Resources & Publications

  • Book

    The Indigenous Lens? Early Photography in the Near and Middle East (Anthology), ed. Markus Ritter and Staci Gem Scheiwiller

    The historiography of early photography has scarcely examined Islamic countries in the Near and Middle East, although the new technique was adopted very quickly there by the 1840s. Which regional, local, and global aspects can be made evident? What role did autochthonous image and art traditions have, and which specific functions did photography meet since its introduction? This collective volume deals with examples from Iran, the Ottoman Empire, and the Arab lands and with the question of local specifics, or an „indigenous lens." The contributions broach the issues of regional histories of photography, local photographers, specific themes and practices, and historical collections in these countries. They offer, for the first time in book form, a cross-section through a developing field of the history of photography.

    Series: Studies in Theory and History of Photography (Book 8)
    Paperback: 374 pages
    Publisher: De Gruyter (October 11, 2017)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 3110491354
    ISBN-13: 978-311049135

  • Book

    Olga Bush, Reframing the Alhambra: Architecture, Poetry, Textiles and Court Ceremonial

    The Nasrid builders of the Alhambra – the best-preserved medieval Muslim palatial city – were so exacting that some of their work could not be fully explained until the invention of fractal geometry. Their design principles have been obscured, however, by the loss of all archival material. This book resolves that impasse by investigating the neglected, interdisciplinary contexts of medieval poetics and optics and through comparative study of Islamic court ceremonials. This reframing enables the reconstruction of the underlying, integrated aesthetic, focusing on the harmonious interrelationship between diverse artistic media – architecture, poetry and textiles – in the experience of the beholder, resulting in a new understanding of the Alhambra.

    Hardback, Spring 2018, 344 pages, 94 colour illustrations; ISBN 9781474416504 

    Edinburgh University Press (distributed by Oxford University Press in the Americas)

  • Book

    Moya Carey, Persian Art: Collecting the Arts of Iran for the V&A

    Today, the Victoria and Albert Museum holds extensive and renowned collections of Iranian art, spanning at least twelve centuries of Iran's sophisticated cultural history. These objects range from archaeological finds to architectural salvage, from domestic furnishings and drinking vessels to design archives. Most of this diverse material was purchased in the late nineteenth century, over a few decades - roughly between 1873 and 1893 - during a specific period of contact between Victorian Britain and Qajar Iran.

    The book investigates that period through four case studies, showing how architects, diplomats, dealers, collectors and craftsmen engage with Iran's complex visual traditions, ancient and modern.

    Hardback, 272 pages, ISBN 9781851779338

    London, Bloomsbury, 2017

  • Journal

    International Journal of Islamic Architecture, 7.1

    The International Journal of Islamic Architecture (IJIA) announces the publication of the newest issue, 7.1 (January, 2018). This is the thirteenth issue of a bi-annually published peer-reviewed journal on architecture, urban design, planning, and landscape architecture. IJIA aims to encourage dialogue between practitioners and scholars and enhance appreciation for the urban heritage in the region and pioneering design work. The journal is committed to inviting new research on understudied topics and reaching out to a broad international readership.

    This volume contains an editorial by Hasan-Uddin Khan, a commentary by Rami F. Daher, book and exhibition reviews, conference précis, and articles on Mughal hunting preserves, the radicalization of cultural heritage in Tunisia, the preservation of Ottoman heritage in Athens, present-day politics surrounding the Red Fort of Delhi, and the political context behind contemporary architecture in Qatar. New in this issue is the section “Architectural Spotlight,” written by Şebnem Yücel, which reviews recent projects selected for Aga Khan Award.

  • Book

    Eisa Esfanjary, Persian Historic Urban Landscapes: Interpreting and Managing Maibud over 6000 Years

    • Organised in three main parts: a conceptual framework; the case study of Maibud; and an explanation of its wider significances, and potential policy applications
    • Sheds new light on the development of one of ancient world's oldest, yet least known, living cities in Iran, supported by highly original and convincing analysis
    • Features case studies with new evidence, which require us to re-evaluate our understanding of urbanism not just in Iran but also in the wider Islamic world
    • Illustrated with many images including maps, plans, line drawings, watercolours and colour photos

    Hardcover Published: 01 December 2017

    288 Pages | 50 colour, 20 black and white 

    ISBN: 978147441278

  • Book

    Negar Habibi, ʿAli Qoli Jebādār et l'Occidentalisme Safavide: Une étude sur les peintures dites farangi sāzi, leurs milieux et commanditaires sous Shāh Soleimān (1666-94)

    In ʿAli Qoli Jebādār et l’Occidentalism safavide, Negar Habibi provides a fresh account of the life and works of ʿAli Qoli Jebādār, a leading painter of the late Safavid period. By collecting several of the artist's paintings and signatures, Habibi brings to light the diversity of ʿAli Qoli Jebādār's most important works. In addition, the volume offers us new insights into both the artistic and socio-political evolution of Iranian society in the last days of pre-modern Iran. By carefully consulting the historical sources, Negar Habibi demonstrates the possibility of a female and eunuch patronage in the seventeenth-century paintings known as farangi sāzi, while suggesting the use of the term "Occidentalism" for those Safavid paintings that show some exotic and alien details of the Western world.

