Wed 18 March 2015 | GLASS-Islam masterclass | Modelling Religion for Global Historians | Nile Green | Leiden University

On Wednesday 18 March, Professor Nile Green (University of California) gave a GLASS-Islam masterclass entitled: "Modelling Religion for Global Historians." This masterclass was organised by LUCIS in cooperation with Global Interactions (GI).

About Nile Green

After beginning his career as a historian of Islamic India and Pakistan, Nile Green has traced networks of Muslim activity that connect Afghanistan, Iran, the Indian Ocean, Islamic Africa and Central Asia, as well as Muslim diasporas as far apart as Europe, America and Japan. His writings span the domains of global, social, religious, cultural and literary history.

In recent years, Professor Green has focused on positioning Islam and Muslims in global history through such topics as intellectual and technological interchange between Asia and Europe; Muslim global travel writings; the transnational genealogy of Afghan modernism; and the world history of 'Islamic' printing. He has also used the networks forged by Sufi brotherhoods to understand pre-modern and early modern mechanisms of Muslim expansion from the Middle East to China and beyond.

Masterclass content

This class dealt with the tension between the gritty empirical demands of the historian and the requirements of scale brought by global history. Amid this tension, theoretical modelling takes on increased importance. This is all the more true now that economically-driven models have proven inadequate for the growing interest in social, cultural and religious global histories. By deconstructing two articles, the class introduced the model of religious economy as a means to bridge the gap between particularism and process. The case study articles deal with two classic world historical domains: the Indian Ocean (and Burma) and the Atlantic world (and the United States).

Masterclass materials

Nile Green, chapter 6: “Making Islam in the Motor City”, in Terrains of Exchange: Religious Economies of Global Islam (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Nile Green, “Buddhism, Islam and the Religious Economy of Colonial Burma”, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies (forthcoming 2015).


Advanced undergraduate students and graduate students from Leiden University and elsewhere are invited to register for the masterclass by sending an email to

After registration, the required masterclass materials will be send by email.

Seats are limited, so register now!

Nowruz celebration

After the masterclass you all are invited to join the Nowruz Celebration of the Central Asian New Year with Central Asian cuisine and music!

Time: 17.30 hours
Venue: Arsenaal (Arsenaalstraat 1, Leiden)

For more information about this celebration, click here.

Last Modified: 20-04-2015