Call for Papers: The Myth of the Orient. Architecture and Ornament at the time of Orientalism

June 12, 2015, Oberhofen Castle (Switzerland)

Deadline for submission: October 31, 2014

The Oberhofen Castle has one of the most significant Swiss Orientalist interiors: the smoking room (Selamlik) designed in 1855 by the Bernese architect Theodor Zeerleder (1820-1868), inspired by examples of the luxurious palaces in Cairo he discovered during his travels in the East.

In 2015, on the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the Selamlik, the Oberhofen Castle Foundation, in collaboration with the Institute of History of Art of the University of Zürich, will organize an international congress. Untitled “The Myth of the Orient. Architecture and Ornament at the time of Orientalism”, this event will present the latest research on neo-Islamic architecture and ornamentation, with a special focus on Cairo and, at an international level, on the discourse created in the Age of Orientalism and the caricatured views of the Islamic world, still partially existing nowadays.

Three sections (images / architecture / ornament) will discuss topics such as the romantic visions of Cairo in the 19th century; the international exhibitions as promoters of a transfigured image of the Orient; early descriptions and reproductions of Cairo and its Islamic buildings; Islamic ornament in the neo-Islamic context and neo-Islamic architecture in Cairo or related to it.

In addition, the results of the latest scientific research on the Selamlik in the Oberhofen Castle will also be presented, together with the exhibition “Zeerleder and the Orient” that will provide an opportunity to discover the architect’s travel sketches, architectural drawings and watercolours, still largely unpublished, and for the first time accessible to a wider audience.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a short CV, should be sent by October 31, 2014, to: conference@transculturalstudies.ch

Conferences will have a duration of 20 min. Conference languages will be German, English and French.

Source:CFP: Architektur & Ornament im Zeitalter des Orientalismus (Oberhofen, 12-13 Jun 15). In: H-ArtHist, Sep 8, 2014. <http://arthist.net/archive/8265>.

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