Nov 27, 2013
For half a millennium Central Asia was the center of the world, with a booming economy, vital urban life, and an intellectual life that bridged antiquity and the Renaissance. Because most of its scientists and thinkers wrote in Arabic it has been generally assumed that they were Arabs, and the specifically Central Asian setting of their lives and work ignored. Basing his presentation his new book, LOST ENLIGHTENMENT:CENTRAL ASIA'S GOLDEN AGE FROM THE ARAB CONQUEST TO TAMERLANE, FrederickStarr will present the main features of this lost golden age and consider what significance, if any, it has for the present.
S. Frederick Starr is the chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at SAIS. A former president of Oberlin College and the Aspen Institute, he was also founding chairman of the Kennan Institute in Washington and established the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the principal non-governmental funder of post-Katrina recovery in that city. He began his career in classical archaeology and has published 22 books. He is a trustee of the Nazarbayev University and was involved in planning four other universities in Central Asia and the Caucasus.