Columbus & Islam

March 24, 2021 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Speaker/Performer: 
Alan Mikhail
Whitney Humanities Center WALL53, Auditorium See map
53 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Admission: 
Free but register in advance

Christopher Columbus lived the vast majority of his life in a Mediterranean world in which the Ottoman and Mamluk Empires dominated the eastern part of the sea and were in constant economic, political, and confrontational interaction with the Christian states of Europe. This talk considers the importance of Islam in shaping Columbus’s life and voyages. In doing so, it thinks critically about the role of Islam in the Spanish decision to send him across the ocean and in the early history of the Spanish Caribbean. It furthermore uses this Muslim history of Columbus to suggest ways of analyzing early modern periodization and the place of Islam in the making of the modern world.