HIAA conference image
Untitled (from the Rapture series). Shirin Neshat. 1999. Iran. Yale Univ Art Gallery. Photo courtesy of the artist.
2018 Biennial Symposium

Border Crossing

Yale University
New Haven, CT

Visit website

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.


Call for Papers

The call for papers is now closed. 

The 2018 Symposium Organizers and Committee:

 Kishwar Rizvi and Alex Dika Seggerman, co-organizers

 Christiane Gruber, Yael Rice, and Ünver Rüstem, committee members

  • 10.25.18

  • 15:00–15:15



    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
  • 15:15–17:00


    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
  • 17:00–18:30



    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
  • 18:30–20:00


    Keynote Reception and Gallery Tours

    with Selin Ünlüönen and Denise Leidy
  • 10.26.18

  • 08:30–10:30


    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
  • 10:30–11:00

    Coffee break

  • 11:00–13:00


    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
  • 13:00–14:00

    Lunch break, downtown New Haven

  • 14:00–15:30

    Object Handling

    Yale Object Collections

  • 16:00–18:00


    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
  • 18:00–19:30


    Reception and Select Open Galleries, Yale Center for British Art

  • 10.27.18

  • 08:30–10:30


    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
  • 10:30–11:00

    Coffee break

  • 11:00–13:00


    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
  • 13:00–14:00

    Downtown New Haven

  • 13:15–14:00


    New Acquisitions and Research Tools at AKDC

    Optional Brown Bag Lunch Presentation 

    Matt Saba and Michael Toler, Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT
  • 14:00–16:00


    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
  • 16:00–16:30

    Coffee break

  • 16:30–18:30


    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


Please use the symposium site to register, and please register early for object sessions in the Yale University collections.

Register now