SAH 69th Annual International Conference
Panel: Questioning the concept of Mudejar Architecture

Pasadena/LA, April 6 – 10, 2016
Deadline for the submission of abstract: June 9, 2015

Medieval exchange processes between Muslim Spain, the northern Christian kingdoms and the Sephardic Jews created a specific building style in the Iberian Peninsula. On the occasion of his inaugural lecture El estilo Mudéjar en arquitectura, held in 1859 at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, José Amador de los Ríos named this specific style Mudéjar, a term used in the academic literature till this day. The transmission of a historical term designating a specific population group (i.e. Muslims in Christian territories) into architectural history induces a terminological grey area. When did the term Mudéjar appear in historical records, i.e., was it already used in Pre-Modern times as a category for demarcation? Where shall we draw the frontiers between Islamic, Mudéjar, Christian and Jewish Architecture? Which are the determining factors that feature a building as Mudéjar? Is it the confession of the patron or that of the craftsman, the functional aspect (church, synagogue) or the stylistic feature that permits a classification? How do we relate a Mudéjar building to Mudéjar population? What is the role of the patron and/or the craftsman in modifying Islamic patterns into a Christian or Jewish language? The interdisciplinary approach (Art History/Historical Sciences) of the session will allow a critical debate on the concept of Mudéjar Architecture, which has recently been questioned in the work Under the influence: Questioning the Comparative in Medieval Castile (Leiden, 2005). We encourage the submission of specific case studies that will permit to simultaneously highlight the complexity of cross-border processes and question the compatibility with the current field boundaries, while emphasizing the significance of the Iberian Peninsula as a cultural contact zone within the current international globalization discourse.

Session chairs: Francine Giese, University of Zurich;
francine.giese@khist.uzh.ch; and Ana Echevarría Arsuaga, UNED Madrid;
aechevarria@geo.uned.es

Please submit abstracts (no more than 300 words) via the online submission portal by June 9, 2015.

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