Lecture series Uncategorized

Islamic Art Circle @ SOAS: Lecture Programme, 2017/2018


Islamic Art Circle @ SOAS, London: Lecture Programme, 2017/2018
All lectures begin at 7.00 p.m. in the Khalili Lecture Theatre (Main School Lecture Theatre) –  unless indicated otherwise – Philips Building, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG


  • 11 October 2017: The Palace of Pedro I in Seville, ‘very much like the residence of the Muslim kings,’ Dr Tom Nickson, Lecturer in Medieval Art and Architecture, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
  • 15 November 2017: Reviving Islamic Architecture in Khedivial Cairo, and Beyond: a Collector’s Passion, Dr Mercedes Volait, CRNS Research Professor at INHA, Paris
  • 6 December 2017: Takht-e Soleyman/Iran – From Sasanian Fire Temple to Ilkhanid Summer Palace. New Evidence from Old Excavations, Dr Ute Franke,                                       Deputy Director, Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin
  • 10 January 2018: The Hadassah and Daniel Khalili Memorial Lecture in Islamic Art and Culture: The Calligrapher, the Painter, and the Patron: A New Perspective on the Freer Khusraw u Shirin, Dr Simon Rettig, Assistant Curator of Islamic Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • 21 February 2018: In the service of religion? The display of ‘science from the Islamic world’ in the museum, Dr Silke Ackermann, Director, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford
  • 14 March 2018: The Seventh Bahari Foundation Lecture in Iranian Art and Culture: Decagonal and Quasicrystalline Geometry in the Architecture of Medieval Persia and Its Influence in the Greater Islamic World, Dr Peter J. Lu, Department of Physics and SEAS, Harvard University, USA
  • 25 April 2018: Islamic Textiles from Iberia: Re-evaluating Their Role in the Mediterranean Context, Dr Ana Cabrera-Lafuente, Marie S.-Curie Fellow, Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • 9 May 2018: Ilse Sturkenboom
  • 13 June 2018: Ahmet Ersoy

For further information please contact Rosalind Wade Haddon: 07714087480 or       




Conference Uncategorized

Conference: Intertwined Worlds: 10th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age

Conference: Intertwined Worlds: 10th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age, Free Library of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania Libraries, November 2-4, 2017

Image of the Cosmic Man, from a copy of Saṅghayaṇasūtra by Śrīcandrasūri (12th century). University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Indic 9, fol. 44r
Image of the Cosmic Man, from a copy of the Saṅghayaṇasūtra of Śrīcandrasūri (12th cent). University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Indic 9, fol. 44r.

In partnership with the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the Schoenberg Institute of Manuscript Studies (SIMS) at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries is pleased to announce the 10th Annual Lawrence J. Schoenberg Symposium on Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age.

Despite the linguistic and cultural complexity of many regions of the premodern world, religion supplies the basis of a strong material and textual cohesion that both crosses and intertwines boundaries between communities. This symposium will highlight the confluence of expressions of belief, ritual, and social engagement emerging in technologies and traditions of the world’s manuscript cultures, often beyond a single religious context. It will consider common themes and practices of textual, artistic, literary, and iconographic production in religious life across time and geography, from ancient precedents to modern reception and dissemination in the digital age.

The program will begin Thursday evening at 5:00 pm on November 2nd, 2017, at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library, with a keynote lecture by Phyllis Granoff, Yale University. The symposium will continue November 3rd-4th at the Kislak Center of Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

Speakers include:

  • Iqbal Akhtar, Florida International University
  • Paul Dilley, University of Iowa
  • Ellen Gough, Emory University
  • Thibaud d’Hubert, University of Chicago
  • Zsuzsanna Gulácsi, Northern Arizona University
  • Ayesha Irani, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Shazia Jagot, University of Surrey
  • Samantha Kelly, Rutgers University
  • Jinah Kim, Harvard University
  • Gila Prebor, Bar-Ilan University
  • Michael Pregill, Boston University
  • Michael Stanley-Baker, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
  • Columba Stewart, Hill Museum & Monastic Library and Saint John’s University
  • Justine Walden, University of Toronto
  • Tyler Williams, University of Chicago
  • Saymon Zakaria, Bangla Academy, Dhaka
  • Maayan Zhitomirsky-Geffet, Bar-Ilan University

Click here for program and abstracts.

Registration fee will be $35 ($10 for students with valid student ID). Registration open now until Nov 3, 2017. Click here to register. Walk-in registrations will be accepted for a fee of $45 ($15 for students with valid student ID) to be paid in cash.

The symposium is made possible with the generous support of the Center for Ancient Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information on the Schoenberg Symposium Series, click here.


Call for Applications to Attend: An Interdisciplinary Workshop with Christiane Gruber (Copenhagen, 27th March 2017)










An Interdisciplinary Workshop with Christiane Gruber (University of Michigan) Organized by the Centre for Medieval Literature and the David Collection

Copenhagen, David Collection, 27 March 2017

Deadline for applications:  Saturday 10 December 2016

A one-day workshop on medieval ascension narratives, from al-Sarai’s Nahj al-Faradis to the Liber Scale Machometi and Dante’s Commedia, will be held at the David Collection, Kronprinsessegade 30, Copenhagen, on Monday 27 March 2017. It will be followed by a public lecture on Tuesday 28 March 2017 by Prof. Christiane Gruber (University of Michigan), who has written widely on Islamic book arts, ascension images and narratives, and depictions of the Prophet Muhammad. This workshop—conducted by Prof. Gruber and an interdisciplinary team of art and literary historians from the Centre for Medieval Literature and the David Collection—will allow for a sustained analysis of the changing values conferred upon ascension texts and images in cross-cultural contexts. We will focus on their circulation in Islamic lands and Europe, since the notion of rising into the heavens was imagined in prose, verse, manuscript paintings, and wall frescoes from Ilkhanid Persia to Medieval Castile and Renaissance Italy. Ascension narratives served as a powerful tool for expressing and exploring theological, philosophical, spiritual, and soteriological concerns in literature and art, within both Christian and Muslim traditions. For these reasons, this workshop seeks to open new avenues and approaches, asking, in particular, how can we conceptualize narratives that travel and are adapted, reformed, and reimagined across various temporal and geographical domains. Additionally, how can we explore questions of world (or trans-imperial) literature through medieval ascension narratives? Is this possible through a sustained engagement with both text and image, positioning the artistic with the literary and vice versa?

Scholars from Denmark and abroad will have the unprecedented opportunity to examine some of the extraordinary manuscripts and precious objects preserved in the David Collection during a private visit led by the museum’s curators and Prof. Gruber.

The workshop is sponsored by the Centre for Medieval Literature in cooperation with the David Collection. Participation is free, and places available are limited to 15 in number. Participants will have to bear costs for travel and accommodation themselves.

Postgraduate students and early career scholars willing to become more familiar with questions of cross-cultural engagement, text and image issues, and medieval narratives are particularly encouraged to apply regardless of their disciplinary expertise. Please send motivation letters (max. 1000 words) explaining your research interests and reasons for applying, along with a brief CV, to either Shazia Jagot ( or Rosa M. Rodríguez Porto ( by Saturday 10 December 2016. Applicants will be notified of the decision by Monday, 18 December 2016.