Wednesday, May 21, 2014 • 6 pm (s.t.)
Prof. Selçuk Esenbel , Boğaziçi University

The Japanese interest in the „world of Islam“ between 1868 – 1945 displays the history of nationalism, modernism and empire from a global perspective at multiple levels. The little – known interaction between Japan and Muslim states (Ottoman Turkey, Qajar Iran, Egypt) as well as Muslim ethnic and national communities in Eurasia reveals international relations between Non – European states and transnational connections that was parallel to the world order dominated by the Western Great Powers. The Japanese interest extended to the study of Islam and the ethnic and national populations such as the Turkic peoples of Inner Asia and Central Asia. Japanese and Muslim intellectuals interacted through the vision of Pan – Asianism and Pan – Islamism that represents mutual imaginations about alternative modernities. The Japanese interest in Islamic affairs and the study of Muslim Asia and the Middle East coupled with the Japanese network among Muslims became part of imperial Japan’s geo – political strategy for empire building in Asia.