Sebastian Prange studies the history of trade and traders on the Malabar Coast in southwestern India. His work argues for the importance of studying South Asia as part of the wider Indian Ocean world by exploring the trans-oceanic networks that integrated the region into circulatory exchanges of goods, texts, ideas, individuals, and allegiances.
This course studies the history of the Islamic world in its global dimensions and contexts. It considers the emergence of an Islamic polity in seventh-century Arabia, the rise of the caliphate to encompass a diverse empire, and the global diffusion of Muslim states, societies, and diasporas. It is not a course about Islamic theology or the religious practices of Muslims but rather explores the formation of Islamic states and institutions from a historical perspective. In this way, it seeks to move away from viewing Islam as a monolithic, timeless entity and instead explores its historical pathways without privileging any single narrative or viewpoint. Ultimately, the course asks how useful the category of “Islam” is to understanding the global past. Beyond this specific content, this course will introduce students to the methods of historical practice, including primary-source analysis, historical writing, library and research skills, and public history. HIST 280 will introduce students to the methods of historical practice, including primary-source analysis, historical writing, library and research skills, and public history.