Tag Archives: Islamic Studies


Tuesdays, 2 PM, KRC Lecture Room 3 St John St, Oxford OX1 2LG




25 April:ʿAlā fuwīr Tuṭīla. Bilingual contracts and written culture during the Christian conquest of al-Andalus

Mr Rodrigo García-Velasco Bernal • University of Cambridge

• 2 May:The origins of royal funerary architecture in al-Maghrib al-Aqṣā

Mr Péter Tamás Nagy • Khalili Research Centre

• 9 May:The written culture in Medieval and Early Modern Islamic Spain

Dr Nuria Martínez de Castilla • Paris, EPHE

• 16 May:Light and Lighting in al-Andalus

Dr Tom Nickson • London, Courtauld Institute

• 23 May:Writing a New History of Western Islamic Architecture

Professor Jonathan Bloom • Boston College

• 30 May:Life beyond the medina of Cordoba: districts (rabad) and cemeteries (maqābir)

Dr María Teresa Casal García • Madrid, CSIC

3:30 PM:Glassmaking in Umayyad and post-Umayyad al-Andalus

Dr Chloe Duckworth • Newcastle University

• 6 June:New (graphic) documents for the study of Almoravid

and Almohad architecture

Professor Antonio Almagro Gorbea • Granada, CSIC

• 13 June:Berbers and Borderlands: state formation and urbanisation in early medieval Morocco

Dr Corisande Fenwick • University College London

3:30 PM:‘How were the traces of their edifices erased?’ Archaeological / ethno-historical survey of Jerba, Tunisia

Professor Renata Holod • University of Pennsylvania


Seminars TT


CFP: CEMS International Graduate Conference (Budapest, 1-3 Jun 17)

mediterraneanBudapest, Central European University, June 1 – 03, 2017
Deadline: Jan 31, 2017

The Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies (CEMS) at Central European
University and its junior members are proud to announce the forthcoming
Fifth International Graduate Conference on Building, Bending, and
Breaking Boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean World.


This three-day conference invites graduate students of Late Antique, Islamic, Jewish,
Byzantine, Medieval, Ottoman studies, and related disciplines, to present their research on the manifold and complex processes of constructing, negotiating, transgressing, and subverting social, political, cultural, or confessional boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean from Antiquity to the Early Modern period.

Conference Description

What is a border? What are the sites and strategies of
boundary-construction and who are its agents? Boundaries shape and
forge categories by enforcement and reinforcement of power ingrained
within a built environment, conceptual or physical. Thus, they do not
necessarily indicate territorial margins, but can also embrace
theoretical, temporal, and metaphorical borders. They can be natural or
artificial, sharp or blurry; they can be understood in positive and/or
negative terms as means of protection or as instruments of exclusion;
and they can mark conceptual territories, such as “the human,” “the
holy,” “the family,” or “the natural world.” Triggered by new waves of
immigration, the meaningfulness of state borders and the necessity of
their control have been subject to debate, alongside questions
concerning the boundaries surrounding identities, cultures or
religions. Moving beyond the border of nation-states and the “clash of
civilizations” paradigm, the main objective of this conference is to
explore the historically contingent, fluid, and dynamic nature of
borders by shedding light on the intricate mechanisms through which
boundaries were erected, maintained, crossed, and transgressed
throughout the eastern Mediterranean world.

Possible paper topics might include, but are not limited to:

Border ontologies and epistemologies
Negotiating, contesting, and appropriating spaces – sites of cultural,
religious, social, political, economic, artistic encounters,
transformations, and exchange
The dynamics of borders and identities – the role of different sensory
mechanisms in (re)articulating communal boundaries and identities,
multiple identities and cultural mobility
Practices of representation – multisensory engagement with various
aspects of daily life, the anthropology of smells and sounds, sumptuary
restrictions on food
Bordering the body – the politicization of bodily images and the
genderization of conflicts
Geopolitics, power practices, sovereignty
Politics of translation as means of enforcement, representation, and/or
Please submit by January 31, 2017 a short paper proposal (no more than
250 words, together with a brief biography and contact information) to
the following address: cemsconference@ceu.edu

Keynote Speakers

Verena Krebs (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

David Thomas (University of Birmingham)

Greg Woolf (Institute of Classical Studies, London)

Accommodation and Travel Grants

All participants will be offered accommodation for the full duration of
the conference (3 nights) at the CEU Residence Center. In order to
encourage the participation of individuals with limited institutional
support a small number of partial travel grants will be available to
cover travel expenses. Those who wish to be considered for the grant
should include an additional justification alongside their paper
proposals. Please note that there is no conference fee. For further
information, do not hesitate to contact the organizers at
cemsconference@ceu.edu .

CFP: Presence and InVisibility – Sign-bearing Artefacts in Sacral Spaces (Heidelberg, 23-25 February 2015)

Call for Papers:
Presence and InVisibility – Sign-bearing Artefacts in Sacral Spaces
International research conference
Heidelberg, 23-25 February 2015
Deadline: 15 September 2014

For many cultures sign-bearing artefacts are an immanent component of sacral spaces, which constitute themselves through their presence. This applies to actual specific places, as well as to cultural space in its broadest sense. In the latter case, sacral space is to be understood as social instead of architectural.

