Join us for a screening and discussion of the The Manuscripts of Timbuktu. The documentary film refutes the misperception that Africa lacked vibrant scholarly institutions and advanced written cultures prior to European colonialism. Founded in the 11th century, Timbuktu became a cosmopolitan hub for trans-Saharan trade, science, culture and Islamic scholarship where cultures converged and intellectual life flourished. This highly literate environment generated thousands of treasured documents which became knows as the "Manuscrips of Timbuktu," as well as places now recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage sites. The epic story of Timbuktu has survived over the centuries, yet the 2012 occupation of the area by Islamic fundamentalists has places the manuscripts and other valuable artifacts in peril. In addition to a screening of the film, there will be a discussion on the historical and cultural significance of Timbuktu along with an update about the current situation.