    Leiden and Boston, Brill, copyright 2018

    ISBN: 9789004355873

  • Book

    Gardens of Renaissance Europe and the Islamic Empires: Encounters and Confluences

    Gardens of Renaissance Europe and the Islamic Empires: Encounters and Confluences, ed. Mohammad Gharipour

    The cross-cultural exchange of ideas that flourished in the Mediterranean during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries profoundly affected European and Islamic society. Gardens of Renaissance Europe and the Islamic Empires considers the role and place of gardens and landscapes in the broader context of the information sharing that took place among Europeans and Islamic empires in Turkey, Persia, and India. In illustrating commonalities in the design, development, and people’s perceptions of gardens and nature in both regions, this volume substantiates important parallels in the revolutionary advancements in landscape architecture that took place during the era. The contributors explain how the exchange of gardeners as well as horticultural and irrigation techniques influenced design traditions in the two cultures; examine concurrent shifts in garden and urban landscape design, such as the move toward more public functionality; and explore the mutually influential effects of politics, economics, and culture on composed outdoor space. In doing so, they shed light on the complexity of cultures and politics during the Renaissance.  This book points to new areas in inquiry about the influences, confluences, and connections between European and Islamic garden traditions.

    Title:  Gardens of Renaissance Europe and the Islamic Empires: Encounters and Confluences
    Editor: Mohammad Gharipour
    Publisher:  Pennsylvania State University Press
    ISBN13: 978-0-271-07779-6
    Number of pages: 272
    Number of illustrations: 122

  • Journal

    Ars Orientalis 47

    Ars Orientalis 47, Autumn 2017 

    New Research in Dress Across Asia, ed. Nancy Micklewright

  • Journal

    Annales Islamologiques, Vol. 50

    Volume 50 - 2016 of Annales islamologiques has been released on print and online. The guest-edited section is devoted to Architecture in Modern Egypt  (“Bâtir, exposer, restaurer: une histoire architecturale de l’Égypte moderne”), and features 6 essays edited by Mercedes Volait. Fully illustrated by mostly unpublished iconography, the papers explore the large variety of contexts in which architecture bloomed between the mid-19th century and the 1960s. The era witnessed the reinvention of Coptic and Islamic tradition as well as large building and land developments by corporates (e.g. Suez Canal Company), landed aristocracy (e.g. Halim and Djelal Waqf estates in Cairo) and the State (e.g. fairs and exhibitions).
    The Varia section of the Annual includes five articles in French, in English and in Arabic. Three of them publish sources: two Arabic papyri from the end of the 8th or the 9th century, and a paper stemming from the documents of al-Ḥaram al-Šarīf, which sheds light on the situation of Non-Muslims in Mamluk Jerusalem. The two other articles deal with the science of Hadith in the medieval period, and with musicians and singers in Ibn Iyās’ early 16th-century chronicle.

  • Archive

    The Kamil and Rifat Chadirji Photographic Archive, at the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT

    The Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT (AKDC@MIT) is pleased to announce that it is now the home of the Kamil and Rifat Chadirji Photographic Archive.

    Kamil Chadirji (1897-1968), born to an influential Baghdad family, played a central role in the political life of lraq as founder and President of the National Democratic Party. His position allowed him unique opportunities to take photographs throughout Iraq. Kamil’s son, Rifat Chadirji (b. 1926), perhaps better known as one of the most influential Iraqi architects of the 20th century, was also an accomplished photographer, author, teacher, and critic (through the generosity of Rifat and Balkis Chadirji, AKDC@MITalso houses the Rifat Chadirji Architecture Archive). Together, their vast collection spans more than 5 decades and contains ca. 100,000 negatives and images documenting the Middle East, primarily Iraq.

    The collection illustrates daily life, cultural engagement, and social conditions in the Middle East from the 1920s – 1970s. This important record also provides a unique look at the significant transformation of Baghdad’s built environment over time.

    Once on loan to the Arab Image Foundation (Beirut, Lebanon), the entire collection has been given to the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT through a gift from the Chadirji family. In 2016, while on loan to the Arab Image Foundation and with a grant from the Graham Foundation, the photography of Rifat Chadirji, in particular, was highlighted in an exhibition entitled, Every Building in Baghdad: The Rifat Chadirji Archives at the Arab Image Foundation. Although the material now belongs to AKDC@MIT, the exhibition remains on tour and will open in Los Angeles, CA early January 2018, before returning to MIT.
    As with all archives given to AKDC@MIT, the collection will be catalogued, digitized, and made available to scholars, students, and research via AKDC’s research portal, Archnet, or in person at the Center. For more information, please contact

Submit resources and publications

Please submit resources to the HIAA secretary including the resource name and type, and several sentences about its nature, and a link to further information.