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Border Crossing
Untitled (from the Rapture series) 1999 Iran Yale Univ Art Gallery. Photo courtesy of the artist

HIAA Biennial Symposium

Border Crossing

Yale University
New Haven, CT

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The 2018 HIAA symposium will bring together an international group of established and emerging scholars of Islamic art and architecture to present new research on the theme of “Border Crossing.” Very often the field has been defined as one centered on select regions of the Middle East, South Asia, and Central Asia, and focusing on traditional media and categories, such as the decorative arts, manuscript studies, and architecture. Less attention has been paid to regions on the so-called peripheries, including, for example, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, or to disciplines that are not often associated with the field, such as film and anthropology. “Border Crossing” is an invitation to rethink the field of Islamic art and architecture by interrogating the ideas of translation, transmission, and transgression that are suggested by the theme. Among the questions that may be asked are: How can this lens help us rethink works that form the “canon” of Islamic art? What is at stake in crossing disciplinary borders? What is lost and what is gained in abandoning traditional academic parameters? What may be learned through literal border crossings, whether they are by conservation authorities or refugees? As the works of several contemporary artists show, border crossings are ultimately ethical positions taken to evince the human condition itself. They thus provide potential to rethink the arts and cultures of the Islamic world, as well as the ways in which we study them today.






Sussan Babaie
Andrew W. Mellon Reader in the Arts of Iran and Islam, The Courtauld Insitute of Art, and President, Historians of Islamic Art Association



Mobility and Markets

Gwendolyn Collaço, Harvard University
Junctures between Pages and Temporalities: Interpreting Transcultural Albums from 18th c. Istanbul

Jenny Peruski, Harvard University
‘Clog’ Sandals and Networks of Meaning on the Swahili Coast

Sylvia Houghteling, Bryn Mawr College
Kalamkari from the Pen to the Block: The Afterlives of a Border-Crossing Cloth

Caroline “Olivia” M. Wolf, independent scholar
Crafting Andalusia in the Southern Cone: Transnational Architecture and Mahjar Monuments in Modern Argentina

Discussant: Souraya Noujaim, Louvre Abu Dhabi




Introduction by Kishwar Rizvi, Yale Univeristy, and President-Elect, Historians of Islamic Art Association; response by Nasser Rabbat, Aga Khan Professor and the Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Zainab Bahrani, Edith Porada Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University
Ascent of Images: Mapping Time at the Amadiya Akropolis



Keynote Reception and Gallery Tours

with Selin Ünlüönen and Denise Leidy




Medieval Translations

Amanda Luyster, College of the Holy Cross
Islamic Textiles and Elite Interiors in Thirteenth-Century England

Bernard O’Kane, American University in Cairo
Post-Carved Brick: The Westward Spread of an Indian Technique in Ghaznavid and Later Islamic Architecture

Heather Ecker, Dallas Museum of Art
Reification and Reconciliation in an Age of Conversion and Translation: Sources for Toledo’s Choir Screen Panels

Mikael Muehlbauer, Columbia University
’The Canopied Circuit’: Reconstructing Islamic Veils in Ethiopian Rock-cut Churches

Discussant: Nancy Steinhardt, University of Pennsylvania


Coffee break



Ideological Borders

Alyson Wharton-Durgaryan, University of Lincoln
Sealing the Borders of Empire: Barracks, Prisons and Police Stations on the Eastern Anatolian Frontier in Hamidian and Young Turk Eras

Suheyla Takesh, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Modern Arab Art Through Soviet Eyes: On the Scholarship of Anatoly Bogdanov and Boris Veimarn

Nancy Demerdash-Fatemi, Albion College
Migratory Imaginaries in Contemporary Franco-Maghrebi Artistic Practice

Shahrzad Shirvani, University of California, Berkeley
Spatial Reconstructions of ‘Victory’ On Two Sides of A Border: The Case of Iran and Iraq

Discussant: Iftikhar Dadi, Cornell University


Lunch break, downtown New Haven


Object Handling

Yale Object Collections



Against the Grain: Printing Cultures in Islamic Art History

Hala Auji, American University of Beirut
Facing Pages: Author Portraits in Nineteenth-Century Arabic Publications

Mira Xenia Schwerda, Harvard University
A Revolution in Print: Photography, Lithography, and Collotype Postcards in the Late Qajar Era

Yasemin Gencer, Independent Scholar
Economies of Recognition: Reader Photographs in Turkish Journals of the 1920s

Elizabeth Rauh, University of Michigan
The Colored Horizons of Karbala: Rafa Nasiri and Contemporary Printmaking in 1960s Iraq

Discussant: Finbarr Barry Flood, Institute of Fine Arts and Director, Silsila: Center for Material Histories, New York University



Reception and Select Open Galleries, Yale Center for British Art




Then and Now: Medieval Border Crossings and the Contemporary Moment

Heather A. Badamo, University of California, Santa Barbara
The Audience of the Furusiyya Dagger: Common Culture and Conflicting Messages

Jennifer Pruitt, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Productive Destruction: The Rebuilding of Fatimid Jerusalem (1010-1031)

Heba Mostafa, University of Toronto
Charting Boundaries of Knowledge: The Dār al-Imāra and the History of Governance in Early Islam between Archaeology and Art History

Melanie Holcomb and Barbara Drake Boehm, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Bridging Gaps, Hitting Walls: Finding Medieval Jerusalem

Discussant: Patricia Blessing, Pomona College


Coffee break



Methodological Borders

Selin Ünlüönen, Yale University
A Case in Ottoman Calligraphy: Mehmed Şefik’s ‘Elifba Cüzü

Lisa Homann, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
Energizing Regional and Global Bonds: The Unique Aesthetic of a Muslim Masquerade

Meredyth Lynn Winter, Harvard University
Bordering on Rayy: Early Pahlavi Iran and the Truest Forgeries

Anissa Rahadiningtyas, Cornell University
The Elusive Horse Dance and the Discursive Absence of Islam in the History of Modern Art in Indonesia

Discussant: Mirjam Shatanawi, National Museum of World Cultures


Downtown New Haven



New Acquisitions and Research Tools at AKDC

Optional Brown Bag Lunch Presentation 

Matt Saba and Michael Toler, Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT



The Digital Divide: On the Possibilities and Perils of Data-driven Scholarship in Islamic Art and Architectural History

Yael Rice, Amherst College
The Mughal Manuscript Workshop through a Network Analysis Lens

Ethel Wolper, University of New Hampshire
The Digital Turn in Islamic Art History: Lessons from Mapping Heritage Destruction in Mosul

Nancy Um, Binghamton University
Yemeni Manuscripts Online: Close and Distant Readings of a Zaydi Corpus through te Portal of a Screen

Nina Macaraig and Yasemin Özarslan, Koç University
Mapping Istanbul’s Hamams with Hafız Hüseyin Ayvansarayi

Discussant: Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis, The Graduate Center, CUNY and Deputy Director, Manar al-Athar


Coffee break



Art and Architecture on the Periphery of Empire

Melis Taner, Özyeğin University
From the Sword of Yusuf Perished All the Bandits:’ An Early Seventeenth-Century Illustrated Travelogue/Campaign Logbook of Hadım Yusuf Paşa

Emily Neumeier, Temple University
Challenging Decorum in Ottoman Greece: Experiments in Architectural Epigraphy

Sinem Casale, University of Minnesota
Embassy as Witness

Robyn D. Radway, Central European University
The Ambassador’s Paper Portraits of Empire: Albums from the German House in Constantinople under David Ungnad (1570s)

Discussant: Heghnar Watenpaugh, University of California, Davis


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