This seminar spans the period from the 77th to 21st century, from the arrival of Islam in Egypt to the present. It considers why Islam was welcomed but also limited to the south while spreading westward, even to Europe. The deep Sunni and Shiite division will be explored as it passed through the great Islamic dynasties until the arrival of the slave armies of the Mamelukes. The early modern period launched with imperial Ottoman rule from 1517 to 1952. The seminar concludes with the context of the modern period of Muslim military rule as well as the short moment of democracy in the Arab Spring.
Richard Lobban, Ph.D., professor emeritus of anthropology and African studies at Rhode Island College, serves as adjunct professor of African studies at the Naval War College. He has a master’s degree from Temple University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University and has taught at the American University in Cairo, Tufts University, and Dartmouth College among others. He has conducted field research in Tunis and Egypt and has been excavating a temple in Sudan for ten years. Dr. Lobban is widely published in his areas of expertise: urban and complex societies, informal sector economy, gender, ethnicity, race, and class, especially in the Middle East. He often serves as a subject matter expert and court-appointed expert witness in political asylum cases for refugees from Africa and the Middle East. A proclaimed Yoruba Elder, he and his wife are both active beekeepers, enjoying honey, making beeswax candles, and lecturing on ancient and modern beekeeping in Africa.