HIAA conference image
Metalwork Bag. 14th century. Mosul, Iraq. The Courtauld Gallery, O.1966.GP.209.
2016 Biennial Symposium

Regionality: Looking for the Local in the Arts of Islam

The Courtauld Institute of Art

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The Fifth Biennial Conference of the Historians of Islamic Art Association celebrates the European ‘roots’ of the study of the arts that fall under the cultural umbrella of Islam, and the formation of the important early collections and exhibitions that launched its scholarship. Those early, mostly connoisseurial categories of regional types and styles – the “Moresque”, Persian painting, Turkish tiles, Indian decorative arts – formed the foundations from which universalizing narratives of “Islamic” arts emerged, especially in the period after the Second World War. Some fifty years later, we are witnessing a resurgence of the study of regional specificities, augmented with deeper research into the diverse facets of any given locality or artistic form, and a greater commitment to the linguistic and cultural particularities that shaped the arts, architecture and archaeology in a specific locale. Rigorous application of trans-disciplinary research strategies have contributed to the deepening of our understanding of the arts of Islam in local terms, and have allowed us to embrace broader historical trajectories to include the modern and contemporary in our field.

  • 10.19.16

  • 14:15–14:30

    Welcome Remarks: Deborah Swallow, Professor and Director, The Courtauld Institute of Art and Sheila Canby, HIAA president

  • 14:30–15:30


    Images Incomplete: Prescriptive Piety as Material Practice in Islamic Art

    Finbarr Barry Flood
    William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of the Humanities, Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences
  • 15:30–16:30

    Drinks reception

  • 10.20.16

  • 06:00–08:00


    Object viewing sessions at the British Museum, British Library and the Victoria and Albert Museum

  • 08:00–10:00

    Lunch break and return to The Courtauld

  • 10:00–11:30


    Responses to the Antique World in Islam

    Simon O’Meara
    Nadia Ali
    Early Islamic Art, Local Micro-Identities and Everyday Religiosity in the pre-Modern Syrian Countryside
    Lindsay Allen
    Contested Ruins:The Stratigraphy of Islamic Marginalia at Takht-i Jamshid/Persepolis
    Lev Arie Kapitaikin
    A Sense of Place and Grace: The Great ‘Zitouna’ Mosque of Tunis, a Font of Tunisian Architecture
    Antony Eastmond
  • 11:30–12:00

    Tea & Coffee

  • 00:00–13:30


    Locality of Style in Turco-Persian Manuscripts

    Zeynep Yürekli-Görkay
    Cailah Jackson
    The Illuminations of Mukhlis ibn ‘Abdullah al-Hindi: A Local Style of Late Thirteenth-Century Konya
    Alya Karame
    The Illumination ofthe Imperial Ghaznavid Qur’ans: A Distinct Local Style
    Jaimee K. Comstock-Skipp
    Heroes of Legend, Heroes of History: Militant Manuscripts of the Shaybanid Uzbeks in Transoxiana
    Elaine Wright
  • 14:00–15:00


    'Fings ain’t wot they oughto be’: Making Things & the Art History of Early & Medieval Islamic Societies

    Jeremy Johns
    Director of the Khalili Research Centre; Professor of the Art & Archaeology of the Islamic Mediterranean; Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford University
    Jeremy Johns
  • 15:00–16:00

    Drinks Reception

  • 10.21.16

  • 05:30–07:00


    State Control of City and Landscape

    Julia Gonnella
    Stéphane Pradines
    Regional Patterns in Fatimid Military Architecture
    Paul Wordsworth
    Styling the saray: Central Asian Traditions in Early Seljuq Architectural Grammar
    Abbey Stockstill
    Under the Atlas: Visibility and Materiality in the Landscape of Almohad Marrakesh
    Scott Redford
  • 07:00–07:30

    Tea & Coffee

  • 07:30–09:00


    Local/Translocal Dialogues through the Arts of the Book

    Anna Contadini
    Jake Benson
    The Qit’at-i Khushkhatt Album and Mir Muhammad Tahir
    Keelan Overton
    Between Herat, Bijapur and Mysore: The Timurid Qur’an of Abu Sa‘id
    Melis Taner
    An Illustrated Genealogy Between the Ottomans and Safavids
    Ünver Rüstem
  • 09:00–10:30


  • 10:30–12:00


    Mediated Identities in Early Modern South Asian Architecture

    Ebba Koch
    Munazzah Akhtar
    Identity in Death: Expression of Identities in Samma Monuments of Makli Necropolis at Thatta
    Fatima Quraishi
    Banna’i, Chinoiserie and Carved Sandstone:Mediating Between East and West in Early Modern Sindh
    Peyvand Firouzeh
    Scribing and Inscribing for the Sufis: Calligraphy, Sufism,and Dynastic Identity in Fifteenth-Century Bidar
    D. Fairchild Ruggles
  • 12:00–12:30

    Tea & Coffee

  • 12:30–14:00


    The Specificities of Modernity

    Ruba Kana’an
    Margaret Graves
    Markets, Makers and Anxious Administrators: Ceramics and Craft Fidelity in Early Twentieth-Century Morocco
    Holly Shaffer
    ‘The Sky is so Profusely Illuminated’
    Alex Dika Seggerman
    What is Egyptian Modernism?
    Mercedes Volait
  • 14:00–14:15

    Short break

  • 14:15–15:00


    Modernism as (a)Politics: Religious Minorities and the Discourse on Architecture in Pahlavi Iran

    Talinn Grigor
    Professor of Art History in the Department of Art and Art History, University of California, Davis
    Talinn Grigor
  • 15:00–15:30


    Celebrating Prof. Doris Behrens-Abouseif

  • 15:30–17:00

    Drinks and Tapas Reception at Fernandes & Wells, Somerset House

  • 10.22.16

  • 06:00–11:00


    Special visit to the Sarikhani Collection or self-organized visit to Power and protection: Islamic art and the supernatural, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; 20 October 2016 - 15 January 2017


Registration is closed. This event has already taken place.