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My doctoral research examines Winston Churchill’s relationship with the Islamic world. This places Churchill in the context of colonial discourse and reveals the extent to which orientalism influenced his opinions, policies, and relations with Islam. It demonstrates that, in the Victorian era, Churchill’s thinking was relatively progressive in his imperial understanding of the Islamic world. By the post-World War Two era, however, these paternalistic views became reactionary and anachronistic. My research indicates that for much of his career, Churchill was not, as conventionally deemed, indifferent to matters in Islamic regions or even contemptuous of Islam. In so doing, it critiques the large body of work surrounding Churchill’s relationship with the Empire, but more importantly, it fills the historiographical void regarding Churchill’s relationship with the Middle East and the Islamic World in general and demonstrates how Churchill altered the way we conceptualize and discuss the Middle East. I have completed an academic monograph based on this research which is scheduled for publication with I.B. Tauris on 28 February 2014.

 

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