Timbuktu: Travels Through Medieval Islamic Cities with Dr. Sabahat Adil

Timbuktu: Travels Through Medieval Islamic Cities with Dr. Sabahat Adil


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Join us as we travel to Mali in Africa to explore the famed city of Timbuktu. A vibrant center for trade and learning in the medieval era, we will explore its rich history through first-hand travel accounts and architecture.

Timbuktu has long been viewed as a magical and mythical place by people hailing from Europe and the United States. Yet this city is as real and alive with history as any other, and this history stretches far back into prehistory and antiquity. This seminar will take learners to Timbuktu and explore its history and significant monuments to immerse ourselves in its fascinating past.

Timbuktu was a major center of economic and intellectual life in the region. Timbuktu played host to a vibrant array of travelers, merchants, scholars, and more throughout the medieval era due to its location on a principal trade route and its importance in the regional salt trade. In recent years, violence in the city has shed light on the robust heritage of ancient books and manuscripts long held in the city, which we will also explore.

Led by an expert on Mediterranean and Islamic history and culture, Dr. Sabahat Adil, this interactive seminar will explore Timbuktu’s dynamic history and culture in the medieval era. Designed to inform curiosity and future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the city’s history, particularly its influential role in regional trade and intellectual life.

This conversation is part of a four-part series on Medieval Islamic cities with Dr. Sabahat Adil. Each seminar can be joined independently and in any order.

Passionate about the past and its connections with the present, Sabahat Adil, PhD has expertise on the history of the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds, particularly in terms of cultural history. She earned her PhD from the University of Chicago and has taught extensively at a variety of institutions, including the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Newberry Library. Her research and publications focus on the history of North Africa and medieval Iberia. Sabahat has also worked in museum settings, including the Freer and Sackler in Washington, D.C. and the Field Museum in Chicago.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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