Islamicate Cosmopolitan

This is a manifesto for Wiley–Blackwell. The outgrowth of my Carnegie Scholar of Islam grant (2008-2010), it is due to be completed by Summer 2016, and to be published in Spring 2017. It will demonstrate the breadth of influence that Islam as a cultural idiom has projected across Asia and Africa, primarily but not exclusively in major or meta-cities, and often through art that is contrapuntal, or against the grain of norms and conventions in premodern as also modern times.

There are so many ways too imagine the Islamicate, but the best definition has been offered by my colleague and friend, Srinivas Aravamudan. Islamicate is ‘the hybrid trace rather than the pure presence or absence of Islam”. The word itself goes back to the University of Chicago polymath, Marshall Hodgson, and his 1974, 3 volume book, The Venture of Islam.


Two contemporary Islamicate cosmopolitan artists are the Pakistani-US miniature painter, Shahzia Sikander

and the Yemeni-Indian-Qatari painter, MF Husain