"THE MAKING OF ISLAMIC NORTH AFRICA: CONQUEST, CONVERSION AND CULTURAL CHANGE"
Corisande Fenwick, University College London
Part of the Silsila spring 2020 Lecture Series, Maghrib: Arts of the Islamic West
The Muslim conquest of North Africa was one of the early caliphate’s most notorious failures, but a success story for Islam. Conquered far later and with more difficulty than other regions, the region rapidly splintered into a series of rival Muslim states that used Islam to justify their rule over their multi-confessional communities. North Africa thrived outside the caliphate: new cities were founded, old ones expanded, new architectural forms and technological innovations spread, and long-distance trade boomed. Drawing on recent archaeological discoveries from Libya to Morocco, this lecture presents a new reading of the first three centuries of Islam in North Africa and the transformation of everyday life.
Corisande Fenwick is Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Mediterranean Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. She is the author of the forthcoming Early Islamic North Africa: A New Perspective (Bloomsbury, 2020) and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Islamic Archaeology (OUP, 2020) and the Aghlabids and their Neighbours (Brill, 2017) and has published many articles on different aspects of North Africa’s late antique and Islamic history. She currently co-directs four major excavation and survey projects in Tunisia (Bulla Regia; Medjerda Valley) and Morocco (Volubilis; Wadi Draa).
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