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Brian Catlos: "Islamic Spain and the Culture of the West: From al-Andalus to Bob Dylan and Bill Gates"

March 6, 2014 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 202


brian-catlosWhat do Bob Dylan and Bill Gates owe to medieval Islam? More than you might think. From the computing to rock and roll much of what we consider emblematic of Western Civilization was in fact adapted from the world of Islam in the Middle Ages. The particular historical circumstances of Muslim Spain made this the chief venue for this process. Understanding how this came about deepens our understanding of the world of Islam and complicates our notions of what we consider “Western culture.”

Brian Catlos is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Research Associate in Humanities at UCSC, and co-director of the UC Mediterranean Studies Multi-Campus Research Project. His The Victors and the Vanquished: Christians and Muslims of Catalonia and Aragon, 1050–1300 (Cambridge) won two major prizes; two books: The Muslims of Medieval Latin Christendom, 1050–1614 (Cambridge) and Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors: Power, Faith and Politics in the Age of Crusade and Jihad (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) will be published in 2014. He also writes travel books and featured in the PBS documentary Cities of Light. For more see



March 6, 2014
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm