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Cornette Library to Host Fifth Session in Muslim Journeys Series

Feb. 7, 2014

COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

Cornette Library to Host Fifth Session in Muslim Journeys Series

CANYON, Texas—Cornette Library at West Texas A&M University will host the fifth session of its Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys series with a discussion on Maria Rosa Menocal’s The Ornament of the World: How Muslims, Jews and Christians Created a Culture of Tolerance in Medieval Spain beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13 at the Southwest Branch of the Amarillo Public Library in Amarillo. Dr. Bryan Vizzini, WTAMU associate professor of history, will lead the discussion on the book.

Cornette Library is one of 125 libraries and state humanities councils across the country selected to participate in the project, which seeks to familiarize public audiences in the United States with the people, places, history, faith and cultures of Muslims in the United States and around the world. Funding for Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys is provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the American Library Association (ALA). Cornette Library will host the free series in eight different reading/viewing and discussion sessions.

Menocal’s book, published in 2002, offers a different look at medieval Europe with a focus on al-Andalus, a once-thriving culture of medieval Spain where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived, flourished and shared a common history for eight centuries. Menocal, who died in 2012, was a Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale. She was a historian of medieval culture and literature and conducted research on literature of the Middle Ages and on the interaction of religious and cultural groups in medieval Spain. She authored several books and presented lectures around the world. Menocal earned her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Pennsylvania.

The remaining programs in the series will look at one more DVD and two additional books that all explore the theme of connected histories. The library hosts one program per month through May. The next books include Leo Africanus on March 20; and In an Antique Land: History in the Guise of a Traveler’s Tale on May 15. Copies of each book to be read and discussed will be available on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 25 participants at the meetings prior to each book discussion.

The remaining DVD to be viewed and discussed is Koran by Heart on April 17. 

All of the books to be discussed in this series are part of the Bridging Cultures Bookshelf: Muslim Journeys. The books and films comprising the Bookshelf were selected with the advice of librarians and cultural programming experts, as well as distinguished scholars in the fields of anthropology, world history, religious studies, interfaith dialogue, the history of art and architecture, world literature, Middle East studies, Southeast Asian studies, African studies and Islamic studies.

The Bridging Cultures Bookshelf is a project of NEH, conducted in cooperation with the ALA Public Programs Office, with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Additional support for the arts and media components were provided by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts.

For information about Cornette Library and its resources and services, please visit the library’s website at wtamu.edu/library. For more information about the Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys series, contact Mary Jarvis at 806-651-2225 or at mjarvis@wtamu.edu.


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