to bring Islamic history into conversation with global history. He is the author and editor of numerous books, including Bombay Islam: The Religious Economy of the West Indian Ocean, 1840-1915 (Cambridge, 2011; winner of the Albert Hourani Award from the Middle East Studies Association and the Ananda K. Coomaraswamy award from the Association for Asian Studies) and Sufism: A Global History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).

The focus of Green’s lecture will be the period between 1815 and 1820, when Muslims began printing books across a sequence of distant but no less connected cities, including Calcutta, Cairo, Tabriz, Lucknow and Saint Petersburg. Within a less than two year period, between 1817 and 1819, the first Muslim works were printed in Iran, Egypt and Awadh, three states on the edges of European expansion. By taking part in the global Stanhope printing revolution of the early 1800s rather than the more geographically restricted earlier Gutenberg revolution, Muslim printing emerged on the frontiers of European empires through local adaptations of the techniques and products of Europe’s industrialization, Green argues.

This event is free and open to the public. Parking information is available online.