This book shows how much opportunity the field of Anglo-Islamic studies still offers future scholars. Based on papers that were presented at a wonderful three-day conference held at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter in April 2009, this collection brings together a wide range of topics. The papers are organized chronologically, and, like all collections produced after conferences, vary in approach, originality and scope. Given Britain’s extensive historical, cultural, commercial, and religious interactions with various parts of the Islamic world, from the early modern period until today, the essays point in different directions, from an interesting discussion of Lady Wortley Montagu’s son (by Bernadette Andrea) to the manner in which Muslims are portrayed on British television (by Peter Morey whose discussion has now morphed into a full-length book with Amina Yaqin, Framing Muslims) and the role that Muslim women play in today’s Cardiff, a city taken as a case study (by Marta Warat) to the BBC’s biased coverage of the Middle East (by Tim Llewellyn, whose book, Spirit of the Phoenix, was released in 2010).
This book is a rich and deeply engaging study of comparative travel and political theory. Bringing together Muslim and non-Muslim writers, Roxanne L. Euben, Mildred Lane Kemper Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College, examines intersections, divergences, and parallels in the writings of six travelers into different parts of the world at different periods of time. It is, as the TLS critic wrote, “a pathbreaking book.”