The conference will focus on the interaction of mobile or immobile sign-bearing artefacts – ranging from smallest objects to entire buildings – and the protagonists of sacral spaces in Europe and the Near East. By analysing material residues of advanced civilizations from antiquity to the middle ages, the entire spectrum of religions within this temporal and geographical margin shall be investigated, including phenomena generally termed as “magical”. An important point of investigation within this context will be the correlation of presence and InVisibility of these artefacts, as well as cultural or religious changes and transcultural relations.

The term “sign” includes all signs found on artefacts that aim to communicate in any way, may it be in characters, in pictographic signs or other undetermined forms.

Questions of interest in the context of presence and visibility/invisibility of sign-bearing artefacts could include: Are all these sign-bearing artefacts aimed at a specific group of people? Could their messages be received by others? Do authors, scribes, or commissioners put effort in reaching a specific circle of people, and if so, how? Is the visibility of such an artefact or a sign necessary to ensure the delivery of the intended message? Are artefacts or signs of restricted visibility actually to be seen as visually restricted or are they simply intended for a specific group of recipients? Do visible and invisible artefacts or signs differ in their effect on protagonists of sacral spaces? What about artefacts or signs that are visible but bear messages that cannot be understood without further means? Is an artefact always a mere medium of a message or can it be a message itself?

What practices were performed in this context and with these artefacts? Could the knowledge of presence be more important than the actual presence? Is presence exclusively provided through visibility? In what way could the material properties or conditions influence the visibility/invisibility or presence of an artefact?

The conference shall address these questions and attempt to answer them through lectures by national and international researchers. Contributions from all disciplines are welcome. The length of a lecture should not surpass 30 minutes and can be held in English or in German.

Accommodations in Heidelberg will be provided; travelling costs will be refunded (in case of complete financing of the conference). A publication of a conference transcript is intended.

The conference is conducted by Wilfried E. Keil (Art History), Sarah Kiyanrad (Islamic studies), Christoffer Theis (Egyptology), and Laura Willer (Papyrology).

Lecture proposals consisting of an abstract (1/2 page), a short curriculum vitae, and a list of previous publications can be sent as an email attachment to w.keil@zegk.uni-heidelberg.de up until September 15th 2014. The conference committee will then choose from all proposals.

Younger researchers are explicitly encouraged to contribute.

Call for papers: Material culture and diplomatic relations between the Latin West, Byzantium, and the Islamic East, Liege

logo_islamMaterial culture and diplomatic relations between the Latin West, Byzantium, and the Islamic East (11th-16th c.) / Culture matérielle et contacts diplomatiques entre l’Occident latin, Byzance et l’Orient islamique (XIe-XVIe siècle). Submissions are invited for this international conference to be held at the University of Liege (Belgium) on 27-28 April 2015. The deadline for submissions is 30 June. The call for papers may be downloaded at the following address: http://www.islam-medieval.cnrs.fr/actus_colloques.php. Papers may be submitted either in French or in English.

Byzantine Studies Conference Proposals Vancouver


Propose a session for the upcoming BSC in Vancouver this fall (November 6-9, 2014), and, with ICMA sponsorship, be able to pay travel expenses for your speakers, even if they come from abroad!

Thanks to the generosity of the Kress Foundation, the International Center of Medieval Art (ICMA: medievalart.org) is able to provide travel and hotel funds for the speakers at such a session up to a maximum of $500 for US residents, and up to $1000 for speakers coming from abroad.  Every speaker must be an ICMA member at the time of application.

To be properly considered, the proposed session should relate to both art history and Byzantine studies. The BSC warmly welcomes the participation of western and Islamic art historians.

The proposed session will need to pass two hurdles. The procedure is the following:

  1. Submit a proposal for an organized session, with a title, an abstract, a CV of the organizer and the names of 4-5 speakers, to the Programs and Lectures Committee of the ICMA for its approval.
  2. The ICMA committee will decide whether to sponsor the proposed session.  It will notify the organizer, who will then submit the approved proposal to the Program Committee of the BSC, which will make the final decision.

The deadlines are these:

1 March

Submit the session proposal to the ICMA by sending it to Prof. Elina Gertsman at Case Western Reserve University, Chair, ICMA Programs and Lectures Committee (exg152@case.edu). Guidelines are available on the ICMA website, under Membership/Kress Research and Travel Awards. Please note that speakers ALONE are eligible for these funds: session organizers, chairs or discussants are not. Successful applicants will be notified in mid March.

1 April

Submit the approved session proposal to the BSC, following the guidelines that are posted on the Byzantine Studies Association of North America website: bsana.net. An abstract for each of the individual papers will be required at this time. Abstracts are reviewed blindly; speakers and session organizers are usually notified by mid May.