Visiting Scholars


Professor Francis Robinson

Francis Robinson, who was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge (PhD, 1970), is one of the most prominent and influential voices among Western scholars of Muslim history and Islam in India. His research on Islam and Muslim history in South Asia focuses on Muslim responses to modernity, learned and holy families and their textual traditions, and religious and political change. His interest in the Muslim world, however, is not confined to the Indian subcontinent, but spans a much wider geographical region and discursive landscape.

For the past 40 years, Professor Robinson has publishing extensively. He has seven monographs and several dozen articles to his credit. His works on South Asian Muslim society, including Separatism among Indian Muslims (1974), Varieties of South Asian Islam (1988), Islam and Muslim History in South Asia (2000), The Ulama of Farangi Mahall and Islamic Culture in South Asia (2001), and Islam, South Asia, and the West (2007), have been highly influential and are required reading for students of South Asian Islam. Francis Robinson is also the editor of standard reference works such as the Atlas of the Islamic World Since 1500 (1982), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives (1989), The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Islamic World (1996), and Islam in the Age of Western Domination (New Cambridge History of Islam, vol. 5, 2009).

Francis Robinson has been a Visiting Professor at several prestigious institutions of higher learning such as Oxford University, EHESS, Paris, and the University of Washington, Seattle. He served as President of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland from 1997–2000 and 2003–06. From 2008-2011 he was the Sultan of Oman Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. He is the recipient of various honors and awards, including the Iqbal Centenary Medal, Pakistan (1978) and the Shaikh Yaki Zamani Medal, Iqbal Academy, UK (2008). In 2006 he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to higher education and his research in the history of Islam.

Dr. Francis Robinson will join the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago for the Winter and Spring Quarters of the 2015-2016 academic year.